The name Yangon means "End of Suffering" or "End of Strife". The city has more than 5 million inhabitants. It is in some respects just like all big cities, for instance the heavy traffic. But there are other parts that are unique. For instance the large Buddhist sites like the Sule Pagoda and the Shwedagon Pagoda, both about 2500 years old, and the Chauk Htat Gyee Pagoda with the huge reclining Buddha. Like everywhere in Myanmar, Buddhism is visible throughout, with large and small temples and other worship places, and with monks visible on the streets. Another part of Yangon that stands out is the downtown area along the river with many colonial-era buildings.

The airport is fairly close to the city, on the outskirts of town. It is not as large as you would expect for such a large city. Yangon has a circle train that goes in a large circle all the way around the city. It is heavily used by the local population. I took the train most of the way around the city for about two hours. It was interesting to see the various faces of Yangon, from the downtown areas to slum-like makeshift houses to farmers on the outskirts. Another important part of public transport are the buses. They seemed to be in fairly good shape. I took an overland bus to Taungoo, which was very nice.

There are some department stores in Yangon, but mostly the stores are small. There are lots of local restaurants, with the typical Burmese food, which I like very much. I stayed in three hotels in Yangon, two good middle class hotels and one more upscale hotel. I had specifically asked for middle class hotels, I don't see a reason to pay a lot of money on a bed to sleep in. Prices for food and drink were of course higher than in the other towns that I visited, but still quite inexpensive.

Yangon has a large university. I was located in downtown Yangon till 1988, when it was moved outside of Yangon because the regime wanted to keep the rebellious students away from the city.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Sule Pagoda

According to legend, the pagoda was built during the lifetime of Buddha, making it 2500 years old. It is located in the center of downtown Yangon, next to City Hall (built from 1886 - 1892). It is a Mon-style pagoda, octagonal in shape, with each side 7.3 m (24.0 ft) long; its height is 44.1 m (144.7 ft).

Inner Court Yard
Inner court yard in the Sule Pagoda. (694k)
Gold Covered Sule
Gold covered Sule Pagoda. (704k)
Small Worship Station
Small worship station in the Sule Pagoda. (944k)
Buddha Statues Sule
Buddha statues in the Sule Pagoda. (1119k)
Small Buddha Statue
Small Buddha statue in the Sule Pagoda, covered with gold leaf. I put a gold leaf on the statue as well. (874k)

Shwedagon Pagoda

Most of the following description is from the Shwedagon Pagoda entry in Wikipedia.

According to legend, the Shwedagon Pagoda is over 2600 years old. Some historians place it in the 6th to 10th century CE.

The stupa fell into disrepair until the 14th century, when the Mon king Binnya U of Bago had the stupa rebuilt to a height of 18 m (59 ft). A century later, Queen Shinsawbu (1453-72), Dhammazedi's mother-in-law, raised its height to 40 m (130 ft). She terraced the hill on which it stands, paved the top terrace with flagstones, and assigned land and hereditary slaves for its maintenance. She yielded up the throne to Dhammazedi in 1472, retiring to Dagon; during her last illness she had her bed placed so that she could rest her dying eyes upon the gilded dome of the sacred place. The Mon face of the Shwe Dagon inscription catalogs a list of repairs beginning in 1436 and finishing during Dhammazedi's reign. It mentions Queen Shinsawbu under a Pali name of sixty-six letters. By the beginning of the 16th century the pagoda had become the most famous place of pilgrimage in Burma.

A series of earthquakes during the next centuries caused damage. The worst damage came from a 1768 earthquake that brought down the top of the stupa, but afterward King Hsinbyushin (lit. Lord of the White Elephant) of Konbaung Dynasty raised it to its current height of 99 m (325 ft). A new crown umbrella called hti was donated by King Mindon Min in 1871 after the annexation of Lower Burma by the British.

An earthquake of moderate intensity in October 1970 put the shaft of the hti visibly out of alignment. A scaffold was erected and extensive repairs to the hti were made.

Shwedagon Pagoda Across
Shwedagon Pagoda from across Kandawgyi Lake. (566k)
Shwedagon Pagoda Distance
Shwedagon Pagoda from a distance. (567k)
Shwedagon Pagoda Complex
Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (758k)
Shwedagon Pagoda Complex
Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (639k)
Shwedagon Pagoda
Shwedagon Pagoda. (614k)
Building Shwedagon Pagoda
Building in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (770k)
Building Shwedagon Pagoda
Building in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (666k)
Building Shwedagon Pagoda
Building in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (767k)
Decorations Buildings Shwedagon
Decorations on one of the buildings in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (1388k)
Close-up Top Umbrella
Close-up of the top umbrella, the hti on the main pagoda. (529k)
Worship Station Shwedagon
Worship station in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (799k)
Worship Station Shwedagon
Worship station in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex for people born on Thursday. (744k)
Worship Station Shwedagon
Worship station in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (944k)
Buddha Statues Shwedagon
Buddha statues in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (990k)
Wooden Buddha Statue
Wooden Buddha statue in Thai style in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (922k)
Buddha Statue Shwedagon
Buddha statue in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (1044k)
Reclining Buddha Shwedagon
Reclining Buddha in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (844k)
Ceremonial Bell Shwedagon
Ceremonial Bell in the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (806k)
Royal Floating Barge
Royal Floating Barge across Kandawgyi Lake from the Shwedagon Pagoda complex. (713k)

Chauk Htat Gyee Pagoda

The Chauk Htat Gyee Pagoda houses a large reclining Buddha statue. It is 68.5 m (224.7 ft) long and 17.7 m (58.1 ft) high. It was build from 1907 to 1912 as a semi-reclining Buddha. It was rebuilt in 1957 - 1962 into a fully reclining Buddha.

Full View Reclining
Full view of the Reclining Buddha. (857k)
View Reclining Buddha
View of the Reclining Buddha. (959k)
View Reclining Buddha
View of the Reclining Buddha. (770k)
Head Reclining Buddha
Head of the Reclining Buddha. (694k)
Feet Reclining Buddha
Feet of the Reclining Buddha. (865k)
Footprint Reclining Buddha
Footprint of the Reclining Buddha. (981k)
Measurements Reclining Buddha
Measurements of the Reclining Buddha. (953k)

Colonial Yangon

Colonial Era Buildings
Colonial era buildings. (746k)
City Court
City court. (667k)
City Hall Sule
City Hall with Sule Pagoda on the left. (657k)
Strand Hotel
Strand Hotel. (659k)
Today's Post Office
Today's Post Office (from 1906). (955k)

Modern Yangon

Hindu Temple Yangon
Hindu Temple in Yangon. (689k)
Independence Monument 1952
Independence monument (1952). (411k)
Landscaping City Park
Landscaping in the city park. (1031k)
Street Café
Street Café. (880k)
Ship Traffic Yangon
Ship traffic on the Yangon River. (701k)
Water Containers Public
Water containers for public use. (834k)

The Fringes of Yangon

Houses Small Temple
Houses and a small temple on the outskirts of Yangon. (1089k)
Small Playground
A small playground. (1222k)
Houses Outskirts Yangon
Houses on the outskirts of Yangon. There was a lot of garbage in these poorer neighborhoods. (1048k)
Farm House Outskirts
Farm house on the outskirts of Yangon. They harvest watercress. (1020k)
Living Outskirts Yangon
Living on the outskirts of Yangon. (1235k)
Drying Laundry Outskirts
Drying laundry on the outskirts of Yangon. (1196k)
Children Playing Outskirts
Children playing on the outskirts of Yangon. (1000k)
Garbage Along Train
Garbage along the train tracks. (1219k)

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Page last updated on Tue Sep 24 18:19:03 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)


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