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3 Feb, 2015

New spot on Asia’s spiritual tourism circuit: A replica of Bodhgaya pagoda in Myanmar

Nay Pyi Taw — After spending six days covering the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015, I was given a whirlwind tour of Nay Pyi Taw, courtesy of Maung Maung Swe, Vice Chairman of the Myanmar Tourism Federation.

My first stop was the Thatta Thattaha Maha Bodhi Pagoda (the first picture below), located a little on the outskirts of Nay Pyi Taw. It is a replica of the main pagoda in Bodhgaya, India, where the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Inaugurated in May 2013, the pagoda is a magnificent monument architecturally and a wonderful place spiritually, especially during the various Buddhist festival periods. Highly recommended for spiritual travellers.

Another pagoda, also pictured below, is a replica of Myanmar’s iconic Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.

As a connoisseur of Asia’s spiritual spots, both were important for me to visit personally.

Otherwise Nay Pyi Taw is full of wide roads that resemble runways, sparse population and housing for the rich, powerful, influential and well-connected.

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The Thatta Thattaha Maha Bodhi Pagoda

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The replica of Shwedagon Pagoda

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The Parliament buildings. We couldn’t get any closer, for security reasons.

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The Pavilion for VIP dignitaries to watch the parades.

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Wide roads of up to six and eight lanes on each side, but hardly any cars or people on the roads.

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That is the Parliament building in the distance. It shows how far away the security checkpoint was.

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One of the picturesque roundabouts in the capital.

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The administrative building near the replica of the Shwedagon pagoda.