Travelogue: Myanmar - Day Two

Day Two of my Myanmar Overseas Field Trip!

Rise and shine! Breakfast at the hostel is paratha with curry (I think it was fish curry with chickpeas), which tasted something like our roti prata, but more doughy.

Started our morning with a lecture about Buddhism in Myanmar, and our lecturer is actually 86 years old! He's a really qualified professor, having been studied in universities both in Myanmar and in the UK. He shared many interesting things with us, not just about Buddhism but what he understood about Christianity too. I went away with so much insights about religion and I feel I understand much better what Buddhism is now.

Chuak Hyat Gyi Pagoda

Myanmar has a few (ok, I think many) reclining Buddhas and this is one of them. This structure that we see here is actually rebuilt in 1966, because it used to be unsheltered and it became worn down after exposure to weather elements. It's 65m high and 16m long, and is now housed in an iron structure with corrugated iron roof sheets.

Again, I was amazed by this Buddha structure, not only by the size but the significance of it. A reclining Buddha has different positions, and this one here has its right hand supporting its head. It means that the Buddha is in resting position.

The soles of the feet contain 108 segments in red and gold colours that show images of the 108 auspicious characteristics of the Buddha.

Just beside the reclining Buddha is a monastery, so we popped by to visit. It was an eye-opener to see the houses of the monks.

Lunch time! It's basically the same as the previous day's one, and yep it's really typical of a Myanmese lunch in restaurants/shops. The wide spread of food always fills up the table!

Hahaha, can you guess what this is? It's actually the house of Aung San Suu Kyi! We were travelling along the road and the bus driver decided to stop and let us take a photo of it haha. But because the walls were so high and everything was opaque, we couldn't see through it and get a glimpse of the compound. But oh wells, given her importance and her past history of house arrest, I guess the security has to be very tight.

Bogyoke Market

This is a famous market for both locals and foreigners alike. There are many shops selling jewellery, clothes, cloth for their traditional longyi (skirts and bottoms that you see worn by the locals above) and some handicraft/souvenir shops.

A traditional snack in Myanmar that is very common on the streets. Can't remember what it's called though...

Shwedagon Pagoda

And now, the almighty Shwedagon Pagoda! This is easily the most famous landmark in Myanmar. Standing at nearly 100 metres, you can see this pagoda from afar! Besides being famous, it's also the most significant pagoda in Myanmar because it houses two hair relics of the Buddha. (It is said that there are eight in total.) Again, the pagodas solid inside so can you imagine how amazing it is?

Having seen pictures of it prior to the trip, I already had some geographical imagination of this place. However, I was still blown away by the sheer size and royalty and beauty of this pagoda! It was huge, and prettier than I thought it would be. And even though it's a place where almost all tourists go to, I didn't feel it was very commercialised. I could still feel the holiness of the place and I'm very heartened that the locals have such strong faith. I consider myself a freethinker, but I could feel the inner peace within me, as if the religious site made me forget all my troubles.

I guess I shall let the pictures do the talking. (:

Performing the ritual again, at my Sunday corner. We have to remove our shoes and socks whenever we enter the pagodas.

Next we dropped by the Kandawgyi Lake. It's one of the two lakes in Yangon, the other being the Inya Lake. This lake here is actually artificial, and the water is channelled through a series of water pipes from Inya Lake. You can see the Shwedagon Pagoda in the distance. A pity it was a gloomy day. If it was less cloudy, the sunset would be pretty because the glittering Shwedagon would be reflected in the calm waters, making this place one of the most scenic sunset spots in the city.

Dinner was kyay-oh, a kind of noodles that's either vermicelli or flat rice noodles served with pork or chicken, and it can be either in the dry or soup form. The above is the soup form while below is the dry form.

Food was satisfying once again, and we headed back to our hotel for more board games and chilling~