The Shwedagon Pagoda on Thainguttara Hill radiates its glory from its great golden spire that looms over Yangon. The pagoda platform is filled with dozens of small shrines and spires, prayer halls and pavilions and large bronze bells. There are two shrines that do not have Buddha images. One, at the top of the northern stairway, has the large figure of an ogress and not too far from it is the shrine of Bo Min Gaung, an ascetic.
There are many fascinating sites on the platform but there are also several in the vicinity that should not be missed. There are many fascinating sites on the platform but there are also several in the vicinity that should not be missed. A few flights of stairs down the main stairways from the platform is a delightful path that circles Thainguttara Hill. The path is lined on its northern and eastern sides by some charming, old wooden monasteries, with administrative buildings and workshops on the southern side; the western side overlooks lush parklands.
The southern and eastern stairways have the most interesting shops, selling objects such as images, small shrines, carvings and religious tracts. The walls of the southern stairway are decorated near the ceiling with high relief scenes that have been in place for over a century. This stairway has some antique and craft shops apart from shops selling carvings, images, shrines and folk toys, while the eastern walkway has objects more likely to be used in homes and these are also great collectables.