As with so many major cities in Asia, the ancient and the modern exist side-by-side.
The guy on the right is dancing a jig, I think. They are hidden under the eaves, and I only spotted this group because I was looking up in awe as the heavens opened and the rain poured down.
This well-groomed guy is a more recent addition, i think. The handlebar moustage and jazz saxophonist’s beard are definitely hipster.
It is impossible to overstate just how many little structures, statues and shrines there are here. The big red dot in the middle is the Shwedagon Pagoda itself, the one said to be built atop three hairs from the head of the Buddha.
Not “You are here,” on this map. But “Yours Now.” I was obviously by the Eastern Stairs here, waiting for the sun to set, so I could get the unearthly golden glow off the rooftops.
This Buddha has his own router in a cage on the wall next to him. I think that this is going to be a meme for the future – “Buddha and the caged digital demon.”
Wandering side-by-side, the tourists and the devout mingle pretty much without incident here. Most people were respectful, although during the downpour, some British tourists loudly complained in a stupa, drawing sidelong glances from the monks.
Built into the trunk of the bodhi tree is a little treehouse for Buddha. Which is nice. He should have a place to play too.
There are bodhi trees scattered across the grounds of Shwedagon. Under this one, they have built a little structure with Buddha reaching excitedly into the air, as he makes a point to the monks who have come to him, seeking wisdom.
Wherever I go, young people come up to me and start hopping up and down in excitement, begging “Selfie! Selfie!” I don’t know who they think I am, but they like having their picture taken with me.
Time exposure got a little distorted; but I just love the colors and the framing here.