The Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar


Did you know?
According to the legend, The Shwedagon Pagoda has existed for more than 2,500 years old. It is the oldest historical pagoda in Myanmar and in the world. 

Things to take note of when you are visiting.
1. Wear decently. I am not sure if this has to be said, but then again, people nowadays are dressing more and more casually and more often than not, we tend to dress wrongly in wrong occasion because of the lack of knowledge of their culture. Yes, you gotta wear decently. No shorts and spaghetti strap top. Long skirt would be advised for girls, otherwise long jeans should be fine.

I didn't bring any long jeans or long skirt. I bought myself one set of the traditional wear from Bogyoke Aung San market, they call it "hta main" for girls and "pa soe" or "longyi" for guys. 

2. No shoes allowed in the pagoda. Yes, no shoes allowed. Shoes have to be removed at the entrance of the pagoda itself. What I did when I pay a visit is that I would leave my slippers or shoes in the care and walk to the car park barefooted. A few people would leave them at the entrance because it might be gone when you come down later >.< So, yeah, leave it in the car or whatever vehicle that your are taking over. 

If I remember correctly, there is a place for us to leave the slippers at just at the entrance there. Some have a certain fee that we need to pay, while some pagodas don't have a certain amount, you just have to do some donation in the box provided there. 

3. Pick up an audio guide. There are 50 audio guide devices in Shwedagon. Many have yet to know about this as it is still quite new. But this audio guide has both Japanese and English translation programmed about the different attractions on the whole pagoda (about 30+ attractions). It's free of charge. So pick it up during your visit there! It wasn't there when I visited, but it's okay. I hope you all get to use it. 

(Picture taken from my friend's FB)

4. Walk in clock-wise direction. Once you have entered the pagoda level, from whichever entrance (there are a total of 4 entrances), go in clock wise direction. Everyone is doing that, so I guess we don't want to be the odd one out to be walking against the human traffic hahaha. 

5. Find your Burmese zodiac. There are zodiac signs inside Shwedagon Pagoda. People normally head down to their zodiac sign and pray or meditate there. 

Unlike the normal astrology that we know, I know there are 12 animal signs in Chinese zodiac and it's counted by year. As for Burmese zodiac, there are 8 animal signs and it's counted per day! 7 days in a week but there are 8 signs because for Wednesday, they have Wednesday Morning and Wednesday afternoon born. I took a look at my date of birth and I am a Saturday-born! Faster go and check yours! 

6. Slower down your pace, relax and notice the beauty of the Pagoda. When I first stepped into the holy ground, I was like "Wow..." I had never seen something so magnificent and stunning before. All the intricate details of the pagodas inside made me wonder how on earth did they build something so beautiful back in the days when technology has yet existed!? 

The Shwedagon Pagoda gave me a very peaceful feeling every time I visit. It is just beautiful just seeing how the culture is still preserve up to this day, and the strong beliefs they have to the Mighty God. I can stay there all day just to look at the people passing by! 

7. Use the telescope provided to look at the tip of the Pagoda. At the tip of the pagoda, there is this round shape and then followed by the "flag". The Shwedagon is too big and huge that it is impossible for you to see the tip with your naked eyes. The round shape as well as the flag were made of genuine jewels and gold. They blink during the day! Elarged picture of the round tip as well as the flag was shown there.

This is the round tip of the Shwedagon Pagoda. if you see it closely, you can spot the peacock jewels and many more! 

This is the flag of the Pagoda. Also, consists of a lot of jewels. it is super stunning! 

With its magnificent colour and height, we could see Shwedagon almost everywhere we went (other than town area)! It was said that the people was not supposed to build buildings that are higher than four storeys because everyone is supposed to be able to see the Pagoda and pray to the Shwedagon from their own home. However as time passed, more and more higher buildings around the town area making it almost impossible to spot the Shwedagon.

Burmese Zodiac 
I found the information below from So, they are not mine okay hehehe! Happy reading!

Monday Born (Tiger)

Monday is the day of the TIGER. The east direction is your lucky direction. Monday belongs to the Planet Moon. In character your patience, perseverance, and solidarity are outstanding. You are always reliable. You are very ambitious. Your aim in life is to make success of things. Monday born are supposed to be very bright and alert! 

Tuesday Born (Lion)

Tuesday is the day of the LION. The southeast direction is your lucky direction. Tuesday belongs to the Mars. You want to do work with some prestige and dignity attached to it. You are a natural self-promoter. Your idealism motivates you to seek challenges and to dedicate yourself to great and worthy causes. You attract people because of your honour and strength of character. In Myanmar it is widespread that Tuesday born have a "sharp tounge"... 

Wednesday Morning (Elephant)

Wednesday is the day of the ELEPHANT. The south direction is your lucky direction. Wednesday belongs to the Mercury. In character you are hasty in temper, impulsive, independent, and you desire to be your own master. People here claim that Wednesday morning born are unpatient... 

Wednesday Afternoon (Tuskless Elephant)

One born in the afternoon of Wednesday is called Rahu born. Rahu is the ascending node of the Moon, the day of the TUSKLESS ELEPHANT. The northwest direction is your lucky direction. You are a person who has a wide circle of acquaintances, but few close associates, as you do not make friends easily. You want to do work with some prestige and dignity attached to it. You are a natural self-promoter. You idealism motivates you to seek challenges and to dedicate yourself to great and worthy causes. You attract people because of your honour and strength of character. In character you are hasty of temper, impulsive, independent, and desire to be your own master. Your aim in life is to make a success of things. BUT Wednesday afternoon born are even more unpatient - that's what they say here! 

Thursday (Rat) 

Thursday is the day of the RAT. The west direction is your lucky direction. Thursday belongs to the Jupiter. Serious-minded in your approach, you quietly go about whatever you have to do. Ambition is your driving force. Your aim in life is to make a success of things. You are very ambitious. Thursday born? It is also said that they are patient! 

Friday (Guinea Pig)

Friday is the day of the GUINEA PIG. The north direction is your lucky direction. Friday belongs to the planet Venus. Sensitivity is one of your best virtues, and you empathize with the difficulties of others. You have the restless nature, and dislike being tied to any situation. Try to raise your performance to your full potential. You can show your abilities and talent favourable. It is believed that Friday born are quite talkative! 

Saturday (Dragon)

Saturday is the day of the DRAGON. The southwest direction is your lucky direction. Saturday belongs to the Saturn. You are naturally very intelligent and quick-minded. You tend to be very hard-working, and this should bring you various rewards. You will probably find it very difficult to work in a group or a team. Try to be patient, you will become the leader of the group. In Myanmar most parents don't want their first child born on Saturday - as they believe it will bring "unluck" to their partnerships...

Sunday (Garuda, Mythical King of Birds) 

Sunday is the day of the GARUDA (galoun), the mythical king of birds. The northeast direction is your own and lucky direction. Sunday is the day of the Sun. You are very definite in purpose and energy and go-ahead spirit is in your mind and in your soul. You are very stubborn. Anything that is difficult and laborious interests you. Too good and too generous to others is not good for you; people will take advantage of that. According to Myanmar believe Sunday Born are mostly blessed with luck! 

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