Backpacking Indochina: Gone to Yangon (Photo Essay)

After running the gauntlet the previous day in Singapore, I finally landed in Yangon, Myanmar. My backpacking Indochina tour had officially started and I wanted to make the most out of it. Armed with a GoPro and an iPhone 6, I made my way through the land of golden pagodas.

Read more: 3D2N Yangon Itinerary, Budget and Travel Tips

Yangon Temples (Click the photo to enlarge)

Shwedagon Pagoda

The obvious intention is to awe guests into a state of trembling submissiveness…
-The Magician King

Backpacking Indochina Shwedagon Pagoda from the road Yangon Myanmar

Welcome to the land of golden pagodas!

Backpacking Indochina: Western Stairway Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

The Western zaungdan or stairway is the longest of the four leading to the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Backpacking Indochina Shwedagon Pagoda in August Yangon Myanmar

This 326-feet gilded pagoda enshrines the relics of four Buddhas who obtained enlightenment. Surrounding it is a 14-acre terrace where devotees and visitors alike walk barefoot. Rain or shine.

Backpacking Indochina Main Stupa Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

The main stupa has an umbrella that contains more than 4000 bells. Hear them twinkle with the breeze.

Backpacking Indochina: Shwedagon Planetary Post Thursday Yangon Myanmar

A Thursday-born devotee offering water to the planetary post, hoping for a wish to be granted.

Backpacking Indochina: Shwedagon Planetary Post Wednesday Afternoon Yangon Myanmar

A Wednesday-Afternoon-born devotee offering candles.

Backpacking Indochina: Reclining Buddha Yangon Myanmar

Reclining Buddha in a state of nirvana.

Backpacking Indochina Yangon Myanmar

Buddha’s image all around the terrace.

Backpacking Indochina: The Bell of King Tharrawaddy Yangon, Myanmar

The Bell of King Tharrawaddy

Backpacking Indochina Sacred Bodhi Tree Yangon Myanmar

Also called as the “tree of wisdom”, this 89-year old tree is a native of India.

Backpacking Indochina Bodhi Leaf Yangon Myanmar

The leaves of the tree of wisdom were the inspiration for the shape of the stupas.

Backpacking Indochina: Shwedagon Pagoda at night Yangon Myanmar

Must not miss: night lights at the Shwedagon Pagoda and the twinkling of the 76-carat diamond at the top.

Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda

Backpacking Indochina Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda  Yangon Myanmar

Backpacking Indochina Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple Yangon Myanmar

The most revered reclining Buddha in the country at 67 meters long.

Ngahtatgyi Pagoda

Backpacking Indochina Ngahtatgyi Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

Under a massive stupa is a massive Buddha.

Maha Wizaya Pagoda

Backpacking Indochina Maha Wizaya Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

One of the most peaceful pagodas around as it does not seem to attract many devotees.

Backpacking Indochina Maha Wizaya Pagoda Roof Yangon Myanmar

Once the sun shines through the hole on the roof, it is time to celebrate the Myanmar New Year’s Day.

Sule Pagoda

Backpacking Indochina Sule Paya Downtown Yangon Myanmar

All roads lead to the Sule Paya.

Backpacking Indochina Sule Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

The city was actually built around it and it has served not just religious expression. but also political ones.

Botataung Pagoda

Backpacking Indochina Botataung Pagoda Ladies Yangon Myanmar

Thanaka-faced Burmese ladies at the Botataung Pagoda.

Backpacking Indochina Botataung Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

Buddha’s first sacred hair relic pagoda.

Backpacking Indochina Longyi Botataung Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

Longyi-sporting devotee leaving the golden interiors of the Botataung.

Backpacking Indochina Engraving Botataung Pagoda Yangon Myanmar

Glass-encased gold engravings line the walls and ceilings of the Botataung Pagoda.

Other Yangon Highlights

Backpacking Indochina: City Hall Yangon Myanmar

The City Hall.

Backpacking Indochina: Independence Monument, Mahabandoola Park, Yangon Myanmar

Independence Monument at the Mahabandoola Park

Backpacking Indochina: Botataung Jetty Yangon Myanmar

Boats lined up at the Botataung Jetty

Backpacking Indochina: Girl Monks Yangon Myanmar

Girl monks in pink making sure to finish lunch before noon.

Backpacking Indochina Aung San Suu Kyi House Yangon Myanmar

At Aung San Suu Kyi’s House, this is as far as you can go.

Backpacking Indochina: Street Food Yangon Myanmar

Burmese street food

Backpacking Indochina Inya Lake Sunbathing Street Food Yangon Myanmar


Backpacking Indochina Inya Lake Yangon Myanmar

Inya Lake: great spot for early morning or late afternoon exercise.

Backpacking Indochina: Inya Lake SIgn Yangon Myanmar

Read carefully

Backpacking Indochina Karaweik Kandawgyi Lake Yangon Myanmar

Karaweik Restaurant/Barge/Palace at the Kandawgyi Lake

Backpacking Indochina: Bogyoke Aung San Museum Yangon Myanmar

Bogyoke Aung San Museum

Backpacking Indochina: Downtown Traffic Yangon Myanmar

Downtown traffic.

Backpacking Indochina: Street Books Yangon Myanmar

Political books sold and bought along the streets of Yangon.

Backpacking Indochina: Sapel Burmese Massage Yangon Myanmar

Easy to miss but don’t: Burmese Massage.

Backpacking Indochina Plane view Yangon Myanmar

Parting shot.

See you in the next leg!

Read more: My (mis)adventures while backpacking around Indochina.

August 20, 2015

***photos were taken using iPhone6 and GoPro Hero 4 Silver

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Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.

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