- Published on Monday, 04 March 2013 21:47
Anne Wolever, our product manager, is currently in Myanmar (Burma) and below is an excerpt from her first couple of days!
Yangon, Myanmar / March 4th, 2013
We had a full day yesterday, touring around with our very pleasant guide, Phyo, who has taken us to a reclining Buddha, a local market, a tea house, for a walk around one of the lakes that are a feature of the city, and we ended our day at the fantastic Schwedagon Paya, which is the most revered Buddhist temple in the country. That was amazing. The giant stupa sits on the highest piece of land in the city, and you can see it from just about anywhere (barring buildings in your way). 4 entrances line up with the compass, and covered walkways lead up to the base of the stupa. It’s a holy place, so you leave our shoes in the car, then begin the walk up the broad staircases. Even these covered passageways are ornate: the pillars are painted and decorated with glass, the ceiling is carved wood paneling. Once at the top, the golden stupa rises above you. All around its base are smaller alters, most with Buddha statues within. You’re supposed to walk
in a clockwise direction, but our guide insisted that if we are pure of heart, it wouldn’t matter which direction we took, so we walked against the flow, allowing us to witness what people were doing. The majority were locals, with a smattering of fellow tourists in the mix. A group of Thai monks in their saffron robes were making a pilgrimage here, and as we approached they were sitting on the marble slab floor and chanting. Their voices reverberated and rose in the
air, and somehow made me want to just sit down and watch. I was bemused to see many of them with nicer cameras than I have, taking pictures of each other and of the stupa. We sat on a ledge and watched the world go by for at least an hour as the sun set and changed the tower from yellow to a beautiful ruby colour, with the sky changing to a deep blue behind it. It’s a pretty magical place.
Later this morning we fly from here to Inle Lake.