So.. maybe you’ve read my post about me went to Yangon for the first time. Now, I’ll tell you a bit about what I did there after we left the airport. Hint: pagoda, pagoda, and pagoda. Lots of em.
T and I decided to go to Shwedagon Pagoda while we were waiting for hotel check-in. Basically, almost everything in Yangon written in abugida. Of course I couldn’t read it and Google Translate, the one that you can take picture and it will translate rightaway, didn’t help much too, because it doesn’t have the database somehow.
We then rode a Grab so we don’t have to haggle and got scammed because we really don’t know the base fare. I love how Grab make things easier for everyone to use public transportation. Anyway, for the ride to Shwedagon, we paid 7,300MMK (SGD7). Since T would be the one who pay all my meals, I decided to pay mostly the rides we had in Yangon.
And then we arrived. Shwedagon was HUGE. I don’t know how to say but I was amazed by how shiny the main temple is. So Shwedagon consists of hundreds (if not thousands) of smaller temples. Perhaps every temple is for praising different gods, I really don’t know.
Oh before that I have to warn you. You couldn’t wear shorts if you want to visit the temple. I wore shorts before, thankfully I brought a pair of jeans so I could change it inside the information box where everyone could watch me lol. If not, I think they would lend you a longyi for a price. And you have to pay around 10,000MMK (SGD10) to get in. Mind you, for some temple, they will charge the tourist to get in, but not all. Also, it will be easier for you to wear flipflops? Because you couldn’t wear your shoes if you want to get in. Well, they do really respect their gods, and you come to their sacred place so, I think that’s okay.
The sad thing when I was there is just.. it was raining back then. So, we got a bit wet but it didn’t stop us from exploring. I think, if you decide to go to Yangon somewhere around June, perhaps umbrella might come in handy.
After that we went to the Hard Rock Cafe Yangon to fill our tummy and… continued to…
Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda
This is where you can see the reclining Buddha statue. To be honest with you this temple gave me kinda awful memory. The statue was under renovation so you could see all these green net covering the statue. Not as big as Shwedagon, but I remember it was free admission.
We got in barefoot. To be honest with you, it was drizzling there so I didn’t really feel convenient to go on barefoot BUT again you have to respect! So yeah, we went around there, amazed because the statue was humongous. Spotted a few tourists like us as well, my best bet would be Singaporeans lol.
And then T and I went to the back part of it, where we got into this “funny” situation. A guard led us to take this “shortcut” to get to another pagoda across. “Why not,” we thought so we followed his way, downstairs. Another “guard/guide” met us halfway and said we should come to visit this monastery of his dad, where his “grandpa” lives. “He’s so old, 98 years old! Please come visit, he’ll bless you and you may get luck,” he said to us.
We still believed him at that time, but of course we started to get this dodgy feelings.. I meant, the lane, the stairs was contaminated by dog poop (mind you, lots of stray dogs there in Myanmar). What kind of monastery is that, if it’s dirty, right?
Perhaps he could see from our face that we got a bit disgusted by the dog poop and he asked for his friend to bring us some water and he washed our feet with his hands.. I didn’t call that. So we tried to reject and after he splashed our feet, he still invited us to visit his “monastery”. He was also being friendly and asked us where did we come from, and I said Singapore.
Then we came in front of the “monastery”. I noticed some people was there before but they were gone now. He opened the door and it was…. pitch black. T and I looked each other and she got the code. The man got into the house and I thought he was trying to turn on the lamp but before he came back, we started to brisk walk, fast, to the pagoda.
He realized and tried to chase us. So we said we need to go somewhere fast and then he tried to stop us. I was scared but I tried to keep calm so he didn’t feel offended and I asked him what did he want. Said we could at least “donate” for his monastery while trying to get something from his back. It was a book, a small notebook and I think I also saw bracelet. We said no and started to walk faster and finally T said, if we could give him the only money she held in her hand, which was 100MMK.
She gave it to him, wishing he would happily accept it. Nope. He said something like “what? Just this? But it’s very small in Singapore dollar”. After that T and I exchanged look and started to move, faster than ever.
We finally got back to the temple. Phew. I don’t know what would happen if we get into his house. Robbed, probably.. or worse.
Around 6pm and we finally decided to go to our hotel. We prepared changed our clothes and prepared ourselves to go to…
This pagoda is located in the middle of the street. It’s pretty stand out from everything else. When I was there, lots of people was praying. I remember we had to pay 4000MMK to get in. This pagoda is smaller than the other two before. Not much we could do here beside taking photos and I realized there are different shrines for different day.
After Sule Pagoda, we wanted to go to another place but decided maybe it was time to rest. So we did get back to the hotel and slept.
And that’s all for day one! Second day, shopping! I’ll tell you more about it next time, so… follow me on Twitter!
Oh did I tell you about Burmese, they use this thanaka powder on their face? It looks really nice and I wanted to try and buy the bark, but.. I wasn’t really sure how to make it hahaha.