Bago (Pegu), monks and Buddhas • Myanmar

Embark on a mesmerizing journey into Bago, Myanmar with our video of just over 9 minutes. Witness the sacred monks' meal at the Kya Khat Waing Monastery, marvel at the majesty of the large reclining Buddha at Shwe Tha Lyaung, and gaze upon the grandeur of the Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda. This visually stunning exploration provides you a deep dive into the culture and history of this captivating region. Don't miss this chance to broaden your horizons and uncover Bago's hidden treasures. Your Southeast Asia exploration begins here

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Myanmar • Burma (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Myanmar. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.
Chapters: 

00:59 • that morning at the market

01:57 • Kya Khat Waing monastery

03:43 • the market

06:35 • Kyaig Pun pagoda

07:16 • Shwe Tha Lyaung

08:06 • Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda

Bago or Pegu

Bago, a city located 80 kilometers from the ancient capital Yangon (Rangoon) was originally called Hamsawaddy, which means "the kingdom of the goose". As is often the case in Asia, the city of Bago owes its name to a founding myth, a legend explaining the origin of the city.

According to this legend, two Mon princesses founded the city in 573 AD on the spot where a pair of sacred geese had landed, a place so small that the female had to rest on the back of the male.

Nowadays, we hardly see any geese in Bago.

Monks

If geese have become rare, this is not the case for monks. They roam the streets and markets at dawn, in search of the alms that passers-by willingly give them. The food that the Burmese offer to the monks would feed the dead who would otherwise perish.

Very often, the monks start their day with a walk to the market, before returning to the monastery to have their only meal of the day, around 11 am.

The monks' meal at Kya Kha Wain Kyaung monastery

Tourists are welcome at the monastery where endless lines of monks follow one another to go and have a meal. These monks of all ages in procession to the refectory are an unforgettable sight.

The market

Return to the market after the monks' meal. Bago market is colorful, like almost all Asian markets. There are colorful and fragrant vegetables and treats, as well as large stalls of dried fish.

The pagoda with 4 buddhas, Kyaik Pun

A little away from the city is an astonishing pagoda characterized by 4 huge Buddhas of about thirty meters sitting back to back dating from the end of the 15th century. These Buddhas are repainted regularly, which explains their new appearance despite their respectable age.

The Reclining Buddha of Shwe Tha Lyaung

This huge reclining Buddha is older than the four Buddhas of Kyaik Pun. Its construction dates from the end of the 10th century. It is the largest reclining Buddha in Burma and possibly the world. This Buddha was not rediscovered until the end of the 19th century when British soldiers saw it while on a hunting trip. The jungle had completely swallowed up this huge statue.

It is currently protected by a metal structure building built around this huge Buddha.

Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda

Bago holds another record besides that of the longest reclining Buddha. Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda is Myanmar's tallest pagoda at 114 meters high. This huge pagoda, covered with gold, dates from the same time as the Buddha of Shwe Tha Lyaung, the 10th century AD.

This holy place was repeatedly damaged by earthquakes which are numerous in the country. And each time, the damage is repaired. It must be said that this pagoda is precious since it would contain in its central stupa two Buddha hairs as well as one of his teeth. This is in the conditional, because if we brought together all the Buddha teeth venerated in Asian temples, we could ask ourselves the question of a relationship between Buddha and sharks ...

 

about the place, Bago:

Bago was founded around the 13th century and was at the time a small provincial town. The population increased markedly in the 14th century and in 1369 it became the capital of the Mon kingdom until the fall of the kingdom in 1538.

Bago: Before the decision of the Burmese government to rename the towns in 1989, Bago was called Pegu. Formerly her name was Hanthawaddy.

The city has about 250,000 inhabitants.

Among other things, we see a huge statue of the reclining Buddha (Shwethalyaung Buddah) which was rediscovered in the jungle during the construction of the station.

Other sites in the city include the great Shwemawdaw Pagoda.

 

Music:

 - YouTube video library - Missing Places

 - YouTube video library - People Watching

 - YouTube video library - Spying in the 60's

 - YouTube video library - Vacation Casual

Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of burmese traditional music in "Bago (Pegu), monks and Buddhas • Myanmar", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

Spoken comments in the film: 

In Myanmar, there is no shortage of monks. We see them everywhere. At dawn, monks of all ages roam the streets of towns and countryside begging for food and collecting donations for the monastery. They are mainly men but it is not uncommon to see women dressed in pink as well. The color of men's clothing is brown.

And in Bago, city where one of the largest monasteries in the country is located, the Kya Kha Wain Kyaung monastery, where the monks meet around 11 a.m. to share their last meal of the day.

Imposing, these four seated Buddhas 20 meters high and who look recent are however more than 7 centuries old.

 

The huge reclining Buddha of Shwe Tha Lyaung is over 55 meters long and it is the oldest reclining Buddha in Myanmar in length. Its construction dates back more than 1000 years. During its existence it was restored many times and then it ended up disappearing, swallowed up by the Burmese jungle.

It was not until the 19th century that the British did not rediscover it.

To preserve this exceptional monument, a large hall was built around the statue.

 

The Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda is the highest in the country with its 114 meters. It was built around the 10th century but was destroyed several times by earthquakes. The Stupa would contain two hair and a tooth of Buddha.

The Kyaig Pun pagoda with its 4 Buddhas, Bago • Myanmar

The Kyaig Pun pagoda with its 4 Buddhas

the great reclining buddha of Shwe Tha Lyaung, Bago • Myanmar

the great reclining buddha of Shwe Tha Lyaung

Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda, Bago • Myanmar

Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda

at the Bago market, Bago • Myanmar

at the Bago market

Bago, Myanmar

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