Shwedagon Pagoda (Yangon), Yangon - Stein Travel
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Shwedagon Pagoda (Yangon)

Shwedagon pagoda is Myanmar's most famous sight, an iconic image of the country that stands as a highlight for any visitor to the region. The stupa is covered in genuine gold plates weighing an estimated 52 metric tons and topped with a 76 carat diamond. The temple was built between the 6th and 10th centuries although the site atop Singuttara Hill has been considered holy for over 2,500 years. Also known as the Golden Temple, Shwedagon is the most sacred site for Burmese Buddhists, and is a daily focus for worship and contemplation. Dress conservatively, with long pants and sleeves, and remove your shoes when entering the complex. Be discreet when using your camera.

Information & Facts

Address

Singuttara Hill

Admission

US$5; additional US$3 fee for using a video camera

Language

Burmese is the official language, yet English is widely spoken and understood. Burmese's alphabet is made up of circular and semi-circular characters. Other languages spoken are Karen, Shan and Kachin.

Money

The official currency is the Kyat (MMK) pronounced 'Chat'. The best currency to travel on in Myanmar is the US Dollar. The Foreign Exchange Certificate (FEC) is a legal currency for visiting tourists that is usable in government shops and hotels. It is no longer a requirement to convert US$200 into FEC upon arrival in Myanmar. One FEC is equivalent to one US Dollar. It is recommended to use US Dollars. It is difficult to cash American Express travellers cheques in certain cities, such as Mandalay, and even when it is possible the commission can be as high as 10 percent. US Dollar notes will not be accepted if they are damaged or torn in any way, or have pen marks on them. There is a big difference between the official and unofficial exchange rates; street moneychangers offer favourable rates at hotels and Scott Market. As a rough guide, the black market rate is in the region of US$1 = MMK 1000 - a dramatic difference when compared to the official government rate. Very few major hotels, airlines, shops and restaurants accept credit cards and ATM cards can rarely, if ever, be used. It is advisable to carry cash. Banks are closed on weekends.

Opening Times

Dawn

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