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Bago is a historically and culturally rich city that offers something for everyone. Read on to learn more about the top attractions in this charming destination.
1. Kanbawzathadi Palace
A visit to Kanbawzathadi Palace is one of the best things to do in Bago. It is a reconstruction of the 16th century palace that belonged to King Bayint Naung. The site also includes Bumble Bee Throne Hall, Royal Audience Hall, and a teak-post museum where some of the original teak pillars are displayed.
The Nandawya research museum on the grounds of Kanbawzathadi Palace also exhibits items that were discovered during excavations at the palace. This includes a number of original 16th-century teak pillars, and items like pottery, scales and weighs used in commerce, and ancient coins.
Another notable feature of Kanbawzathadi is the reclining Buddha statue, which is believed to be over 55 meters long and was built in the 10th century. It is an incredible sight to see and a testament to Bago’s rich Buddhist heritage. The reclining Buddha is one of the most famous in the country, and it is a must-see when visiting the city. Visitors should remember to dress modestly and respect the local culture when visiting temples and other religious sites in Bago.
2. Kyaiktiyo Pagoda
Known as Kyaiktiyo or simply the Golden Rock, this sacred destination is one of the most important pilgrim sites for Buddhists in Myanmar and it’s even internationally recognized. It’s located at the top of Mount Kyaiktiyo and while you can take a bus to get here, you’ll probably want to hike it as the views are breathtaking!
Legend has it that when Buddha was alive, he gave a strand of his hair to a hermit and asked him to keep it in a place on the mountain. The hermit did exactly that and with some mystical help from the king, the boulder on top of Mount Kyaiktiyo stayed where it is today!
The site attracts thousands of devotees each year, especially in the months from October to March. They come to offer candles, foods and incense while the cliff edge is adorned with nats that sway back and forth as breeze passes by. Aside from the pagoda, you can also visit Hinthargone which houses four gigantic Buddha images seated back to back. The hill also has a small shrine enshrining a tooth-relic of Buddha.
3. Shwethalyaung Buddha
The Shwethalyaung Buddha is a huge reclining Buddha that can be found in the west of Bago. It is a religious and historic place that is perfect for the people who want to learn more about Buddhism. It is also a great place to visit with your family and friends.
It is believed that this giant Buddha was built in the year 994. The reclining Buddha is believed to be the second largest in the world. It was lost in 1757 when Pegu was pillaged and was rediscovered in 1881 by a construction worker during the building of the Yangon-Bago railway line. It was given a gigantic ornamented pillow in 1930 and is currently kept under another plain gigantic shed.
A stairway leads to the pavilion that houses the Buddha image. Its walls feature murals of Buddhist stories. On the balustrades is a mythological Naga snake, an animal that is trusted to protect Buddhism since according to a story this was the same snake that covered the Buddha’s body against heavy rain when he meditated.
4. Shwesandaw Pagoda Festival
During the Shwesandaw Pagoda Festival, visitors can witness one of Buddha’s tooth relics in the Sacred Tooth Hall. The event also features a busy market where attendees can shop for local goods and enjoy traditional performances with drum and cymbal orchestras.
The Shwethalyaung Buddha is another popular attraction in Bago, and the second-largest reclining Buddha statue in the world. The Buddha is over 55 meters long and features a golden crown and a serene expression. The statue is located within the Shwethalyaung Temple complex and is surrounded by food, souvenir, and fruit stalls.
When visiting Bago, it is important to dress modestly and respect the culture of this predominantly Buddhist city. Some areas of the complex may require guests to remove their shoes before entering. If you want to attend the Shwesandaw Pagoda festival, be sure to speak with one of our Travel Specialists about booking your trip to Myanmar. They can help you plan your trip and recommend the best hotels in Bago to fit your needs. Find properties that pledge to make all guests feel safe, welcome, and respected with amenities like in-room conveniences and family-friendly activities.
5. Markets and bazaars
Local markets and bazaars offer a more authentic shopping experience and often feature lower prices than retail stores. Shoppers can also bargain and find unique handmade souvenirs to take home. The Bago Open Air Market, for example, sells a variety of clothing, jewelry, and handicrafts at low prices. It’s a popular place to spend several hours shopping and enjoying the street food.
Another great shopping destination is the ERKE Store, which specializes in sportswear and footwear. The store offers a wide selection of stylish T-shirts and sneakers at competitive prices. The store also has a section that specializes in women-oriented products. It’s a great place to purchase affordable clothes and shoes that can be worn during your trip.
Bago has a diverse array of shopping options, including malls and commercial centers, districts and neighborhoods, luxury shopping, street markets, fairs and exhibitions, and more. Whether you’re looking for high-end designer goods or just some fun souvenirs, you can find it all in this charming city. Just be sure to budget enough time for your shopping experience in Bago!