Bago is an ancient capital of the Mon Kingdom of the 13th Century. It is situated 80 km from Yangon and was reputedly founded by Two Mon princes in 573 CE. The day will begin with a visit to one of the largest monasteries in Myanmar – Kyakhatwaing Monastery. In his lifetime, a Myanmar male is expected to spend some of his life serving as a monk to learn the ways of Buddhism. According to Buddist tradition, monks only eat twice a day, early morning and mid-morning. Observe the morning meal procession with the long line of monks and novices of the monastery receiving their final meal of the day before noon.
Next, visit the highest pagoda in Myanmar (114 meters) – the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, said to be over 1000 years old. Built by two merchants “Taphussa’’ and “Bhillika’’, the pagoda has been repeatedly damaged and rebuilt in its history due to earthquakes and natural disasters. The glittering golden top of the stupa reaches 14 meters higher than the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. The base of the Pagoda, with its shady trees, provides a pleasant place to stroll or simply sit in peaceful meditation. After lunch, visit the Shwethalyaung Pagoda and marvel at its huge reclining Buddha, which is said to be one of the largest Reclining Buddha’s in the world at 55 meters long and 16 meters high.
Afterwards, wander through the central market of Bago, where merchants sell cloth, household items, and other imports. On the return journey to Yangon visit the Htauk Kyant War Memorial Cemetery, where 2,700 stone-graves of Commonwealth and Allied Forces Fallen Soldiers in the Myanmar campaign of World War II are honorably kept.
“I really enjoyed the monastery.” – Savannah S. Spring 2016 Student Voyager
Lunch at Hantharwaddy Restaurant