Friday, September 21, 2012

shwedagon paya

our second day in myanmar we ventured north to
see the magnificent shwedagon paya.
we had spotted the top of it around town 
as it reaches 325 feet into the sky
(in a city where the majority of buildings
are no more than four stories tall,
it's easy to see the shwedagon from almost everywhere).
we were not prepared for
the extravagance that we would see here.
the grounds are enormous:
housing hundreds of little pagodas and
Buddha monuments.
steven and i were two of maybe 5 white tourists present.
mostly there were monks walking around with burmese families,
bowing and praying for blessings upon their family.
everything was covered in gold paint.
the only structure actually covered in real gold is the main shwedagon paya.
it was one of the most stunning and incredible sights we 
saw in myanmar,
but it wouldn't be the last...


we entered through the western gate where there was a long hallway with these beautiful pillars and then several flights of stairs to climb in order to approach the shwedagon paya

the view form the top of the stairs. many small payas. each representing a day of the week. Buddhist pray and ask for blessing from the paya that corresponds with the day of the week they were born on.

some of the structures were covered in glass murals

a burmese man took this picture. he said he loves photography but cant afford a camera. so the credit for this great shot goes to him.

every Buddha had one of these light shows behind it. pretty interesting


chipping gold paint

we walked by these monks about seven times before we had the courage to ask if we could take their picture

they spoke no english but were very kind and wanted a picture with me as well. i can only dream of looking as cool as they do...

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