Friday, June 5, 2009

Myanmar: Shwedagon before sunset and after dark

shwedagon monks on main stupaI went back to Yangon a day earlier than i originally planned, not wanting to get stuck in the historied place of Mandalay. With a week or so of the water festival making public bus transport scarce, i decided to enjoy a bit of Yangon. i figure it would also be a nice time to catch up on rest as well as a chance to revisit Shwedagon Pagoda.shwedagon bathing the buddhaThe pagoda is within walking distance from the Bogyoke Market in downtown Yangon, about 15-20 minutes at a fast clip. I opted to ride the taxi (either an 80's Toyota or Nissan vintage) since the afternoon was hot and humid (fare is around $3 or 3,000kyats). I learned a lesson from the previous visit and left when the sun was beginning its descent. I arrived when the tiles were still warm to my bare feet.shwedagon lighted offeringsA friendly guide hounded me right from the elevator entrance. Ever since a few years ago, he relates, tourists have been hard to come by. coming up, i saw the festival preparations in full swing with the stupas being repaired, cleaned and refurbished before it got dark.shwedagon paya at nightIn the fading afternoon sun, the stupas assume an even more dramatic appearance. the people didn't stop streaming. In fact, the visitors seem to increase towards the evening. another "guide" tricks me into letting me into the "secret" viewpoints to see the changing colors of the main stupa's tip for free (he later asked for a donation). But nothing can detract from experiencing Shwedagon in the evening. It's not just a spectacle but rather a beacon of prayer and faith aglow in the hot, humid, gathering darkness enveloping the city. I observe, say a prayer and leave in peace.

20 comments:

Photo Cache said...

All your photos are amazing and this trip is awesome, but that first photo is a winner with me.

lagal[og] said...

photocache, that's also a favorite of mine. it was serendipitous for me to be at the time when the locals were busy preparing for the water festival. thanks so much for dropping by.

Lawstude said...

i like the first pic a lot. the monks look so small on that backdrop. great series oggie.

lino said...

love the first and last photo ogs... by God's grace makakabili rin ako ng 10-20mm ko... hehehe...

lagal[og] said...

oman, malaki talaga yung main stupa ng shwedagon.

lino, thank you. sana nga makabili ka na rin ng ultrawide. nice to hear from you again after a long while

walkwithmetothemoon said...

I like the fourth photo. Looks so magnificient! You are a very talented photographer. World class! (applause)

lagal[og] said...

thanks jon, :D

Sidney said...

WoW... the first picture!(my favorite!)
I agree with the others ...those are awesome images!

bing said...

very interesting photos especially the ones with the monks..

lagal[og] said...

thanks sidney, coming from you, it's very much appreciated.

bing, thanks for dropping by.

Ferdz said...

I love most of the images on this set. Grabe! kakaiba talaga sights dyan, seems overwhelming and ang daming human interest shots.

lagal[og] said...

amigo, parang mas maraming human interest shots doon sa laos set mo :P but thanks so much. coming from you, very much appreciated ang comments. i thought i got lucky rin coming to shwedagon at a time when the locals were preparing for the water festival.

paoruiz said...

is that a giant bell in the first photo? =)

lagal[og] said...

pao, that's a stupa :D

the donG said...

whoa! idol talaga. buti na lang nakuha ko na autograph mo kahapon. hehehe...

galing ng mga kuha. i should say that the first shot is my favorite in this set.

what's good that despite the difference in religion, we still find peace in places like that.

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

I'm impressed as always with your shots but this series keep getting better. Love the human element in your scenes!

lagal[og] said...

dom, ikaw talaga oo! naku bai, paborito ko rin yan. as soon as i saw the scene, i knew it was a winner. you know, i was asked a few times by monks as to what is my religion. i always answer them that i'm Catholic/Christian. but i respect all religions because at the heart of them all, they're all about being and doing good to others.

nomadic pinoy, thanks for the kind words. am just too glad to share these experiences with you all.

lagal[og] said...

buninay, thanks din for dropping by and leaving kind words :D

backpacking philippines said...

great photos as usual! and a place i also wanted to visit someday

lagal[og] said...

tito b, thanks! how's the weather there sa australia? have a safe trip :)

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