Located near the centre of Myanmar is Yangon Chinatown. The area is home to two of the most spectacular pagodas found throughout Myanmar. The Shwedagon Pagoda and the Botahtaung Pagoda are tourist attractions that lure visitors to their doors each year.
Many of the visitors to the area stay in the best 4 star hotel in Yangon, the Hotel Esperado. It is the perfect place to stay while visiting the sites and it is an excellent base for tourists as they explore the city.
For those visitors exploring the Shwedagon Pagoda, it is a gorgeous golden building that has been attracting pilgrims for centuries. The Shwedagon is the most sacred of Myanmar’s Buddhist pagodas. Many believe that it holds the relics of the four most recent Buddhas inside.
Not only has the Shwedagon had a major influence on religion in Myanmar, but the pagoda has been the scene of political demonstration over the years. Protests against the government in 2007 took place near the pagoda. This included Buddhist monks defying government orders and praying. Despite being the meeting point for unrest in the city, the Shwedagon Pagoda continues to be the most sacred pagoda in Myanmar.
Built around the same time, the Botahtaung Pagoda is believed to be over 2500-years old. Like the Shwedagon Pagoda, the Botahtaung is thought to house an ancient relic of a former Buddha. The sacred hair of the Gautama Buddha is believed to be inside the hollow building.
Unlike the Shwedagon, the Botahtaung Pagoda was destroyed during World War II. The Royal Air Force, on bombing missions down the Yangon River, bombed the pagoda, completely demolishing it. By the end of 1943, the Botahtaung Pagoda was left in ruins.
Just over four years later, Myanmar began re-building the flattened religious site. In January 1948, once the country gained independence from Great Britain, the Botahtaung began to see a new life. The re-built pagoda is based on the original’s design.
The pagodas provide travellers with an excellent education in the Buddhist traditions of Myanmar. Both are exquisite in appearance and are the hubs of pilgrims journeying to the city of Yangon.
The 4 star Hotel Esperado is a mere three kilometres from the Botahtaung Pagoda. Visitors can journey to the religious site by foot and take in all the of the beautiful scenes of the area.
The Shwedagon Pagoda is also three kilometres from the hotel, making the Hotel Esperado the perfect centre-point. Travellers can enjoy the amazing Bogyoke Park as they stroll to the pagoda, or guests could go past the Yangon Zoological Garden. Either way, visitors will be treated to some of Myanmar’s best sites.
After visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda, sightseers can also view Theingottara Park, which sits next to the pagoda.
The Shwedagon and Botahtaung Pagodas are two of the most viewed landmarks in Yangon, and both are sites that tell about Myanmar’s history. The pagodas are perfect destinations for Buddhists and holidaymakers alike, as both can enjoy the wonders of Yangon.