The former capital of Myanmar is a mecca for travelers who want to explore Buddhist culture, visit ancient temples, and tour world-class pagodas. Here are a few religious sights in Yangon you shouldn’t miss.
One of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda is known for its 325-foot-high (99-meter-high) zedi, or stupa, covered in 27 metric tons of gold leaf, as well as diamonds and precious gems. All the trappings are meant to honor the eight hairs of the Gautama Buddha believed to be enshrined within.
It’s hard to miss the Sule Pagoda—the 2,000-year-old temple sits in the center of a traffic circle. The 151-foot-high (46-meter-high) gold zedi is believed to be older than Shwedagon Pagoda.
The main attraction at this temple is the 215-foot-high (66-meter-high) statue of the reclining Buddha—one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. The temple also houses 108 etched depictions of the noble characteristics that the Buddha embodied.
Situated on the Yangon riverfront, Botataung Pagoda doesn’t attract the crowds of the more famous religious sights, but it has one notable feature: a gilded zigzag corridor that winds around the interior of the pagoda’s 131-foot-high (40-meter-high) zedi. Local legend says the stupa was built 2,500 years ago by the Mon people.