27 Jul 2014
It was Sunday, and to thank God for my safe flight and for continuously bestowing blessings on me, I decided to find St. Mary’s Church to attend the Mass before doing anything else. It was Parent’s Day there and they were giving away free key chain which I initially refused to take, thinking that it was chargeable, but after I saw all the others take it, the moment I was again handed one, I took it!=)
Next stop was the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, I hired a guide for 10KKyat just for me to get a little bit more insight about the pagoda. The day of the week a person is born will determine their planetary post, eight in all as Wednesday is split in two, a.m. and p.m. They are marked by animals that represent the day, Garuda for Sunday, tiger for Monday, lion for Tuesday, tusked elephant for Wednesday a.m, tuskless elephant for Wednesday p.m., mouse for Thursday , guinea pig for Friday and dragon for Saturday. Each planetary post has a Buddha image and devotees offer flowers and prayer flags and pour water on the image with a prayer and a wish. At the base of the post behind the image is a guardian angel, and underneath the image can be seen the animal representing the day.
I went to my Monday station, followed their ritual of “pouring water to the Buddha and the animal guard (number of pours would depend on your age or your lucky number). Next stops were the following:
Reclining Buddha at Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda
Kandawgyi Lake and Karaweik (only opens at night)
Independence Monument and the High Court
I then, walked towards the direction of the river, but the view of the river was all covered because there were some construction going on. Disappointed, I walked around finding a proper Myanmar food restaurant which I unfortunately couldn’t find! Desparate, I thought, nevermind, any kind of food would do, and that’s when I noticed that the usual fastfood outlets like McDonald’s, KFC and the like were non-existent there. Sigh!!!
I went back to my hotel, had a quick lunch/dinner from a nearby Shan Noodle shop and then headed to JJ Bus Terminal at Aung Mingalar Bus Terminal to take the 9hr night bus ride to Bagan (saving a night of accommodation cost haha).
Hmm..nice luxury bus ride! Apparently, there are 2 reliable bus companies going to Bagan (or Mandalay and Inle Lake) Elite and JJ Bus. Go and try both!