January 14, 2015

A Heart of Gold – Shwedagon Pagoda

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Have you heard of Shwedagon Pagoda in the far off lands of Myanmar (formally Burma)? I went there with zero expectation, but it quickly became obvious that the magnificent Pagoda was a highlight not to be missed. I’d heard it described as stunning, astounding, intense, monumental and magnificent, and from all I’d researched, I would never see anything as incredible as the Pagoda at Sunset.

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Truthfully, I doubted the high praise it had been given, especially after the hour and half drive into the city from where we were docked. I saw very few things that suggested wealth belonged here. The people sure had plenty of pride, love and loyalty for their country, and that to me was mind-blowing considering how little physical possessions they seemed to have.

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

We could see the Pagoda gleaming in all its golden glory for at least half an hour before we weaved our way through Yangon. You see folks, this Buddhist temple is covered in 24 carat gold bars and gold leaf, decorated with around 4500 diamonds, 2000 rubies, sapphires and other gems, and a whopping big 72 carat diamond right up top.

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

According to legend, it is over 2,500 years old, making it the oldest historical pagoda, and one of the most impressive (and expensively made) religious places in the world too. Not sure you can put a price on something this special, but it is estimated to be worth around $2.4 billion dollars. #WOAH

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

We decided to visit late afternoon as the sun was setting (we were advised to come early or late in the day to avoid the fierce heat). The day we visited there was one of the reddest skies I have ever seen.

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

As we shuffled slowly in, we were asked to take our shoes off – not really a problem except there were literally hundreds & hundreds of people streaming through the entrance. I wondered if I’d ever see my shoes again & remembered that scene from Sex in the City, but quickly figured my old comfy sandals were no prize, so they’d probably still be there when I returned.

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

The main level of the Shwedagon was a beehive of tourists, pilgrims, monks and locals, it was literally teaming with people. I was mesmerised, actually… I was absolutely gobsmacked with the enormity of the place.

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

I came expecting one giant temple and realized it was more like a small village of temples, quite the sensory overload.

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

A labyrinth of colour and texture, the white marble flooring still hot from the heat of the day warmed my bare feet (our feet were disgusting at the end – this is definitely not for the germaphobe); the clang of giant gongs and prayer chants boomed from loudspeakers filling my thoughts and the overpowering smell of incense burning clung to the back of my throat.

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

When dusk fell the lights came on and we were treated to a visual display, it was disconcerting to see so many coloured fairy lights strung at random, and for me parts of it felt almost commercial, like when you walk into one of those $2 shops, it felt a bit like Christmas.

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

The Pagoda contains relics from the past four Buddhas: the staff of Kakusanha, the water filter of Konagamma, a piece of Kassapa’s robe, and eight strands of Guatama’s hair. There are 64 smaller gold leaf plated pagodas around the base with larger shrines, or corners, for each of the seven Burmese Zodiac Signs, one for each day of the week. Each zodiac sign correlates to the day you were born and it is customary to find your sign to meditate or pray after tipping holy water blessed by the hundreds and hundreds of monks who dwell there for luck.

A Heart of Gold - Shwedagon Pagoda. Gold plated Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

So there it is, a visit to one of the great temples of the world ticked off my bucket list. I pity the poor temple I visit next. This is a hard act to follow.

I’d love to know, what travel adventures have you been able to tick off your bucket list?

Don’t Forget…

Subscribe to my blog to stay up to date with my latest shenANNAgans and unlock secret features like receiving weekly emails from me. 



shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Mar - February 2, 2016 Reply

I loved Shwedagon pagoda. when I first visited there were absolutely no tourists, it was all just locals going to pray. it was magical at sunset, definitively the right time to go. Anywhere in Yangon you can see it up in the hill, it is so beautiful

    Anna - February 2, 2016 Reply

    Now that would have been a magical way to experience the pagoda Mar. I want to get back before the country becomes to much more commercialized. And yes, I agree, looking up at that beauty glowing on the horizon was incredible.

Trisha Velarmino - February 1, 2016 Reply

What a beautiful architecture! Thanks for sharing your stunning pictures!

    Anna - February 2, 2016 Reply

    It was absolutely awe inspiring, even more so now looking back at the experience.

Jenna - February 1, 2016 Reply

What a gorgeous spot, and the sunsets are amazing! I had never heard of this spot, but I’d love to check it out. That’s so crazy it’s worth 2.4 billion, but I can see why with how pretty and gold everything is–love all the details!

    Anna - February 2, 2016 Reply

    The sunset was brilliant, probably one of the most impressive I have ever seen, especially with the gold pagodas glistening. I couldn’t believe that that amount of money had been spent put into the pagoda, especially considering the sheer poverty that many seem to live in. Was a hearty reminder to be grateful for all I have, thats for sure.

Natasha - February 1, 2016 Reply

I’m very interested in Buddhist culture and temples- I’m something of a temple-obsessed traveler and would love to visit this one some day.

    Anna - February 2, 2016 Reply

    Well you absolutely must get on a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda Natasha, it is the land of pagoda and temples. 🙂

Kathrin - February 1, 2016 Reply

I’m almost convinced this place is out of a fairytale! So stunning. It’s truly fascinating that people are able to build places like this.

    Anna - February 2, 2016 Reply

    I thought much the same thing as I walked in through big majestic gold archways, especially after seeing the poverty that many seem to live in there. I was blown away with it too. I hope you get to visit soon. 🙂

LeAnna - February 1, 2016 Reply

Living in Europe, I sometimes get “cathedraled-out” and I sometimes wonder if people in Asia feel the same way with temples. However, when we were in Thailand, I could go in temples and pagodas all day! Myanmar is on our list to see, so Shwedagon looks like it needs to be on there as well!

    Anna - February 2, 2016 Reply

    That is a really good thought?! Although I found the people really proud of their pagodas and more than excited to share where they went each day for prayers. I do hope you get to Myanmar, it was amazing.

Hitch-Hikers Handbook - February 1, 2016 Reply

The pagoda looks incredible! During our South-East Asia trip Myanmar was a completely different place so we never went there, but I would love to visit it one day!

Lesley - January 31, 2016 Reply

What a wonderful experience you had. Thee monks are truly remarkable.

    Anna - January 31, 2016 Reply

    It was incredible! One of the coolest places I have ever visited. 🙂

Elaine J. Masters - January 31, 2016 Reply

What a find. It looks so gorgeous and a wonderful opportunity to visit with the people. I’d love to visit one day.

    Anna - January 31, 2016 Reply

    It was wonderful Elaine! So amazing to see a place of worship, the opulence of the pagoda was incredible. I do hope you get to visit soon.

Amanda @ Adventures All Around - December 2, 2015 Reply

Oh I love this post… it took me right back to my first trip to Myanmar a few months ago, and the magic of visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda. We went up at sunrise and again and sunset and they were both so special. And I loved finding out about the different days and our animals and planets. Did you find your day’s special area? Turns out as a Wednesday evening baby my planet is an invisible one called Rahu… loved that.

    Anna - December 4, 2015 Reply

    That is soooooo, sooooooo cool Amanda, I love that my post took you on a trip down memory lane. It was awesome to see the Pagoda at both sunrise and sunset, one of the top things I have done on my travels I think. 🙂 I did find my day special area, but didnt find what my animal or planet were, it was really busy, so I didnt linger.
    How fantastic you are a Rahu. 🙂 🙂 🙂

20 Ticks for the Travel Bucket List - August 6, 2015 Reply

[…] Tick #20 I was mesmerised, actually… I was absolutely gobsmacked with the enormity of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. It is hard to imagine something so grand as this 2,500 year old Buddhist temple […]

Jonny Blair - May 16, 2015 Reply

Cool website here Anna. I visited the Shwedagon Pagoda too a few years back. It was all a bit over the top I felt – one of my backpacking buddies described it as a @Buddhist Disneyland@. Safe travels. Jonny

    Anna - May 16, 2015 Reply

    Yeah Jonny, I could totally see what your backpacking buddy meant. All the flashing LED lights did take away from the special-ness of it some, I much preferred visiting during the day as you couldn’t easily spot all that.
    Thanks for stopping by, totes awesome to see a new face on my site. Heading over to your site now for a cheeky g’day. 🙂

@ChristineSalins (FoodWineTravel) - January 22, 2015 Reply

I was lucky enough to visit Shwedagon Pagoda back in 2006 and loved it. Couldn’t believe the sheer scale of it.

    Anna - January 23, 2015 Reply

    Oh wow, thats fantastic. It was really hard to get into the country back then, so it would have been super special. Yes, totally agree, it was all rather overwhelming, just magnificent it was. 🙂

Sophie - January 22, 2015 Reply

What a lovely & very interesting place to visit, dear Anna!
Those golden tempels look magnificent & wonderful too! Waw even!.

Thanks for the tour! I love exploring new places, cultures! It is so exciting too!.

    Anna - January 22, 2015 Reply

    It was a bit of shock taking it all in, Sophie, but one of those experiences I am so grateful to have experienced. Seriously amazing! 🙂
    Thanks heaps for coming along on my journey. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. xo

Kathy @ Olives & Garlic - January 21, 2015 Reply

Looks like an interesting and exciting place. It seems like your adventures were memorable.

    Anna - January 21, 2015 Reply

    It really was a wonderful experience Kathy. Especially visiting this pagoda, they say you haven’t visited Myanmar until you’ve visited Shwedagon. 🙂

Hitch-Hikers Handbook - January 21, 2015 Reply

Great blog, Anna! Glad to have connected with you on Twitter.
What a lovely place! We haven’t been to Myanmar yet as during our visit in South-East Asia the border regulations were still a bit tight but I’ve heard it’s a completely different place now, so I would love to go!

    Anna - January 21, 2015 Reply

    Yes, absolutely agree, great to be connected in twitter land. 🙂
    It certainly was a bit of a shock to the system visiting Myanmar, so different than anything I have ever seen. That’s right, it has been difficult to gain access in the past, and only in recent times can you get in as a tourist, well the process is easier I believe. I would suggest visiting sooner rather than later, you can already see tourism is affecting the innocence of the country, especially at the pagodas with all the christmas lights everywhere.
    Cheers for stopping by, Ania and Jon. #feelingspecial 🙂

Sammie - January 21, 2015 Reply

Myanmar is one of the places I’d like to visit! Definitely on my list!

    Anna - January 21, 2015 Reply

    Hope you get to visit Sammie, it really is a wonderful country. 🙂

Bam's Kitchen - January 20, 2015 Reply

Hi there Anna! just love that photo of you and the magnificent Pagoda ! I have always wanted to go to Burma but that is not an easy place to visit with a US passport. However, my son went on a school trip just this year and trust me I am sure your accomodations were much better than the youth hostel he was staying at. He forgot to wear long pants one day on the temple tour day so ended up wearing one of the girls shawls as a skirt. You know the whole no skin show thing as respect when visiting the temples. Welcome back home!!

    Anna - January 21, 2015 Reply

    We started a bit of a trend with that pose, BAM! Guess it isn’t entirely the right thing to do, but it sure was fun. 🙂
    WOW… what an amazing school trip to take, your son is super lucky. Yes, our accommodation was actually a cruise ship docked 2hrs from Yangon, but I imagine the youth hostel was an adventure indeed.
    There were a number of people who rented longyi for the gals or paso for the men, those ‘skirt things’. It was such a great experience. Thanks for coming along, annnnd… thank ya muchly, I do have a crazy holiday hangover, but its good to be home.
    Happy week ahead lovely lady! x

Susan - January 19, 2015 Reply

What a wonderful experience Anna! It sounds great!

I’ve been lucky to cross off a few adventures from my travel bucket list. I visited the Mountain Gorillas in Africa’s first national park, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo; hung out with the Orang Utans in Borneo; and spent wonderful weeks exploring Tibet. I would love to visit the Kingdom of Bhutan though, it’s high on my bucket list.

    Anna - January 20, 2015 Reply

    Twas AWESOME Susan. 🙂 Especially now thinking back on the experience. 🙂
    Wow… Wow…Wow! That is amazing, all on my bucket list. Lucky you. I bet the Gorillas were amazing? And weeks exploring Tibet, how wonderful. Totes Jelly!
    Fingers crossed you get to cross the Kingdom of Bhutan off your list soon.

Sue - January 19, 2015 Reply

Anna these are astounding images you have captured. Thank goodness you made the effort . Looking at these only increases my wanderlust and puts an exclamation mark behind the fact I have not been to Asia.

    Anna - January 19, 2015 Reply

    Why thank ya Sue, that is most kind of you to say. 🙂
    When I got home and looked at all the pictures I took, I really wished I had taken more. But… at least I have these.
    This was my first time in Asia too, such a magical part of the world, I do hope you can visit soon.

Hotly Spiced - January 19, 2015 Reply

It’s hard to keep up with all the countries changing their names. I was just in Vanuatu that used to be called, New Hebrides and then friends are visiting Sri Lanka and that used to be Ceylon. What an amazing temple but visiting churches is so much easier – they let you keep your shoes on! xx

    Anna - January 19, 2015 Reply

    Oh I didnt know Vanuatu was called New Hebrides, but I did know the Sri Lanka one, worked with a bunch of chefs from that neck of the woods. 🙂
    Haha, the shoe thing was fun, very impressive the way our shoes were there at the end. Lol!

Mandy - January 19, 2015 Reply

Oh hon, what a magical experience! This was as close to being there with you as I can get. Awesome!
Pete still home which is also magical but it has meant not being in front of the laptop. So much to catch up on.
Love and hugs to you from a beautifully sunny SA.
🙂 Mandy xo

    Anna - January 19, 2015 Reply

    It really, REALLY was Mandy. Yay, glad you felt you were right there with me. 🙂
    Fantastic, love that you are getting in some quality time with your Pete, enjoy my friend. It’ll take no time at all to catch up.
    Lots of love and hugs to you too. Great you have beautiful sunshiny days, its been a rather wet summer down under.

Gourmet Getaways - January 18, 2015 Reply

Hehe, fun photos, especially that of you and the reclining buddha! What a trip, Anna!!

Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx

    Anna - January 18, 2015 Reply

    Teehee, yep… when I jumped up from doing that cheeky pic with the reclining buddha, there was a line of gals waiting to do the same. Lol!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl - January 17, 2015 Reply

Wow! What a beautiful trip. I love all of the different shots you got, especially of the architecture. It feels like something out of a story book.

    Anna - January 17, 2015 Reply

    It was amazing Pamela, one very special experience. 🙂
    Now, thinking back on it, yes, it really does feel like it is straight outta a story book.

Tim | UrbanDuniya - January 16, 2015 Reply

I loved Shwedagon Pagoda – I had to just sit in the place and take it in for hours, I didn’t want to leave!! Thank you for bringing back such great memories! 🙂

    Anna - January 16, 2015 Reply

    Oh I can’t wait to catch up and hear about your experiences, Tim. I went to the Shwedagon twice, the first I was a stunned mullet, completely overwhelmed by all of it, the second, I found a cool spot and got my people watch on. Just brilliant it was.
    Glad you were able to take a trip down memory lane via me. 🙂

Ryan Biddulph - January 16, 2015 Reply

Anna that money net worth is amazing! Even more crazy is the irony in the last image. We see a Burmese monk in the pagoda inside of a wat that’s worth that much 😉 I find temples in this region so interesting. From the beauty of the wats to the stunning shots you can snap at sunrise and or sunset they just baffle me. I also dug your sunset image too. Beautiful!

Anna, awesome images and nice story telling too. I’ve only visited Myanmar on visa runs but would love to do an extended visit.



    Anna - January 16, 2015 Reply

    I know right, Ryan. I can’t/don’t fully comprehend how the people give so much to their religion, yet have so little. #mindblowing

    But, the flip side, I really should take a leaf out of their book and be a heck of a lot more grateful for ALL that I have.

    The pagodas were gorgeous, my kind of art gallery. Lol! Thanks heaps, glad you enjoyed my pics, although they really don’t do justice to the awesome it was.

    Yes, heck yes, get there for a visit asap Ryan.

    Happy weekend to you, thanks for stopping by, very much appreciate it.

    Cheers, Anna

My Inner Chick - January 16, 2015 Reply

Oh, the Monk. I love him!
Superb photos, Anna.
Not another continent…Another WORLD.
XXXXXXX Kisses from MN.

    Anna - January 16, 2015 Reply

    Love your comments Kim, describes the experience perfectly. 🙂

    Yes, the many monks cruising about the pagoda were amazing, fascinating to observe, especially the very little ones.

    Totes agree, it really is another world, I am very grateful I was able to see experience it. 🙂

    Love and hugs from the Berra.

Raymund - January 16, 2015 Reply

I haven’t been there, looks like I will add that to the places I want to visit

    Anna - January 16, 2015 Reply

    Awesome Raymund. Love that my adventures have inspired a visit. 🙂

Mabel Kwong - January 15, 2015 Reply

Thank you for the tour! That sunset looks so gorgeous, well worth the drive. The architecture and gold are certainly to marvel at, standing for so many years they look as good as new..almost dizzying from all the brightness, actually 😀 “sensory overload”, you certainly described it well.

Did you actually get back your slippers in the end? Or did you have to buy new ones?

    Anna - January 16, 2015 Reply

    Most welcome Miss Mabel, thanks for coming along. 🙂

    My photos of the sun set really do not do it justice, it was a much more fiery red. Absolutely gorgeous it was.

    I think they will forever look brand spankin new, every year they add a new layer of gold leaf to the pagoda. They were in the process of doing just that when I was visiting.

    Haha, yes, I got my slippers back, but ended up throwing them away, my feet were disgusting post visits to Shwedagon. Had to buy new ones, but I dont mind, I can now say I own handmade shoes from Yangon, Myanmar. Boom! 🙂

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - January 15, 2015 Reply

what a humbling and extraordinary visit all in one! Last year I ticked Venice off my bucket list. This year it will be Islay 🙂

    Anna - January 16, 2015 Reply

    Yes, it certainly got me to thinking about all the amazing ‘things’ I have in my life. Twas very humbling indeed.
    Boom, I cant wait to visit Italy, going to go stalk your blog for posts from Venice. And …. awesome, I very much look forward to your travels in Islay.

Choc Chip Uru - January 15, 2015 Reply

Your travels are obviously breathtaking, so much culture to take in!
I love all the golden glory of Asia, it is definitely true art 🙂

Choc Chip Uru

    Anna - January 16, 2015 Reply

    It was another world that’s for sure, Uru. Still soaking it all weeks later. 🙂

Erin | Well Plated - January 15, 2015 Reply

STUNNING Anna! I want to sneak into your bag for every trip you take!

    Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

    Teehee… If you promise to pack the delicious eats, you’ve totes got yourself a spot in my travel bag, Erin! 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - January 15, 2015 Reply

It looks magnificent! And it’s so interesting how people with so few material possessions can be so happy. It really makes you think doesn’t it! :0

    Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

    I think that was the thing that really stood out as a whole on my travels through Asia. I found that most fascinating, and yes, it really does make you think…. Imagine how we would be if we implemented just a quarter of the gratitude into our everyday lives. 🙂

Kris Johnston - January 15, 2015 Reply

Just wooow. That was really special. You have it so down pat with putting the reader there.
I have been to a few temples in Thailand. But nothing like that. The smell of incense was so overwhelming hey?
So true about the shoes as well. I remember waiving fair well to my ‘crocks’, even though they where filthy. Must have been why they where still there when I came back. LOL.

One of my favorite blogs. Thank you for sharing.

    Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

    Wow, thank you so much Nizz, I really appreciate your thoughtful comments and love that you enjoy reading about my adventures. You da man!!! 🙂

    Yes, Asia sure does have some pretty amazing temples, but word is… the Shwedagon is the best. Suppose they all say that tho, huh?!

    Ha, I was tempted to leg it barefoot post pagoda, very gross. Ummmm… You wear crocs? I stopped loving you a little bit just now. LOL!

    Glad you enjoyed this post, I have many more like this to come. 🙂

Hannah - January 15, 2015 Reply

A 72 carat diamond right up top!?!!? SAY WHAT? How big is it? Is it crazy shiny? That is amazing!

Can not get past the 72 carat diamond!

    Hannah - January 15, 2015 Reply

    PS. trip looks amazing! Soooo jelly!

      Hannah - January 15, 2015 Reply

      A colorless 76-Carat diamond sold for $US21.5 million!!!

      Just saying.

        Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

        $US21.5 million, holy bajinkas Hannah, that is insane. But it totes makes sense why the Shwedagon is valued in the billions huh?!

          Susan - January 16, 2015 Reply

          We heard a story that sometime in the last century the Shwedagon Pagoda was hit by an earthquake & that 72 carrot diamond dissapeared. Some farmer who lived miles & miles away found it while he was ploughing his paddock & returned it to the Monks!

          Anna - January 16, 2015 Reply

          Yeah Mom, I loved all the stories they shared with us, especially this one, totally amazing. 🙂

          Although, what was the farmer going to do with a whopping big diamond, don’t imagine it would have been an easy thing to sell off and I don’t imagine he would have wanted the bad karma for all his future lifetimes.

          Pretty fabulous I got to share this experience with you. xox

      Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

      It was a wonderful trip Hannah, I am very lucky. 🙂

    Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

    The main Pagoda, the big one in the middle was under construction, it had all this bamboo looking scaffold, but with binoculars you could see the diamond, it was well impressive, and very shiny.

The Squishy Monster - January 15, 2015 Reply

Now that’s a fancy temple! Looks like an incredible time, girl!!

    Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

    Fancy… Yep, it was out of control impressive and crazy blinged. Never seen anything like it. Feeling pretty lucky to have been able to see something so incredible.

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - January 15, 2015 Reply

Stunning – Anna – thank you for sharing your holiday pics and telling us about this amazing place.

    Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for sharing my journey lovely Rachel. 🙂 Wait till I start sharing my foodie adventures. 🙂

Glamorous Glutton - January 15, 2015 Reply

That looks amazing. I’d love to go to Myanmar, it’s on my bucket list. I’m looking forward to ticking Havana Cba off my list at the end of the year. GG

    Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

    Oh yes, I would absolutely say get on a visit to Myanmar. And sooner rather than later too. Ooooh, how fantastic, bring on bucket list travel adventure ticking. 🙂

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You - January 15, 2015 Reply

What a magnificent place! So rich and ornated yet so full of meaning. I hope I can visit it one day. Thanks for sharing your travels with us, Anna.

    Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

    Stunning it was Denise. As I walked around and took it all in, I just couldn’t find the words to describe it. Breathtaking. I hope you can visit one day too. Thanks for sharing my adventures, very much appreciated. 🙂

Agness - January 14, 2015 Reply

I’m glad you had such a great time praying and exploring different temples. The first photo rocks!!! 😀 :D!!

    Anna - January 15, 2015 Reply

    It was a wonderful experience, Agness, I am very grateful I was able to do it. And yes, there was a line of gals to do that photo. Such fun!

Melanie - January 14, 2015 Reply

I love these pictures– looks like an incredible time!
Melanie @ meandmr.com

    Anna - January 14, 2015 Reply

    Thanks heaps Melanie, very kind of you to say. 🙂 It was an amazing experience I am very grateful to have had.

Elizabeth - January 14, 2015 Reply

Wow Anna, Yes I had heard of it and it certainly looks impressive, but I’m sure that the photos didn’t do it justice. I’m surprised that it is so busy, because it is out of town… and yes it is a shame that it is a bit commercialised, but you probably wouldn’t have been able to go at all 50 or 60 years ago 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Liz xx

    Anna - January 14, 2015 Reply

    Yeah, the photos don’t really do it justice, Liz. So much of my trip I wished the photos were scratch and sniff and caught the hustle and bustle. But… they do wet the whistle and hopefully inspire a trip to see it for yourself, because it is always better seeing something this magnificent for reals. 🙂
    Ha, it was packed, we had police escort which made access to the pagoda a lot easier, but there were bus loads of people waiting. I think I was very lucky being able to see the pagoda now and really hope the country keeps its innocence. Thanks for stopping by lovely, Liz. xox

Lizzy (Good Things) - January 14, 2015 Reply

Anna, this looks quite breathtaking… the colour, the light… just amazing. Asia is on my bucket list… for later down the track… first up, the UK and Europe this year. Woo hoo!

    Anna - January 14, 2015 Reply

    Yep, breathtaking indeed Lizzy, never seen anything like it.
    I can’t wait for your UK & Europe posts later this year. Sooooo exciting. 🙂

Alice - January 14, 2015 Reply

That’s some pretty serious bling right there. It’s stunning and quite surreal how these monks give up all their wordly possessions, to sit amongst such wealth. 72 carats, wow! Hello Elizabeth Taylor 😉

Looks like more great adventures are yet to come, tell me more about the food.

    Anna - January 14, 2015 Reply

    It was all bling-bling, Alice. Totally not what I was expecting, and yes, really crazy to see such wealth in the middle of such poverty. It really was a wonderful adventure, as I was writing the post and thinking about all I have seen and done, it felt even more special. Lucky gal I am. 🙂 Haha… I have MANY foodie stories to share, be patient little one. They are coming. LOL!

Leave a Reply: