Panorama of the Week: Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar

Since our visit to Myanmar (Burma) in 2008, a lot has changed. Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest. The junta government seems to be loosening controls and opening up. Heck, it seems like every week there’s a group of foreign dignitaries visiting Myanmar, something impossible during the time of our visit.

But even with all the dignitary visits and changing moods, we imagine that Shwedagon Pagoda is still the same. Located in the capital city of Yangon (Rangoon), Shwedagon Pagoda is the largest and holiest Buddhist temple complex in Myanmar. At dusk, the sprawling temple grounds attract crowds of people hoping to light candles, burn incense, say prayers or simply enjoy a beautiful sunset.

Open up the 360-degree panorama below to see for yourself.

Panorama: Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma)

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  1. says

    I wonder how different Burma would be if you visited again today? Politically it seems to be opening up more, but I’d be curious to know how much things have changed for the folks there. Any plans to visit again? :)

  2. says

    @John: Glad you enjoyed it!

    @Christy: Don’t have any plans at the moment to visit Burma, but we would like to return one day to see the areas that we didn’t have an opportunity to visit last time and also to see changes. I imagine that even if things are more open and “modern”, the spirit of the Burmese people – which is what really left the biggest impression on us – is the same.

    @Kyle: Glad to hear that Shwedagon Pagoda is the still the same. I was thinking of your John McCain sighting when I wrote this :)

  3. says

    Fantastic panorama! Shwedagon Temple is just stunning and looks like a must-visit! Am gutted that even us Malaysians, members of the ASEAN region don’t get to visit Burma as easily as to our other neighbouring countries. Burma is definitely in my list. Am glad things are changing though

  4. says

    @Spencer: I would definitely add Shwedagon Pagoda to a travel wishlist. Actually, the whole of Burma should be on your wishlist – a fascinating country.

    @Amer: Given the recent political changes, I wouldn’t be surprised if Burma opens up to ASEAN region citizens. If you have an opportunity to visit, take it!

  5. Adam says

    Shwedagon is the same (I have visited it twice since 2010) although the bamboo scaffolding will be on different stupas and there are likely more tourists in the photos. In December we were unable to catch a glimpse of Secretary Clinton on the day that she toured the pagoda but we did chat with secret service agents.

    Out of three times in Myanmar, December 2011 was the first time that I felt a tangible difference in the people’s hope level and belief that things were actually going to change. My friends there tell me it is different this time. And surely the headlines of the last 3 months give support to that.

    Go again in the next 5 years and I imagine you will see incredible levels of development and the crumbling buildings will quickly be replaced, at least in Yangon.

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