30 Aug Visiting Myanmar – Day 1, Yangon
we are back from our trip around Asia ! We would like to share with you the discoveries we have made and share stories as well as photographs of our 8 days of travel across Myanmar.
We are going to start off with our arrival at Yangon (former Capital of Myanmar but today it is the administrative capital).
We traveled on 30th July 2012 from Singapore to Yangon and arrived in Yangon at around 4pm. The weather was rainy but it did not stop us enjoying and taking in the beautiful sights of the city.
What was interesting when we first arrived at the airport was the organisation and cleanliness of the airport. As we had ordered a visa on arrival, we headed to the visa counter and in less than 10 minutes had everything ready and could meet our guide at the baggage claim.
Once we had collected the luggage we made our way outside of the terminal to take the car and go drop our luggage to the hotel. Everyone was very friendly, smiling and very helpful. One thing one has to note though if one wants to keep in touch with one´s family ! Roaming is not working, during our entire stay we had no network coverage at all, so we leased a sim card at the airport to be able to call our family.
After dropping our luggage at the hotel we made our way to the Schwedagon pagoda which is the biggest in Yangon. We were lucky to have a dry spell to enjoy and take in the magnificence of the temple.
Our first impression when entering the Pagoda was that we were taken by a flow of positive energy coming from the holy ground on which the Pagoda was built, this lasted the entore time we were visiting the pagoda.
On some of the pictures you will notice that the monk is in the first row to pray, then you have the male disciples and at the back the women. This is due to the influence of Indian buddhism that is still anchored in the hearts of the Burmese, however men and women are regarded as equal, so this is just visible when people pray in the temples.
An interesting fact is that on top of the pagoda you can find rubies and diamonds, one of the biggest diamonds is on the tip of the pagoda. Some of you might think, how is it that such precious stones are still there and not have been stolen ! Well I imagine that this is due to the buddhist religion and the good virtue of the people of Myanmar.
We spent about 2 hours browsing around the pagoda and taking in the rituals and observing the people. We will have more stories on Buddhism in our next posts, so if you are interested please do not hesitate to visit our blog.
After our wonderful walk around Schwedagon Pagoda and taking a few pictures we went for a local dinner which was delicious (the curry in Myanmar is very subtle and delicate !) and then headed back to the hotel as we had to take an early flight to Bagan the next morning.
Bagan is the birthplace of Burmese buddhism, please stay tuned for interesting insights and stories !