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Shwedagon Pagoda
A shining gem in the middle of a shithole

Shwedagon Pagoda

The Shwedagon Pagoda (also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda, Shwedagon Zedi Daw or Golden Pagoda) was built in the 6th century and is the centerpiece of the Yangon skyline.

Shwedagon is located on top of Singuttara Hill, next to People’s Park and stands 326-feet (99 meters) above the ground.  From most of the city’s hotels, you’ll be able to see the central spire, making getting to the pagoda a breeze.

The vibrant gold color of the massive complex comes from real gold plates installed over the bricks that create the bell-shaped pagoda structure (but the locals live in shacks – go figure).

Thousands of rubies and diamonds decorate the pagodas, with the central spire topped with a massive 76-carat diamond (again, another WTF moment when the villagers live in such impoverished conditions).

The Shwedagon complex is considered to be the most sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar; It is (literally) an opulent pagoda of untold wealth located in the middle of a shithole city. The entrance fee is MMK 8000 (about USD 8) for foreigners.

The pagoda does have a strict dress code, as most Buddhist temples do.

  • No shorts
  • Shoulders should be covered

Foreigners are given covers and sarongs to meet the dress code. As always, this a place of worship, so please be respectful.

The pagoda is near the city center; the area is somewhat walkable but sketchy as fuck. There is extreme poverty everywhere, and the local people are struggling to survive.

Don’t have high expectations for lavish hotels in Myanmar.

Interested in visiting Shwedagon Pagoda? Travel Blogger and author of DESTINATIONS UNKNOWN Sean Brown has compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help make your trip a breeze.

What is the closest airport to the Shwedagon Pagoda?

Yangon International Airport (IATA: RGN) is the closest airport to the Shwedagon Pagoda. It is approximately 20-30 minutes away from the airport.

What is the local currency at the Shwedagon Pagoda?

Burmese kyat (MMK) is the local currency in Myanmar.

Shwedagon Pagoda

ဗဟန်းလမ်း, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

Latitude: 16.771840

Longitude: 96.153070



World traveler, travel blogger and sarcastic genius. Masters degree in blanket fort engineering and double minor in Netflix and nachos.