They Got the Golden Arches, Mine Is the Golden Arcs


More gold than a flight on Emirates A380. Welcome to Shewdagon Pagoda. The last stop of my Yangon tour should be your first.

Gold, gold, gold as far as the eye can see and even WI-FI for uploading selfie stick photos. While the commercialization of this historic landmark is not too pronounced, there were a few things that made it a bit tacky. The most obvious was the slot machine lights behind the individual Buddhas.

I suggest going first thing in the morning, something I put off doing and never did to avoid the rush of crowds and more importantly to be able to see the pagoda as it is meant to be seen, a place of worship.



  1. When I lived in the Dominican Republic (~1995) they had a real-life McDowells. It was there for about a year before the first McDonalds came to the DR, at which point I assume McDonalds sued them because they were shortly closed.

  2. Disagree completely about sunrise being the best time to see it, sunset is better by far. During Sunset there are thousands of pilgrims that descend upon the site, most of which are from rural areas of Myanmar. The ambiance is fantastic and you can see the difference in how people worship at the holiest site in the country.

    Seeing it when it’s pitch black is also a far different experience than the dusk of sunrise.

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