Wednesday, May 1, 2019

April 30, 2019,   Docked in Yangon, Myanmar,      109/183                -

May 1 -             We had a relaxing day on board, playing games.  100 F and humid, so nice to be 
May 2, 3 & 4 -  Cruising the Bay of Bengal
May 5 -             Cruising the Laccadive Sea
May 6 -             Arrive in Cochin, India, where we catch a flight to Delhi, for a visit to the
                          Taj Mahal.

April 30 -  We joined a 10 hour excursion to the capital city of Yangon, ( Formerly Rangoon). Included were visits to the Royal Barge, national museum, great lunch at the Sule Shangri-La hotel, Stupa Shwedagon Pagoda and reclining Buddha.  Five bus loads of Oceania cruisers took the tour with a two hour drive each way.  Luckily, our five bus caravan received a motorcycle police escort back to the ship.

Our experience included an obligatory shopping stop, in this case, at Scott's Market. (Bogyoke Aung Sun Market) Huge collection of local vendors (2000) selling everything imaginable, in a sweltering maze.  Prospect of a fire disaster crossed our minds!  By the way, we controlled our urge to buy stuff.

The Sura Shwedagon Pagoda complex (Golden Pagoda) was initially constructed about 500 BC, with many renovations and additions happening over the centuries.  Being the most famous Pagoda in Asia, it attracts millions of visitors and worshippers each year.  Refereed to as the Mecca of Asia.

Central Spire is covered with 40 tonnes of 24 carat gold leaf and hundreds of precious stones, including a 75 carat diamond.   (About $1.5 billion US at $1,250 per troy oz.)  We were told that much of this gold is removed every 5 years, recycled and re-applied.

Similar to St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, with it's multi- billion US $ band of gold around the inner upper walls!

NOTE:   Cyclone Fina has been flirting with our trip as it churns in the Bay of Bengal, a few hundred miles away.  Looking like it will pass North of our course as we swing Southward toward Sri Lanka, which  will be the fifth near miss by cyclones on this trip, so far!

Entrance to the huge Stupa Shwedagon Pagoda
( Pagoda is another name for a Buddhist or Hindu Temple)

 Main spire in Sura Shwedagon complex.  This main spire is covered with 40 tonnes of 24 carat gold leaf.  Scaffolding currently installed for remediation work.

Many photos follow of the Sura Shwedagon complex.

Gold inlay in floor design.

200 foot long reclining Buddha, also adorned with gold leaf.

Maybe a Monk some day.

Example of low quality apartment building.

Timing is everything. ( Caught sun balanced in the spire as it set over a Pagoda)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What an adventure you guys are having. I am totally amazed. After seeing all this stuff you won't have to go any where else. We leave for our 24 day France trip on May 12. Kind of pales by comparison. Terry


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