Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

The dome is topped by a stupa containing more than 7,000 diamonds, rubies, topaz and sapphires and completed with a striking emerald, which has been strategically placed to reflect the rays of the setting sun.

Learn the legend of the Shwedagon Pagoda

Despite its debated history, Shwedagon Pagoda is recognized as one of the oldest and most ornate pagodas in the world. The tradition of gilding the building in gold began in the 15th century, and though the site has been raided, damaged and rebuilt several times, it remains a prominent religious site in Yangon to this day.

See the stupa of the Shwedagon Pagoda up close

A small museum and photo gallery inside the main terrace helps to cast further light on the cultural and religious significance of the Shwedagon Pagoda. Here, there are detailed photographs of the top of the ornate stupa, a scaled model and dozens of Buddha statues and religious ornaments to admire.