According to topschoolsintheusa, Yangon is the former capital of Burma, today’s Myanmar. The Shwedagon Pagoda is enthroned in the middle of the six million metropolis. It is adorned with more gold than the Bank of England has in its possession.
It’s all gold that glitters
In addition to this geographical significance, the Shwedagon Pagoda is Myanmar’s spiritual and emotional center: whether old women who visibly find it difficult to walk or exhausted factory workers, university professors, farm workers, administrators or nannies with their lively appendages – the pagoda offers everyone a place every day traditionally selfless religiosity.
Believe around the clock
The lofty bell tower can be seen from all places in Yangon – the central stupa dominates the cityscape. Via one of its four stairways, the visitor enters the closed world of the pagoda, which nevertheless remains closed to anyone. Even those who live far away from Buddhism join the appropriate, calm movements in the house of God. Faith dictates measured clockwise movements – and people become calmer, calmer, more balanced.
The platform of the Shwedagon Pagoda measures 60,000 square meters, and from its center the stupa rises almost 100 meters. There are also many prayer halls, temples, altars, pavilions and statues here. The top of the tower is crowned by the valuable umbrella, a symbol of everything heavenly. It is adorned with 3,154 bells made of pure gold as well as 79,569 diamonds and other rare stones.
Soft sounds, golden light
The origins of the Buddhist church go back around 2,500 years. Significant relics are kept in secret chambers – according to ancient myths, five Buddhas were once said to appear on the spot.
The Shwedagon Pagoda has been enlarged, embellished and rebuilt again and again since the 15th century. Freshly shining gold creates a radiant, magical light.
Visitors take a rest on the warm marble floor of the platform to absorb the colors and shapes, the rustling of the mild wind, the sounds of small bells and the thud of the gong and the soft whispers of the faithful in this wonderful place. You will never forget him.
Waterway to Mandalay (Burma)
The waterway to Mandalay along the Ayeyarwady River, also called the Irrawaddy by the locals, offers a unique opportunity to learn about the land and rich culture of Myanmar (Burma).
A trip through Burma by boat
The Ayeyarwady is the longest river and at the same time the most important waterway in Myanmar. The river is home to a variety of fish species, the catch of which is one of the livelihoods of the inhabitants of the surrounding villages. Many of the region’s precious stones and metals are also transported on the Ayeyarwady. The much-sung road to Mandalay leads past quiet villages and offers a good opportunity to marvel at the impressive landscape.
The gold bats of Mandalay
The long tradition of gold beating has been preserved in the villages on the banks of the Ayeyarwady. As part of an individually tailored study trip, you can get to know the local craft businesses from close by. Gold bats, wood carvers and bronze casters give an insight into their art. This is also where the gold plates are made that are used to stick the pagodas.
The Mandalay Pagodas
The journey over the waterway finally leads to Mandalay, a city in the heart of Myanmar. As everywhere in Myanmar, there are also numerous impressive sacred buildings, the pagodas, in Mandalay. One of the most famous of them is the Kuthodaw Pagoda. The building, completed in 1868, consists of 729 pavilion-like temples, also known as stupas. The life of the Buddha is documented on white marble slabs in the temples.
Many of Myanmar’s four million pagodas stand out primarily because of their golden facade.
The Royal Palace of Mandalay
Another attraction in Mandalay is the ancient palace of King Mindon. Built in 1857 and largely destroyed by the British during the Second World War, the buildings were reconstructed as authentically as possible between 1989 and 1996 and a museum was added.
Inle Lake is a freshwater lake in Myanmar known for the fact that the lives of the people who live here are completely focused on the lake. Floating villages and gardens combine to form an impressive, almost fairytale-like picture that is second to none. Inle Lake is about 22 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide. Its surface area amounts to about 12,000 hectares – an impressive size that makes it Myanmar’s second largest lake after Lake Indawgyi. It lies at 875 meters above sea level and belongs to the administrative unit Nyaung Shwe with its capital of the same name.
Magic of the pile dwellings
On the lake shore, but also within the lake, there are a total of 17 villages, most of which are inhabited by Intha, a Tibetan-Burman ethnic group. These are pile dwellings that are inhabited by a total of 70,000 people. Fruit and vegetables, but also flowers, are grown here. Floating fields combine to form a fertile land consisting of earth, swamp and water hyacinths. Narrow canals connect the fields, the villages and the lakeside. They are navigated by narrow canoes, with the rower standing at the stern of the boat and rowing with his leg by pinching the oar with his leg. This rowing technique is known as the leg rowing technique and is especially useful when the hands are used for fishing.
Wildlife and landmarks
Inle Lake and the swamps surrounding it are home to between 16 and 31 rare fish such as the snakehead fish Channa harcourtbutleri and the carp fish Devario auropurpureus. Inle Lake is also an official bird sanctuary. In the middle of the lake is the place Ywama, where you can visit many handicraft workshops such as weaving mills, silversmiths and wood carvings. Also worth seeing is the Phaung Daw U Pagoda with its five famous Buddha images. In addition, the 160-year-old Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery or Monastery of The Jumping Cats, which is known for its trained cats that jump through small hoops, attracts numerous visitors every year.