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What could be better than yo visit Yangon’s icon after such a crazy train trip? The Shwedagon Paya is indeed an impressive landmark. The original stupa is believed to have been built between the 6th and 10th centuries, although legend says it may be 2500 years old!
The entire area surrounding the main stupa is like a small city with four entrances aligned with the four cardinal points, each one leading to a large praying hall with several Buddha images. Lots of other smaller temples, stupas and Buddha figures are spread throughout the place so that everyone can find a quiet place to pray.
And talking about praying, I didn’t find as many monks as in a typical monastery, but still there were some interesting people to photograph.
This man for me looked like the monk I always had in mind. He was at the entrance of a stupa facing the main Paya looking so focused on his meditation that I had two share these two images of him. I just get a sense of peace everytime I look at his face. What you see in the lower right corner of the first image is an alarm clock. Yes, a monk’s life has more to it than meditation and praying =)
And this is what all monks aspire one day. No, it’s not to become a gold statue but rather to reach enlightment as The Buddha did.
After all, I could not leave without an image of the real 98 m pagoda. At dusk, as people leave work, a crowd starts to gather arround the place for their daily prayers.