Visiting Shwedagon Pagoda on a guided tour is a great way to understand what you see, as the religious landmark is rich with symbols, traditions, and customs. Options include sunset visits, excursions focused on exploring Buddhism, and walking tours that continue from Shwedagon Pagoda into the surrounding neighborhood. Since Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the top sights in Yangon, it’s an included stop on many guided tours of the city as well as on multi-day tours of the region.
Things to know before you go
- Shwedagon Pagoda is a must for travelers interested in religion, culture, and history.
- Shoes must be removed when you enter Shwedagon Pagoda, so plan to bring a pair that’s easy to slip off.
- Modest dress is a respectful choice at this religious site.
How to get there
Shwedagon Pagoda is located between Ar Zar Ni Street and U Htaung Bo Road. Visiting on a tour saves you from navigating Yangon’s chaotic traffic, but you can also reach Shwedagon Pagoda by taxi. Plenty of drivers will be available on site for the return trip; as always in Yangon, plan to agree on the fare before getting in.
When to get there
Though Shwedagon Pagoda is open daily from early morning until late, the most atmospheric times to visit are around sunrise or sunset when the gilded stupa seems to glow. On Buddhist holidays such as Thingyan, Tazaungdaing, and Thadingyut, Shwedagon Pagoda is packed with locals, but it’s well worth braving the crowds to see the festivities.
Taking Photos at Shwedagon Pagoda
From the towering gold stupa to the intricate shrines, Shwedagon Pagoda is a photographer’s dream. Early morning and evening offer the best light, as well as cooler temperatures that make for a more comfortable visit. The uncrowded sunrise hours are ideal for capturing the site when it’s relatively free of crowds, while sunset means flickering candles, lots of visitors, and warm light.
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