The Sule Pagoda: Yangon’s Central Meeting Place
When visiting Yangon, Myanmar, it is almost impossible not to visit towering pagodas that are spread across the streets. Conveniently placed between walking distances or a quick ride on a public transport, travelers all over the world made it a point to explore each structure. Though pagodas do resemble one another physically, the experience that is felt differs once visitors take their first few steps. Of course, there is a sacred site for everyone, but if travelers wish to be at the center of the metropolitan city of Yangon, they need to head down to Sule Pagoda.
Coming from the Myanmar word “Su-way”, which means “meeting”, the Sule Pagoda is where all the roads of the city meet. Although it is surrounded by the crazy atmosphere of everyday life, it is the one place where both devotees and travelers find inner peace. It is impossible to miss this golden structure in near Mahabandoola Road because its splendor shimmers above the passersby. Now over 2,500 years old, which is said to be around the same time as Buddha, the Sule Pagoda still holds an important impact to both religious and political intentions, for it was used as the rally point to the 1988 uprising and the Saffron revolution in 2007.
Though the Sule Pagoda does strike an impressive outer appearance, travelers will have a grand time exploring its mighty halls. Here, they can view numerous images and symbols that have important functions to the thousands of devotees of Yangon. Buddhist relics such the enlightened one’s strand of hair, and other religious artwork like that marble footprints of the holy Buddha reside within its walls. Also, there are two Nats or spirits who are guarding a bronze bell, which is customarily rung after someone has done a good deed.
The Sule pagoda is open from 4:00AM to 9:00 PM and the entrance fee costs around 2,000 MMK. From the Yangon International Airport, travelers can take a private car and drive along Station Road. After 2.7km, take Swae Taw Street to Kabar Aye Pagoda Road. Stay on this road, and after 30 minutes of driving (more or less) the pagoda will be within your vision.