Surprisingly, the endless stream of people didn’t bother me at all. My sight was fixated at the cone-shaped stupa piercing the sky. The afternoon light strikes its slab of gold layers making it shimmer magnificently under the sun. I am humbled by the towering presence of the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred, the most ancient and the 2nd oldest Buddhist pagoda not only in Burma but all over the world. Surrounding the main stupa are numerous mini stupas, shrines, pavilions and prayer halls that it’s easy to get lost on the platform on a hill and be overwhelmed by the many details.
Maps are my best friend when I’m exploring a new place. Starting from where I am, the Motherland Inn 2, I asked the girl at the reception for the location of the Thian Phyu Money Changer Center on the map and found out it was about 3 blocks south west. Since I don’t have any kyat yet, I just decided to walk. Besides, exploring on-foot is the usual way for me to get to know the city. Botataung Paya is on the way so it might be a good place for a side trip.
View of the Mountains from Thuy Son Mountain
I’m close to wrapping up my series of entries on Central Vietnam. And as 2nd to the last entry would be one of the most fun destinations in my opinion close to the city of Danang.
Entrance to Ling Ong Pagoda Cave
After visiting My Son Sanctuary we continued our journey and headed to the famous Marble Mountains, which is a cluster of 5 mountain peaks jutting out flat lands towards the sea. The mountains are also called Ngu Hanh Son or Mountains of the Five Element since each peak represents five elements; Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (wood), Kim Son (metal), Tho Son (soil) and Hoa Son (fire). The sight itself from the main road going into the city was very interesting. It just makes you think how those mountains ended up there together when most of the landscape is flat.