Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sacred Smiles

I've visited a lot of pagodas in Southeast Asia but perhaps none so sacred as the Shwedagon Pagoda here in Yangon. It's said to be over 2000 years old, making it the world's oldest pagoda and for me personally, the most impressive one that I've seen.

The sun's reflection made this enormous golden structure practically blinding as it towered over its visitors: parents teaching their young ones how to pray, groups of teenagers strolling around and looking tough, people with closed eyes murmuring prayers under their breath and in true Burmese fashion, plenty of smiling faces. I know I say this about everything but while the pagoda itself was spectacular, it was really the people there who made it extra special.

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