We walked from our hotel to Botataung Pagoda, near the water front, in an industrial looking area. Botataung Pagoda was built to house sacred buddha hair relics, the first of such relics in Myanmar. The temple was damaged during world war two when a bomb destroyed the structure, but the relics were unscathed. You can go inside the golden stupa itself, this is where you will see the buddha hair relics encased in a glass urn. You have to wait in a short line to see the relics, and then you have a few moments to peer through a window into the very centre of the pagoda. Through the little window, and up on a tiny shelf, you will see an ornate glass vase with the relics inside.
The walls of the pagoda are guilded from top to bottom in gold. It was unlike anything I have ever seen.
We then walked around the grounds of Botataung Pagoda. We found an interesting “gambling” thing…. it really has nothing to do with gambling, I just cant think of a better way to describe this device. You toss tiles into a revolving mechanism. The mechanism has bowls attatched to it, each corresponding to a different wish; health, lottery, family etc. You toss tiles into the moving bowls and whichever your tile lands in, is granted? Or so I assume from observation. As we were observing this, a man came up and made conversation. I was unsure if he wanted to be our tour guide or if he was just really nice. We wanted me to come with him to my Thursday shrine (I am born on a Thursday) and pray. It got increasingly more uncomfortable, but Jives was able to politely get us away. It’s tough to know when someone is just being nice or a tout. I felt horrible thinking we had been rude to this nice man.
After, we crossed the road and went into a market. I bought some incense to bring home. Then we headed back toward our hotel, stopping along the way at a beer stall to have a beer on a plastic stool. There was a super cute baby there.
Afterwards we returned to “Ichiban” the Japanese restaurant we went to on our first night back in Yangon. I had a delicious veggie curry bento with salad, miso and kimchi. Jives had a katsudon ( a pork cutlet breaded) on rice with an egg. It was delicious and cheap. We then grabbed a beer to have back in our room as we packed up our stuff.