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Buddha with eyeglasses Shwemyetman Paya

10/17/06

After a bad night's sleep on our prison cot, we had a really bad breakfast consisting of instant Coffee, Tang, one hour old and cold fried eggs and toast - great way to start the day!

Min Min convinced us to spend one night in Yangon before heading to the beach. This gave us some extra time to see some sights around Pyay.

We paid a quick visit to Shwemyetman Paya which houses a large white Buddha sporting a giant pair of golden eyeglasses. Apparently a wealthy man built the temple after praying to repair his failing eyesight. A big glass box houses lots of donated eyewear, including one proudly displayed pair of Gucci glasses. We also visited the hilltop Shwe Nat Taung temple to admire the view and see the Nat spirit statues.

The drive to Yangon was fairly uneventful however we realized that the car offering must have worked since we had no flats and no real breakdowns for the entire trip (pretty unbelievable considering how bad the roads are here.

Reclining Buddha feet with 108 inscriptions at Chaukhtatgyi Paya
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We stopped by Chaukhtatgyi Paya in Yangon to see another reclining Buddha similar to the one in Bago. I tried to take some pictures of the "Disco Buddhas" which have these hysterical flashing neon and LED lights - the security guy looked at me like I was a retard so hopefully they come out.

The text below is off of a large sign by the feet of the huge reclining Buddha explaining about the 108 markings on his feet.  There was another sign that had details about what each of the 108 markings were but I don’t want to torture you all to much!

THE DISTINGUISHING MARKS ON THE SOLES OF THE BUDDHA

“There are a hundred and eight distinguishing marks on both the soles of the Buddha.

The hilarious rules at the Royal White Elephant hotel in Yangon
They represent the three worlds, 59 indicating the inanimate world (Okasaloka), 21indicating the animate world (Sattaloka) and 28 indicating the world of the Conditioned (Sankharatoka). The essence here is that the Buddha is greater than all the three worlds. These marks became apparent right from the birth of the Buddha when eight out of the hundred and eight royal astrologers present were asked to comment on them. Seven presaged that the child would either become the Buddha or the Cakkavatti, the Universal Monarch. Only Sudatta Kondamna, the youngest of them made a single prediction that the royal child was destined to become the Buddha, because there was the image of a Cakkavatti on the child soles. And a personage superior to a Cakkavatti could only be a Buddha.

In worshiping the Hundred and eight Distinguishing Marks on the soles of the Buddha, one should therefore remember to ones benefit that the Buddha is endowed with the attributes of The Chief of the world "(Tilokagga)" The One Who Has Reached the end of the World and the all things worldly "(Tilokantagu) The Knower of the three worlds "Lokavidu)”.

Spires at Shwe Nat Taung outside Pyay

"The Mins" dropped us off near our hotel at Inwa Lake where we enjoyed lakeside beers and the sunset before walking home. Our new Yangon hotel, The Royal White Elephant, is definitely upscale and nicer than the Central Hotel if a little quirky. Funny hotel signs listing rules and a laundry list of charges were posted on the door, as well as labels for Bath towels, Face towels, etc. everywhere. The remotes for the TV and AC were wrapped in plastic. Our favorite rule was "Stained or dyed on the linen must be claimed for laundry charges." There are 35 charges for both taking and breaking things as well as for burning things with a cigarette. For example, if you burn the toilet seat with a cigarette it will cost you $3 or for "Scratching on wall & making dirty" you will be charged 30 cents per spot.

Reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatgyi Paya
Made us chuckle. Dinner in the hotel was OK and we are off tomorrow for beach time R&R.

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Buddha with eyeglasses Shwemyetman…
Buddha with eyeglasses Shwemyetma…
Reclining Buddha feet with 108 ins…
Reclining Buddha feet with 108 in…
The hilarious rules at the Royal W…
The hilarious rules at the Royal …
Spires at Shwe Nat Taung outside P…
Spires at Shwe Nat Taung outside …
Reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatgyi P…
Reclining Buddha at Chaukhtatgyi …
Hulling rice on the side of the ro…
Hulling rice on the side of the r…
View from Shwe Nat Taung
View from Shwe Nat Taung
Disco Buddhas at Chaukhtagyi Paya
Disco Buddhas at Chaukhtagyi Paya
Fisherman at Inya Lake in Yangon
Fisherman at Inya Lake in Yangon
Umbrellas at Lake Inya in Yangon
Umbrellas at Lake Inya in Yangon
Yangon Hotels & Accommodations review
The Royal White Elephant Hotel For our second and third stays in Yangon, we stayed at The Royal White Elephant Hotel which was definitely nicer tha… read entire review
Yangon
photo by: aleksflower