Explore to the City of Gold
Sawad Dee Krup
Thai Smile Airways has officially opened the new route direct from Bangkok to Yangon, Myanmar on 1st December 2015. Since it will be the first auspicious flight, hence Thai Smile has arranged the special trip to pray and respect 9 sacred places in 3 important cities of Myanmar; Yangon, Hanthawadi and Syriam. For check in counter of Thai Smile is at row E, you are able to enter to this row directly at the entrance no. 2 of Suvarnabhumi airport. The flight WE351 will depart at 10.00 hrs., it is the new plane Airbus A-320. It takes around 1 hour, you will be served with 1 meal and beverage.
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Below is the photo of Mingaladon Airport or Yangon International Airport, it is very modern and clean airport. Thai people do not need to apply for visa, this makes the immigration process more faster. At the exit, there will be some booths to provide service for mobile sim card, internet, hotels, money exchange and transportation.
The first meal of this auspicious flight is taken at Ten Mile Cuisine where is not far from the airport, it takes about 10 minutes. The restaurant is very spacious and clean. The variety of menus are ordered such as lobster, jumbo shells, shrimps steamed fish etc. The ingredient of each menu is really fresh and tasty.
On the way to the sacred places, Burmese banknotes (Myanmar Kyat) are prepared for us in order to pay for joss sticks, candles and other fees. If all banknotes could not be used up, you are able to exchange back to Thai currency (1 Baht = 30 Kyat). Importantly, it is necessary to take off your shoes and socks before entering to the sacred place because you are allowed to walk on the bare feet only.
After having lunch in the downtown of Yangon, we are heading to Hanthawadi. The distance is around 80 kilometers and it takes around 90 minutes. We reach the first sacred place, Kyaikpun Pagoda was built in 1476. We have seen 4 big statues of Buddha in the attitude of subduing mara which are Somdej Buddha Pra Samanakodom (face to the Northern direction), Buddha Konakomno (face to the Southern direction), Buddha Kakusuntho (face to the Eastern direction) and Buddha Mahakussapa (face to Eastern direction). You are able to pray for all directions and success will come true.
The second sacred place is Shew Thalyang Buddha (Thai people call smiley Buddha) was built in B.E 1537. This Buddha statue is built in Mon style with 55 meters in length and 16 meters in height. There was the diary at the back side of Buddha describing the story of Shew Thalyang Buddha that there was the king who worshiped giant doctrine, then he has built the statue of Giant for worship. After, his son had fallen in love with the woman who was in the lowest hierarchy and this woman was Buddhism. Once the king knew about this, he was very angry, he then commanded the soldier to tight his son and his son's girlfriend together and kill them. In that meantime, the villagers who were Buddhism and believe in Buddha, praying for Buddha to help them save from being killed. Finally, there was the miracle occurred, the string used to tight both of them were torn and the giant statue was exploded. The king then changes his mind to believe and worship Buddha instead. He built Shew Thalyang Buddha as the monument to remind people to be more conscious before doing everything. Nowadays, this place is well developed and there are shops to sell many products too.
We continue driving for 10 minutes, we then see the third sacred place, it is Shwe Mordore. The style of this pagoda is mixed between Burmese and Mon, the Buddha's hair is contained in this pagoda. This place is recalled as 1 of 5 sacred places in Myanmar. Burmese people call Kyaimordore, it means hot nose pagoda it is because this pagoda is 114 meters tall. Once you would like to see the top of the pagoda, you need to face up and you feel hot on your nose due to strong sun. There was the big earthquake in Myanmar on 15 May 1930, the top part of the pagoda was broken down but it had been completely fixed. By the way, the ruin is still kept because it is the sacred part for the pagoda. If you use a joss stick to place against the broken top part, it very auspicious because it is the belief that it will support your life to overcome all obstacles as well as be prosperous. Finally, we have also seen 2 lions in front of the pagoda. This was chosen to be one scene in Thai historical movie " King Naresuan"
The fourth sacred place is Mahazedi Pagoda is located on the western zone of Hanthawadi, it is based on the octagon pyramid. There are 9 layers on basement. The pagoda is built in round shape. There is a long legend of this pagoda that it was built by King Bayinnaung. The purpose of building is to contain Buddha's tooth which is taken from Sri Lanka. In the former time, King Bayinnaung always came to this place before doing the battle.
We will have the dinner at Padonmar restaurant, this restaurant is the famous place where is chosen to welcome the important guests. The restaurant has 2 floors, the private restaurant is also available too.. Furthermore, it is the place to have dinner in the yard in front of the restaurant. The food taste is quite good. We have got the chance to sit in the same room which was ever used to welcome Ex- President Mr. Bill Clinton and his wife.
We will stay at Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon for 2 nights, it is 5 stars hotel of Yangon city.
The amenities are promptly provided.
Breakfast is served in buffet style at The Emporia restaurant, it has been well decorated. There are various menus that you can choose. We really like the food here, it is very delicious.
In the early morning of the second day, we go to the fifth sacred place, it is Jadi Yele Paya pagoda, this pagoda is located in the middle of the river in Syriem province. It is about 1 hour from Yangon, this pagoda was built by Mon people in 1000 years ago. The builder has prayed that this place to be never impacted by flood. There is the famous Buddha statue inside the pagoda, the statue is made from white jadestone. It is the famous place where people pray for prosperous business.
We go to the sixth sacred place, it Botataung Pagoda, it means the pagoda of 1000 soldiers. According to the legend, it is recorded that King Aokalapa reigned Mon territory,he had commanded 1000 soldiers to set the troop and pay respect to Buddha's hair that was brought by Mr. Wanich at this area. Then, this pagoda was built to contain Buddha's hair at this area. Furthermore, there are golden Buddha statues on the right side of the pagoda, both of them are in the attitude of the Buddha posture. In 1885, these 2 Buddha statues had ever been in Mandalay Palace once Myanmar was Britain's colony. Then, they were moved to Kolkata in India to avoid getting bombing. In 1945, they were showcased in Victoria and Albert's museum in Kolkata. Apart from gold Buddha statues, there is also Buddha's glassy tooth, which is kept in glassy cabinet. There is the famous statue called Natboboyee God, people like to pay respect to this statue because they believe that their wish will come true quickly.
How to pay respect to Natboboyee God, we need to bring the tray of flower and fruit and fold 2 bank notes like funnel and overlap them. Then, we insert those 2 banknotes into Natboboyee's hand, let his index finger touching you forehead, you can now pray 1 wish (1 wish only). After finish wishing, you can take out 1 banknote and keep it with you. Lastly, you place the colorful cloth on Natboboyee God and touch on his feet. Your wish will come true very soon.
And there is another sacred place where is opposite to Botataung Paya. It is called Mya Nan New. It is the long legend about this, there was Naga King's princess who strongly believed in Buddhism. She was vegetarian till she died. Burmese people like to pay respect and pray wish to this princess, it is necessary to whisper your wish and worship her with flower and yogurt.
We have lunch at Tian Fu Tea Room restaurant in Park Royal hotel, it is Chinese restaurant. There are various menus and most of them are delicious.
The seventh sacred place is Kaba Aye Pagoda, it means peaceful world. It was built by Sir U Nu,the former prime minister of Myanmar in 1952 in order to make this place to be the memorial place for The 6th Monk World Summit. The pagoda is in round shape with 34 diameters. There are Buddha statues at all 5 entrances and there are also 28 small golden Buddha statues, they represent as Buddha's followers. For the main Buddha statue is made from pure silver, weighs around 500 kilograms. Apart from pagoda, there is also Buddha's relics and his 2 important followers' relics contained inside the pagoda.
The eighth sacred place is Shwedagon Pagoda is the biggest golden pagoda in Myanmar, it ages around 2,500 year. Thai Smile Airways has arranged 9999 candles for the trip joiners to participate and light the candles as per Burmese belief. They believe that if we light the candle around Shwedagon Pagoda, it will provide us the brighter future without any obstacles. Furthermore, we also offer alms for Burmese monk. We are given an honor by famous Burmese abbot to be the president of this offering. Apart from this, there are also many activities relate to auspicious thing.
We have farewell outdoor dinner at Kandawkyi Palace Hotel. Thai Smile Airways' management boards and staffs have watched Thai performance and Burmese performance together. The food is served in Western style. It is really ambience. We have got jadestone as souvenir, the jadestone is carved in owl feature.
In the morning of the third day, it is the day which we need to go back to Thailand but we need to go to Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda or Thai people usually call " Sweet Eyes Buddha", it is the biggest reclining Buddha in Myanmar, it has 70 meters in length.This Buddha has very beautiful feature especially the face and eyelash. Those are imported from overseas. Furthermore, there are 108 cycles (the wheel of Law) under this Buddha's sole, this represents as 108 auspicious things.
For returning flight is WE352 of Thai Smile Airways at 11. 45. It takes about 1 hour. We are served with 1 meal and drink.
It is such special trip for the first direct flight from Bangkok to Rangon which is arranged by Thai Snmile Airways. This trip is very comfortable and nice, we stay at 5 stars hotel with international stardard and the food is very delicious. Furthermore, we also go to visit 9 sacred places in Myanmar. For those who are interested in special trip package. Please fee free to ask for further information at www.wesmiletour.com and www.thaismileair.com for flight details.
Thank you very much.
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