Monday, April 27, 2009

Myanmar: Stopping over at Botataung

botataung worshipperNear the Yangon River lies one of Myanmar's most well-known pagodas -- Botataung. Originally built some 2,500 years ago, around the same time as Shwedagon, it is home to a sacred relic, the hair of the Gautama Buddha. We dropped by as the morning was giving way to noon and the streets leading to the pagoda were filled with a steady stream of worshippers coming and going.botataung monk and lady worshipperBotataung is Burmese for "1,000 military soldiers" since according to wikipedia, Burmese tradition had it that on this site, a thousand military officers of the king stood as guards of honor to welcome the landing of the relics of the Buddha brought from India over 2,000 years ago. The original pagoda was destroyed in World War II. The rebuilt stupa is hollow inside, lined with glass to display relics which were found sealed inside the earlier pagoda.botataung bathing the buddhaInfo: entrance fee - $2.00 or around 3,000kyats • the locals are very particular when accepting dollar payments and this temple's guards are no different; any stain or wrinkle on the note may mean rejection.

6 comments:

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

Great shot of the golden stupa and the praying faithful. I'm wondering: have you spoken with any other visitor about their opinion with regard to spending tourist money in a country ruled by a brutal military regime?

lagal[og] said...

thanks for dropping by bro. i was able to talk to fellow travelers, mostly french or american, but not about the political situation over in myanmar, but rather how interesting the country is. before coming to myanmar, i read through and went through the ramifications. having been there and talking to the locals, i think the locals need the tourism income. what i did was use the private-owned companies so the income goes to the locals.

the donG said...

the first photo is really beautiful bai. nice to have named the site from the 1000 soldiers.

lagal[og] said...

thanks dom, i thought it has a very interesting story as well. pati yung name nung temple, me back-story. interesting talaga kahit na siguro sa mga di masiyado mahilig sa temples and pagodas.

bertN said...

This is probably a silly question, but can you go anywhere without any restrictions in the country?

lagal[og] said...

bert, that is actually a very sensible question -- there are places restricted to visitors especially the northern parts. some sources infer that there are tribal conflicts in some of these places. outside the listed places open to tourists, one should request for permission from the government.

there are also buses where only the locals are allowed.

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