PHOTO: Sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar

PHOTO: Sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar

Sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda. As the sun dips, this most famous of Buddhist sites in Yangon, Myanmar, begins to glow as if illuminated from within.

Click on title to view photo in large format: Sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda. As the sun dips, this most famous of Buddhist sites in Yangon, Myanmar, begins to glow as if illuminated from within. The 325-foot high pagoda is said to contain relics of the four previous Buddhas. It sits on a base of gold bricks and is entirely covered with gold plates. Additionally, the crown is studded with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies, including a 76 carat diamond “bud” at the very tip. In keeping with Buddhist tradition, no socks or shoes may be worn within the facility, and barefoot circumnavigation of the immense site is done in a clockwise direction. Pilgrims from all over the world visit Shwedagon Pagoda to lay flowers and light candles at its base. While crowds are large during the day, the real press starts at sunset, when custom lighting makes the pagoda seem to pulse with light and energy. This was just one of many magical sights seen during my Myanmar Explorer Cruise/Tour with Viking River Cruises.

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