Wonderful Myanmar

By | Jun 7, 2017 | Views: 739

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(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline Woon)

Myanmar, previously known as Burma, is a new and developing tourist destination in Southeast Asia, known for its rich culture and natural attractions. It is an exotic and fascinating destination in Asia that offers numerous archaeological sites, pagodas and temples, rivers and natural lakes, sites of natural beauty, snow-capped mountains and tropical forests, clean beaches and unspoilt archipelagos; traditional arts and crafts, as well as rich cultures from the 135 national races, each with their unique and colourful traditional clothing and customs.

If you are planning to visit, below is some useful information to make your visit to Myanmar, one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the world, most memorable and enjoyable, especially because Myanmar is said to have the most hospitable people in the world.

 

Location

Myanmar stems from the Burmese Empire (1500-1000 BCE) and is situated in Southeast Asia. It is bordered on the north by China, on the east and southeast by Laos and Thailand, and lies on the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea coast, with Bangladesh and India to the west. To the north, Myanmar has a large range of hills and valleys, with mountain ranges in the east and west, forming a giant horseshoe shape, covering 653,407 square kilometres (252,282 square miles), and ranging 936 kilometres (581 miles) from east to west and 2,051 kilometres (1,275 miles) from north to south.

Location of Myanmar, click on image to enlarge.

Myanmar lies on the Bay of Bengal. Click on the image to enlarge.

Close-up look of Myanmar map

A more close up look on Myanmar map

 

Population

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Myanmar’s current population is 54,800,890 based on the latest United Nations estimates. This is equivalent to 0.73% of the total world population. It is made up of 135 national races including the Bamar (68%), Shan (10%), Kayin (7%), Rakhine (4%), overseas Chinese (3%), Mon (2%) and overseas Indians (2%). 35.3% of the total population is urban, which amounts to approximately 19,363,071 people in 2017.

 

General Information

Although Myanmar’s currency is Myanmar kyat (MMK), the US dollar (USD) is also widely used in the country. While in the country, you will see a mix of both, with USD being used in most hotels, for domestic airfares, train tickets, and entrance fees, while MMK is used for everything else such as food, souvenirs, etc. Myanmar’s capital city is Nay Pyi Daw (also spelt Nay Pyi Taw) while its former capital city Yangon (Rangoon) is the country’s largest city.

Myanmar has seven states and seven regions formerly known as divisions. Regions are mainly inhabited by the predominant Bamar peoples, while states, in essence, are regions that are home to particular ethnic minorities. Below is a list of the states and regions of Myanmar:

States of Myanmar, click on image to enlarge.

Regions and states of Myanmar. Click on the image to enlarge.

  • Kachin State
  • Chin State
  • Shan State
  • Rakhine State
  • Kayah State
  • Kayin State
  • Ayeyarwady Region
  • Sagaing Region
  • Mandalay Region
  • Magway Region
  • Bago Region
  • Yangon Region
  • Tanintharyi Region

Most foreign visitors require a visa to enter Myanmar. Below are some key facts for the Myanmar tourist visa, and are listed for convenient planning.

  • Visa-free travel for 14 days is applicable for Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos passport holders.
  • You can apply for tourist visas at Myanmarese embassies and consulates as well as using the online e-visa system designed to simplify the application process, particularly for travelers from countries that do not have a Myanmarese embassy.
  • Please visit the official Ministry of Immigration e-visa website for e-visa applications. For the full list of 100 countries whose citizens are eligible for e-visas, please click here. The list of Myanmarese embassies and consulates around the world can also be found here.
  • Tourists should hold passports with at least six months of validity after planned departure from Myanmar.
  • Tourist visas are valid for 28 days and a 14-day extension may be acquired at the cost of USD3 per day including a one-off USD3 administration fee.
  • A single entry tourist visa typically costs around USD50.

 

Myanmar’s Unique Weather Pattern and the Best Time to Visit

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Myanmar is a tropical country with seasonal changes. Myanmar is located in the monsoon region of Southeast Asia, and as such the change in monsoon wind direction creates three seasons: summer, rainy, and winter. Each year the monsoon brings rain from May to October, and some roads become flooded and blocked, particularly from July to September, while the central plains receive only a fraction of the rain seen on the coast. The rains subside from October onwards.

The best time to visit most of Myanmar is from November to February when temperatures are relatively manageable. From March to May, temperatures rise and the heat can become unbearable. The Bagan and Mandalay areas, in particular, often see temperatures in excess of 40°C (104°F). Winter in Myanmar starts from November and lasts through to the end of February, where temperatures in hilly areas of over 3,000 feet can drop below 0°C (32°F).

 

The Local Customs and Cultures of Myanmar

With 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar, one can imagine the abundance of languages, traditional clothing, and customs of its people. Visitors find this fascinating, interesting, and adventurous to discover. While visiting, it is advisable to understand and practise the following, in order to immerse oneself in the culture, making the visit more meaningful and worthwhile.

 
Greetings

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Social politeness is highly practised in Myanmar. The common expression to greet someone is “Mingalaba” (Minga-la-ba) that translates loosely as “Have an auspicious day.” This is somewhat similar to the Tibetan “Tashi Delek” and the well-used Indian “Namaste”. The “Mingalaba” greeting can be used throughout all social levels or genders including among monks and respected elders.

 
Titles

Another part of social etiquette showing respect to others is the use of titles before personal names. The title “Teacher” is inserted before one’s name if they are seen as wise and helpful. Due to the history of strict military control, titles like “General” are less admirable compared to titles that make an educational reference. “Auntie” is used for women of a certain age, while “Uncle” is applied to their male counterparts.

 
Food

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A mixture of Indian and Chinese cuisines can be found in Myanmarese food, with rice being the country’s staple food. Local curries and soups add a Myanmarese flair to the food where most meals are accompanied by a condiment that is made from preserved fish or prawn and chili powder. Meals are typically served at a dining table with a family sized bowl of rice placed in the middle of the table and different dishes laid out for everyone to serve themselves and make their own combinations.

 
Table Manners

Myanmarese homes usually have low and round dining tables. Diners sit on the floor, or on a floor mat, around the table and the elderly diners and guests serve themselves first. Alcoholic beverages are not served with meals but water, tea or juice are. The locals handle the spoons to serve the food with the left hand, as it is considered the clean hand. They still eat with their fingers though forks and spoons have gained popularity in Myanmar. If you wish to have more rice, do leave some rice on the plate to indicate that you want more. Take only the amount you can finish, and leave enough for the host and everyone else.

 
Accept Hospitality

Generally, the Myanmarese have very little, surviving on subsistence farming but they are eager to share what they have with visitors and guests. Buddhists, especially, will offer food to visitors and guests first before eating themselves. It would be deemed impolite if guests decline offers of such hospitality. Taking a single bite or a small portion will assure your host that you appreciate the gesture.

 
Body Language

Buddhists in Myanmar consider the head to be the most sacred part of the human body, while the feet are considered the dirtiest. While entering an indoor or private space you are expected to remove your shoes, and be aware not to point your feet at anyone, especially monks. Touching another person’s head is also an insult. The same understanding of clean and unclean body parts also dictates what you wash, and where. For example, you rinse your hands after a meal at a different faucet from where you clean your muddy toes. Common gestures of deference include giving monks the most accessible seats on a bus or train, and women do not touch monks as they are celibate.

 
Hand Gestures

Placing one hand firmly under the elbow of the extended arm is a proper way to introduce yourself, or offer or accept an item. This gesture is important and even food in a restaurant is served in this manner, before the plate is passed to you.

 
Dress

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Shorts should be avoided by female tourists and visitors. Proper undergarments should be worn under t-shirts, and revealing clothes are considered rude. The typical dress code for Myanmarese men includes a collarless white shirt with overcoat and a bottom garment made from a long piece of folded cloth (longyi) secured at the waist, that resembles a sarong. Myanmarese ladies usually wear silk or cotton dresses, or a blouse with a longyi.

 
Thanakha

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Thanakha is the Myanmarese traditional cosmetic for Burmese women to protect their skin from sunlight, to cool the skin on their faces in hot weather, as well as for beauty purposes. Thanakha can be painted in simple circle shapes, while others may make it more sophisticated with intrigued flowers and other patterns. It is made from natural sources and has been used for a long time.

 
Religion

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Myanmar offers freedom of religion with approximately 80% of the population Buddhist, while 20% practises Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other localised religions. Most Myanmarese believe in reincarnation and show respect to the crimson-coloured robes of monks regardless of their religious faith. Amongst the Buddhists, most follow the Theravada tradition, and teachings on karma – what goes around, comes around – is very much emphasised.

 
Superstitions

Compared to the urbanised Myanmarese, those living in rural areas have a stronger belief in superstition. Astrology or means of clairvoyance are known to be used when important decisions are to be made. Some common superstitions include that leaving a shoe or slipper upside-down will bring bad luck, and that washing your hair after a funeral or keeping broken glass at home are to be avoided. There are also some who believe that one will lose one’s will power, if you walk under a ladder, or under a woman’s laundry line with hanging longyis, while carrying an elephant’s tail hairs can ward off evil.

 
Business Culture

Trust and friendship is the focus in building business relationships. Favours in business are expected to be repaid later. During initial business meetings, people take the opportunity to evaluate strengths, weaknesses and personalities instead of business topics. For foreign businessmen, it is good to know that most commercial business transactions occur in English, and a Myanmarese translator can facilitate better communication. Friction in business situations may occurs when a supervisor is younger than a subordinate as Myanmarese have a custom of showing respect to their elders.

 

20 Great Places to Visit in Myanmar

The following Myanmar visitors guide will be divided into the seven parts of the country, namely:

  • Yangon (Rangoon)
  • The delta region and western Myanmar
  • South-eastern Myanmar
  • Bagan and the central plains
  • Inle Lake and the east
  • Mandalay and its surroundings
  • Northern Myanmar

 

Yangon (Rangoon)

1. Yangon River

Yangon is currently the most exciting place in Myanmar, nestled on the eastern banks of the Yangon River. This former capital is a bustling and colourful metropolis, with great and mysterious charm formed by colonial heritage; gracious historical and cultural architecture well-preserved after the British colonial era; modern commercial buildings, shopping centres, lively restaurants and bars sitting side-by-side with well-maintained and preserved centuries-old golden stupas. It is located 644 kilometres (400 miles) away from Myanmar’s current capital Nay Pyi Daw.

To experience the city’s amazing activities you can take a cruise on the Yangon River. You may board on a number of cruises from Botataung (east end of downtown) or Wardan (west end of downtown) jetties for a relaxing few hours on the river. For those who wish to visit Dala’s local markets and enjoy a much slower pace of life on the delta, they are welcome to board from Pansodan Ferry Terminal. Many locals commute across the river to Yangon on small private boats, but foreigners are not allowed to board these boats, as prices are lower and affordable for Dala residents. Foreigners can board the public ferries that leave every 30 minutes to Dala.

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There are many ferry rides and cruises available for tourists to choose from. A USD4 return ride to Dala takes about 10 minutes. The boat has quite a large capacity (2 levels) that is normally packed with hundreds of people. It departs about three times per hour and tickets can be purchased prior to departure at a separate office room at USD2 one way. The spectacular scenery of Yangon’s waterways and the rich historical and cultural landscapes that lie along the banks of the Yangon River on the Sunset Cruise are incredible. Here you can experience the beauty of Yangon in the final hours of its sunset while savouring the fresh evening breeze that comes through the Gulf of Martaban of the Andaman Sea; observe the little-known Lighthouse of the Twante Canal; and witness the Shwedagon Pagoda from a different perspective. You can also enjoy the amazing glow of lights along the river bank as the sun gently sinks below the horizon. Do not forget to take beautiful pictures while enjoying the ride!

 
2. Colonial Buildings

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

The highest preserved and maintained number of colonial period buildings in Southeast Asia are known to be found in Downtown Yangon. These century-old buildings included the former City Hall, High Court, Secretariat buildings, Telegraph Office, Inland Water Transport building, and the Strand Hotel with magnificent architecture, and they are definitely one of the main tourist attractions in downtown Yangon.

 
3. Chauk Htat Gyi Temple

In Yangon, there is also the little known Chauk Htat Gyi Temple that hosts one of the biggest and most graceful 65 metres (213.2 feet) long reclining Buddha statue, dating back to 1907. It is located a short distance from the famous Golden Temple (Shwedagon Pagoda). This Buddha statue was demolished in 1957 due to environmental damage and rebuilt through generous donations from the public to its current form in 1966. Surrounding this temple are Buddhist monasteries that house over six hundred monks who study and practise the Buddha’s teachings.

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Address:
Shwe Gon Taing Street
Tamwe Township
Yangon

Operating Hours:
6am to 8pm daily

Admission Fees:
USD5 per person

 
4. Shwedagon Pagoda

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The Shwedagon Pagoda is officially known as Shwedagon Zedi Daw. It is also known as the Great Dragon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda. Being one of the three most sacred religious sites in Myanmar, this 2,500-year-old pagoda contains a strand of Shakyamuni Buddha’s hair and other sacred relics. It is located on the 51-metre (168-feet) high Singuttara Hill and has grown from 8 metres to 99 metres (26 feet to 324 feet) in height over the centuries. The Shwedagon is estimated to have first been built by the Mon during the Bagan period (between the 6th and 10th centuries CE). The stupa is fully plated with 21,841 solid gold bars and has a tip encrusted with thousands of diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Surrounding the pagoda are numerous temples, statues and stupas which are definitely worth a visit if your time permits.

Visitors to the pagoda are expected to follow a dress code deemed to be respectful, i.e. loose trousers or ankle-length loose skirts, and loose t-shirts with the preferred length of sleeves being elbow-length, in order to enter the temple, and must be barefooted.

Address:
No. 1, Shwedagon Pagoda Road
Dagon Township
Yangon

Operating Hours:
4am to 10pm daily
24 hours on the following days:

  1. Tabaung Waxing Day – the day before full moon day of the Myanmar Lunar month Tabaung (around March)
  2. Wakhaung Waxing Day – the day before full moon day of the Myanmar Lunar month Wakhaung (around June)

Admission Fees:
USD8 per person
Tickets for entrance are not sold to foreign visitors until 6am

 
5. Bogyoke Aung San Market

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Bogyoke Aung San Market was formerly known as Scott Market, named after James George Scott, and is located in the heart of Yangon city. It is a famous and beautiful oriental bazaar, and a good shopping spot with attractive architecture and trading ambiance. The current premises was first built in 1926 and is one of the 189 historical buildings in Yangon.

This sprawling market is a one-stop shop for everything you need, ranging from local snacks and traditional and ethnic textiles to wood carvings, musical instruments, interesting souvenirs, antique collections, sculptures and stunning jewellery. The varieties of Myanmarese handicrafts and other items make this complex an excellent opportunity for a shopping spree. Do get at least a pair of traditional footwear – they are very comfortable sandals with velvet covers – when you are there!

Address:
Bogyoke Aung San Road
Yangon

Operating Hours:
Tuesday to Sunday: 9am to 5pm
Closed on Mondays and gazetted holidays

Admission Fees:
Free

 
6. Sule Pagoda

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Located in Yangon’s centre is also the Sule Pagoda. This pagoda is often compared to Piccadilly Circus in London as it has a peculiar octagonal shape tapering to its spire and standing in the middle of a roundabout at the heart of Yangon. This 48-metre (152-feet) high golden dome is a landmark of the city and as a Buddhist monument was rebuilt in the 1880s. It was once used by the British as the nucleus of their grid pattern for the city. In its vicinity are small shops with new age services such as astrologists, palmists, etc., giving visitors a full and extensive range of local delights.

Address:
At the junction of Sule Pagoda Road and Mahabandoola Road
Kyauktada Township
Yangon

Operating Hours:
6am to 8pm daily

Admission Fees:
USD2 per person

Accommodation
Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Yangon. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

  1. The Loft Hotel
    33 Yaw Min Gyi Street
    Dagon Township
    Yangon
    Phone: +95 1 393 112
    Website: www.theloftyangon.com
  2. Merchant Art Boutique Hotel
    67/71, New Yaytarshay Road
    Yangon
    Phone: +95 1 544 426
    Website: www.merchantyangon.com/merchant-art
  3. Vintage Luxury Yacht Hotel
    No. 6, Botahtaung Jetty
    Botahtaung Township
    Yangon
    Phone: +95 1 901 0532
    Website: www.vintageluxuryhotel.com

 

The Delta Region and Western Myanmar

7. Ngwe Saung

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Ngwe Saung’s 15-kilometer-long stretch of beautiful white sand shore is an appealing and clean beach, with clear water. Ngwe Saung attracts a lot of foreigners and wealthy locals to the area so the local standard of pricing is on the high side. There is a small village with a main street fulfilling the needs of tourists as well. Nevertheless, Ngwe Saung is one of the most laid-back places you will find in Myanmar. Once you are here, you should just sit back and take in the sun’s rays and picturesque beach views with fresh food from local restaurants.

Towards the northern end of the beach is the Ngwe Saung village, which hosts shop that serve a variety of fantastic seafood dishes and others that sell locally-produced handicrafts. Walking to the village from the southern end hotels at the main beach can take up to an hour, and if you walk there in the evening, you can catch the sun setting over the Bay of Bengal. Along the way are also some hotels with beach front restaurants that serve mainly seafood dishes as well. If you wish for something different, Ume cafe serves excellent Japanese and Asian fusion food and has a fire dancing show every evening at around 7.30pm. It is located on the road south of Ngwe Saung village, on a hill opposite the Yanomar Oo and Silver View resorts.

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Location:
Ngwe Saung is located 48 kilometres (29 miles) west of Pathein, Ayeyarwady Region, Myanmar. The beach is 5 hours’ drive away from Yangon.

 
8. Pathein

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Pathein is a coastal town located in the lower Myanmar delta area which is called the Ayeyarwady Division. It lies at the heart of an area that produces the finest rice in Myanmar, including pawsanmwe t’ămìn (fragrant rice). Pathein is a thriving, busy city, especially along the riverfront and in the markets near the principal religious site of Shwemokhtaw Paya. Pathein is Myanmar’s most important delta port outside of Yangon.

The main attraction at Pathein is the Shwemokhtaw Paya, a Buddhist temple believed to have been originally built by King Asoka of India in 305 BC with a 2.2-metres (7.5-feet) tall stupa. Bagan’s King Alaungsithu raised the stupa’s height to 11 metres (36 feet) in 1115 CE. In 1263 CE, King Samodogossa raised it to 40 metres (131 feet).

The stupa is now 46.6-metres (152.88-feet) tall and its pinnacle consists of a topmost layer made from 14lb of solid gold, a middle tier of pure silver and a bottom tier of bronze. All three tiers are gilded and reportedly embedded with a total of 829 diamond fragments, 843 rubies and 1,588 semiprecious stones.

Pathein also has workshops in the city’s northeast that produce colourful hand-painted parasols. If you stop by Pathein on your way to nearby beaches, you may want to visit the Shwemokhtaw Paya and browse through the intriguing and interesting produce of the local workshops. You will not regret visiting these two places.

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Location:
Pathein is only a three-hour drive away from Yangon.

Accommodation
Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in delta region and western Myanmar. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

  1. Aureum Resort & Spa Ngwe Saung
    Ngwe Saung Village
    Pathein
    Ayeyarwaddy Division
    Phone: +95 42 4021 82133
    Website: ngwesaunghotels.org
  2. Sunny Paradise Resort
    Ngwesaung
    Phone: +95 42 40227
    Website: www.sunnyparadiseresort.net
  3. Myanmar Treasure Resort
    Ngwe Saung Village
    Phone: +95 1 399 341
    Website: www.htoohospitality.com

 

South-eastern Myanmar

9. Kyaiktiyo (Kyite Htee Yoe)

Landscape around Golden Rock in Myanmar

Kyaiktiyo Paya is a huge golden rock perched at Mount Kyaiktiyo’s summit, it is one of the three most holy sites in Myanmar, together with the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and the Mahamuni Temple in Mandalay. The rock seems to defy gravity by delicately balancing on the edge of the 1,100-metres (3,608-feet) high mountain. This draws large numbers of non-believers among its throngs of pilgrims from far and wide to worship and visit.

The small pagoda was built atop the golden rock which is itself perched on a larger rock. It is a boulder 15 metres (49.2 feet) in circumference, coated in gold leaf, and looks extremely precarious. Kyaiktiyo means “pagoda on a hermit’s head”. This gravity-defying rock that resembles the head of the hermit Taik Tha is supposedly kept in place by a strand of Lord Buddha’s hair. According to legend, on one of Lord Buddha’s visit, he gave the strand of hair to the hermit Taik Tha, who then tucked it in the tuft of his hair safely. Taik Tha later gave the strand of hair to the king, with the wish that the hair would be enshrined in a boulder shaped like the hermit’s head. The king located a suitable rock and built the Golden Rock Pagoda at Kyaiktiyo, where the strand was enshrined.

The rock (standing 7.6 metres tall, 24.93 feet) and the gilded pagoda which sits on top of it (itself 7.3 metres tall, 23.95 feet) are the main attraction for visitors. However another reason to make the journey is the panoramic 360-degree views of the surrounding Mon State mountains from the summit.

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Address:
Kyaikhto
Mon State

Operating Hours:
Golden Rock temple grounds are open 24 hours daily

Admission Fees:
USD6 per person

 
10. Kyaikkami

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The Kyaikkami, also spelt as Kyaikkhamee, is located 24.14 kilometres (15 miles) northwest of Thanbyuzayat. It was a small coastal resort and missionary centre known as Amherst during the British era. The town has the atmosphere of a seaside destination and its main attraction is the Yele Paya, a metal-roofed Buddhist shrine complex perched over the sea. It is said to house 11 relics of the Buddha’s hairs.

The shrine chamber beneath Yele Paya reportedly contains a Buddha image that supposedly floated there on a raft from Sri Lanka during ancient times. A display of 21 Mandalay-style Buddha statues sit over the spot where the Sinhalese image is buried. The Buddha images face the sea towards the south. A notable fact is that although the shrine is located a short distance from the shore, its basement is not engulfed with seawater, even during the highest tide. Women are only allowed to worship from a pavilion away from the shrine, while men may do so from the hall facing the main image. One oddity here is that pilgrims standing at the water’s edge place clay pots of flowers and milk that float into the sea in order to ‘feed’ the spirits. Kyaikkhamee is easily accessible from Mawlamyine by road.

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Location:
10 km northeast of Thanbyuzayat

Accommodation
Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in South-eastern Myanmar. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

  1. The Eternity Resort
    176(A), Zayat Quin
    Golden Rock Mountain Road
    Kin Mum Sakhan
    Kinmun
    Phone: +95 9 500 7342
    Website: www.eternityresort.com/en-gb/
  2. Thuwunna Bomi Mountain View Hotel
    Seikphu Foothill
    Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Road
    Kyaikhto
    Taunggale
    Phone: +95 9 498 18688
    Website: thuwunna-bumi-mountain-view-resort-kyaikto-mm.booked.net
  3. Shwe Hinn Thar Hotel
    Kin Pun Sakhan
    Kinmun
    Phone: +95 9 264 492 468
    Website: http://www.myanmartourism.org/index.php/services/hotels-resorts/8782-shwe-hinn-thar-hotel

 

Bagan and the Central Plains

11. The Many Thousand Temples

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Being the capital of the first Myanmar Empire, Bagan is a major tourist destination in Myanmar and one of the richest archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. It was listed as an archaeological zone by UNESCO and has been tentatively placed on a list for consideration as a future World Heritage Site.

Bagan was once the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan from the 9th to 13th centuries. During the kingdom’s height, the wealthy Pagan rulers ordered thousands of temples to be built on the Bagan plains. Over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were once estimated to have been built on this 100-square kilometres (38-square miles) plain. Over 2,200 temples and pagodas still remain to the present day.

Bagan offers a range of unique experiences including:

  • Floating over the sacred temples and stupas on the Bagan plains in a hot air balloon
  • Discovering hidden gold-plated Buddha statues in the temple niches
  • Enjoying the sunrise from Shwesandaw Pagoda’s top
  • Overlooking the Irrawaddy River with a cooling glass of fresh tamarind juice
  • Discovering tiny temples along the winding dirt roads around bushes and through groves of palm trees

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Location:
Bagan Archaeological Zone
Bagan

Operating Hours:
Free timing

Admission Fees:
USD20 (the ticket is valid for five days)

 
12. Nyaung U Market

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4 kilometres (2.5 miles) away from old Bagan is the town of Nyaung U. Over time as visitors to the area increased, the town naturally grew into a bustling tourist centre with the lively and must-see Nyaung U Market, and also boasts some significant pagodas and temples. The colourful market includes a wet market and is divided into different sections selling a range of items for you to shop around and bargain. You can find almost everything there, from fresh produce, handicrafts, to longyi.

It is here that you can see the real Myanmar, from novice nuns from a monastery nearby collecting alms, and carpenters transforming blocks of plain wood into works of art. The market also offers you a great chance to mingle with local people, and get a glimpse of their daily life.

Address:
2, Nyaung-U

Operating Hours:
6am to 5pm daily

Admission Fees:
Free

 
13. Mount Popa and Popa Taungkalat Monastery

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Mount Popa volcano rises 1,518 metres above sea level and is a popular side-trip from Bagan. The neighbouring volcanic plug is frequently confused with the much larger Mount Popa that looms over it and is sometimes called Taung Ma Gyi the ‘Mother Hill’. You can ascend the main peak if you have the time and the conditions are right. On a clear day, climbers can witness views over vast distances, sometimes as far as Bagan and the Irrawaddy River, and even beyond. The views from the top are good and definitely worth the while.

While a handful of people do ascend the main peak, most people choose to visit the Taungkalat Monastery on top of the volcanic plug on the southwestern flank. Visitors must climb up almost eight hundred steps to ascend to the top. The monastery is considered to be the home of the 37 nats (animist spirits) represented by statues at the base of the volcanic outcrop. The monastery offers a 360-degree panoramic view and a labyrinth of shrines to explore. It is entirely surrounded by sheer cliff faces and offers stunning views of the surrounding plains and Mount Popa itself.

Accommodation
Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Bagan. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

  1. Thande Hotel Bagan
    Old Bagan
    Bagan
    Phone: +95 61 60025
    Website: thandehotel.com/bagan/
  2. Myanmar Treasure Resort Bagan
    Khayay Road
    Anawrahta Quarter
    Bagan
    Phone: +95 9 862 4980
    Website: www.htoohospitality.com
  3. Aye Yar River View Resort
    Near Bu Pagoda
    Between Royal Palace and Ayeyarwaddy River Bank
    Bagan
    Phone: +95-61-60352
    Website: www.ayeyarriverviewresort.com

 

Inle Lake and the East

14. Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

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Phaung Daw Oo, also spelt as Hpaung Daw U or Hpaung Daw Oo, is a notable Buddhist site in Myanmar located in Ywama of the southern Shan State. The pagoda is believed to have been built by King Alaungsithu or Mani Sithu (who reigned from 1112-1167 CE) of the Bagan Dynasty, one of the longest rulers of the dynasty. It houses five small gilded Buddha images covered in gold leaf.

The main attraction associated with the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is the famous 18-day Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda festival. It starts from 14 days before, to 3 days after the full moon day of Thadingyut in the Myanmarese calendar (roughly between October and November). During this festival four of the five Buddha images are carried on the royal barge and ceremoniously brought around the 14 villages around the Inle lake. The reason why the fifth image is not taken out, is that once the image had been taken on a barge, but it had tipped over. The fifth image was nearly lost, but mysteriously appeared back at the pagoda. Since that time, it was not taken out of the pagoda.

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In addition, there are many other attractions, including a boat race according to the Shan tradition. During the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda festival and important Buddhist holidays, the pagoda can get very crowded.

Address:
Ywama village
Inle lake
Shan state

Operating Hours:
The monastery opens from 8am to 6pm daily

Admission Fees:
Free

 
15. Nga Phe Chaung Monastery

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Nga Phe Chaung Monastery (also spelt as Nga Phe Kyaung) is the biggest and oldest monastery on the Inle Lake, and is on the way to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. This is an attractive wooden monastery built during the end of 1850s, and sits on stilts over the lake. Many people visit this monastery to watch the many cats living in the monastery jump through hoops and also to be mesmerised by its collection of old Myanmarese Buddha images from different eras.

Address:
Nga Phe Chaung Village
Taunggyi
Inle lake
Shan state

Operating Hours:
6am to 8pm daily

Admission Fees:
Free

Accommodation
Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Inle Lake. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

  1. Ann Heritage Lodge
    Myaenigone Village
    Inle Lake
    Nyaung Shwe Township
    Southern Shan State
    Phone: +95 9 438 326 171
    Website: www.annheritagelodge.com
  2. Paramount Inle Resort
    Nga Phe Chaung Village
    Inle Lake
    Nyaung Shwe Township
    Southern Shan State
    Phone: +95 9 4936 0855
    Website: www.paramountinleresort.com
  3. ViewPoint Ecolodge
    Taik Nan Bridge & Canal
    Inle Lake
    Nyaung Shwe Township
    Southern Shan State
    Phone: +95 81 209 062
    Website: inleviewpoint.com

 

Mandalay and Its Surroundings

16. U Bein Bridge

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Amarapura is situated 11 kilometres (6.83 miles) south of Mandalay and was one of Myanmar’s former capital cities. It was built by King Bodawpaya in 1783 and served as the centre of power until 1857. Today, ruins of the city gate, the palace, and the tombs of old kings can still be found in Amarapura.

One of the biggest attractions in the area is the unique and beautiful 1.2-kilometres (0.75-miles) long U Bein Bridge, a structure built from planks of teakwood and said to be the longest of its type in the world. When the capital moved to Mandalay in 1857, the local mayor U Bein salvaged the wood from pieces of the dismantled teak palace at Amarapura for this bridge.

The bridge is not just a tourist attraction because of its structure, but remains a central part of community life. Hundreds of locals walk their bicycles home along the bridge, and fishermen go about their daily business in its shadow. The best time to see the bridge is at sunset, and the best photo opportunities are afforded by hiring a boat to get a close up view of the bridge from the water.

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Location:
10 kilometres south of Mandalay’s city centre, to the east of the prolongation of 84th Street that leads down to the Sagaing Bridge

 
17. Mahamuni Buddha

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The Mahamuni Pagoda or Mahamuni Buddha temple, together with Kyaiktiyo and the Shwedagon Pagoda, is one of the three most sacred religious sites in Myanmar. The temple houses the highly revered Mahamuni Buddha statue that is 3.8 metres (12.46 feet) tall. The statue was originally cast of metal and it is now entirely coated with a six-inches thick layer of gold leaf.

The pagoda was built in 1785 by King Bodawpaya of the Konbaung dynasty after the Mahamuni statue was captured during the invasion of the Arakan Kingdom in 1784. The epic story of how it was dragged back to Mandalay is retold in a series of 1950s paintings in a picture gallery across the pagoda’s inner courtyard, to the northeast of the statue.

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Every day, thousands of devotees dressed in colourful clothing faithfully venerate the Mahamuni Buddha and during the great festival in early February, the temple draws hundreds of thousands that flock to the temple. Centuries of votary gold leaf applied by male devotees has left the figure with an odd outline, except on his radiant face, which is polished every day at 4am.

There are shops around the temple that sell offerings including incense, flowers and candles. A clock tower and the Maha Buddhavamsa Museum of World Buddhism can be found near the Mahamuni’s outer northeast exit. The museum is a gallery of paintings about the life of the Buddha, and photos of archaeological sites associated with the Buddha. Mahamuni can be conveniently visited en route to Amarapura, Inwa or Sagaing.

Address:
7, Sagaing

Operating Hours:
6am to 8pm daily
To be able to catch up the early morning ritual, one has to be at the pagoda by 5am

Admission Fees:
USD4 per person

Accommodation
Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Mandalay. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

  1. Mandalay Kandawgyi Inn
    No.174 (B), East Lakeside of Kandawgyi
    Chanmya TharsiTownship
    Mandalay
    Phone: +95 2 59 990
    Website: mandalay-kandawgyi-inn.booked.net
  2. Diamonds Inn
    No.E, SY Building
    78th Street Between 29th Street x 30th Street
    Hay Mar Za Latt Quarter
    Chan Aye Thar Zan Township
    Mandalay
    Phone: +95 2 32 251
    Website: diamondsinnmandalay.com
  3. The Home Hotel
    82nd Street, between 32nd & 33rd Street
    Chan Aye Tharzan Township
    Mandalay
    Phone: +95 2 33 702
    Website: singularmyanmar.com/hotel/home-hotel

 

Northern Myanmar

18. Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo)

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Pyin Oo Lwin (Pyin U Lwin) was originally called Maymyo or ‘May-town’ founded by the British in 1896. Pyin Oo Lwin was designed as a place to escape the Mandalay heat during British rule as its altitude (1070 metres) provides a relatively cool climate.

Although now sadly blighted by some more recent building developments, Pyin Oo Lwin’s colonial legacy still holds the key to the town’s charm, and the surrounding area offers plenty to explore. Pyin Oo Lwin has become famous for its fruit, jams and fruit wines. With the rise of the Myanmarese nouveau riche, Pyin Oo Lwin is once again a popular weekend and hot-season getaway, so get here quickly to experience what’s left of the old charm.

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Location:
Located in the Shan Highland, some 67 kilometres east of Mandalay

 
19. Bhamo

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Bhamo is a quiet town on the banks of the Irrawaddy in Kachin State, which is often a stop-off point for travellers on their river journey between Mandalay, Katha, and Myitkyina. It has long profited from its position close to a Chinese border crossing (closed to foreigners). The town itself is quiet, but a pleasant place to hang out and relax. Near to Bhamo, you can find the ruins of Sampanago, which was once the capital of the 5th century Shan kingdom of Manmaw; there is a market and waterfront, and the old city walls are 5 kilometers from the centre of town.

 
20. Shwe Kyina Pagoda

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On the way to Sampanago, you can also see the Shwe Kyina Pagoda and the impressive 470 metres long bamboo bridge from Wa Thatar village. Each year the bridge is destroyed by monsoon flooding, and rebuilt by two hundred villagers.

Location:
Located 186 kilometres south from the capital city of the state of Kachin

Accommodation
Below are several recommended places available that are strategic for visitors intending to spend some time in Pyin Oo Lwin and Bhamo. You may wish to do further research for accommodation suitable for your needs.

  1. Hotel Pyin Oo Lwin
    No. 9 Nanda Rd
    Pyin Oo Lwin
    Phone: +95 85 22881
    Website: www.hotelpyinoolwin.com
  2. Orchid Hotel Nan Myaing
    5th Quarter, Mandalay-Lashio Road
    Pyin Oo Lwin City Center
    Phone: +95 1 293 261
    Website: www.orchidhotelsmyanmar.com/orchid-hotel-nan-myaing/
  3. Friendship Hotel
    28 Bawde Street
    Mingone Quarter
    Bhamo
    Phone: +95 74 50 095
    Website: www.facebook.com/friendshiphotel.bhamokachinmyanmar/

 

Travel Books on Myanmar

Before your departure, you may want to read up on related travel books in order to make your visit more enjoyable. Two of useful and popular travel books on Myanmar include:

 
Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma)
Authors: Simon Richmond, Mark Elliott, Nick Ray, Austin Bush, David Eimer

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“Now is the moment to visit this extraordinary land, scattered with gilded pagodas, where the traditional ways of Asia endure and areas that were previously off-limits are opening up.”

 
Insight Guides: Myanmar (Burma)
Authors: David Abram, Andrew Forbes

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“With its glittering pagodas, timeless countryside and gracious people, Myanmar (Burma) is an extraordinarily beautiful destination which has been isolated from the rest of the world for decades. Finally, things are changing and tourism is set to explode in the coming years. This new edition of the Insight Guide Myanmar has been comprehensively overhauled to help inspire and inform, and guide you to the best that this little-known country has to offer.

Following on from the inspirational Best Of Myanmar section, the country’s rich past and cultural heritage are described in a series of lively essays. Contemporary aspects of Burmese life – the changing political situation, the economy, food, architecture, wildlife – are also covered in depth.

The Places chapters have been completely rewritten for this new edition, describing all the sights worth seeing – from the incomparable temples of Bagan, serene Inle Lake, the lost world of Mrauk U and the beaches along the Bay of Bengal to the fascinating cities of Yangon and Mandalay.

At the back of the book, the Travel Tips section contains all the practical information you’ll need to make the most of your trip, including dozens of carefully selected hotels.”

 
Sources:

  • The Comprehensive Myanmar (Burma) Travel Website from Go-myanmar.com/
  • What Are the Customs of Myanmar? from Traveltips.usatoday.com
  • 10 Ways Not to Offernd Burmese Culture from Goabroad.com
  • Why do Burmese Women Have White Faces? from Exoticvoyages.com
  • Yangon from Greenexplorertravels.com
  • Yangon’s Colonial Buildings from Myanmars.net
  • Rough Duides from Roughguides.com
  • Myanmar Travel Information from Myanmartravelinformation.com
  • Renown Travel from Renown-travel.com

 
For more interesting links:

 

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About Pastor Adeline Woon

Adeline Woon is a Buddhist Pastor and a Sangha-to-be in Kechara who enjoys learning and sharing the Dharma with others. Due to her deep interest in Buddhism from a young age, Adeline enrolled herself into the Dharma Drum University in Taiwan, where she graduated with a Master in Religious Studies in 2012.
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9 Responses to Wonderful Myanmar

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  1. S.Prathap on Jul 29, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you very much for good and nice article about Myanmar.It also previously known as Burma .Myanmar is a new and developing tourist country in Southeast Asia.The natural scenery is wonderful and awesome .
    Some of the must visit place are world famous Shwedagon Pagoda,Bogyoke Market and Kyaiktiyo.This are the some beautiful and historical places.This article really helpful to make our visit to Myanmar which is one of the beautiful and peaceful places in the world.

  2. wan wai meng on Jun 17, 2017 at 4:17 am

    There is so much potential opportunity for business and tourism in Myanmar at this time. However armed conflicts still blight this land, since the last government took over Myanmar the number of conflicts has increased.

    Myanmar external beauty must complement the beauty of the people within, hope the people of Myanmar can dig deep and find something within to stop more armed conflicts between the government forces and ethnic groups.

  3. Anne Ong on Jun 12, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Dear Pastor Adeline, this is a very wonderful article with beautiful amazing pictures of Myanmar. Recently my neighbour’s son who is a Psychologist in U.K.,went to Myanmar for the 2nd time for private pilgrimage tour. He showed me some videos which he took from the monastries there which he joined them for prayers from Madalay,inlay and Bagan. i’m very happy that you contributed this article for people like me who might not have the chance to visit the place. Thank you very much for your great effort and time! _/\_

  4. Lin Mun on Jun 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    I have not been to Myanmar and do not know that there are so many interesting places there. Thank you Pastor Adeline for sharing this detailed overview of Myanmar not only on the places but it is very important for us to know their people and cultural too. If I have the opportunity I would like to visit Bagan. A place so full of beautiful pagodas and heritage.

  5. Stella Cheang on Jun 10, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you, Pastor Adeline, for this comprehensive list of wonderful spots to visit when in Myanmar. There are still some heritages in Myanmar remain untouched by modern civilization, which all the more adds to the allure of this Buddhist land. It is impressive to see how Burmese revered Buddha images, pagodas, and temples by adorning real gold onto them. I certainly will like to pay a visit to The Shwedagon Pagoda to pay homage to Shakyamuni Buddha’s hair and other sacred relics, as well as the Bagan plains, hopefully on a hot-air balloon. And if my legs are strong enough, I will hike up Mount Popa and Popa Taungkalat Monastery! 🙂

  6. Pastor David Lai on Jun 9, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Myanmar is indeed wonderful and beautiful. I think that this article does a good job to give an overview of the beautiful sights in Myanmar. Oh the many places, I would certainly would like to visit Bagan as I have actually watched documentaries of it and I am fascinated by the many temples and stupas there. There are many interesting sights but what gets in the way are their names in the Myanmarese language.

    There’s also that temple of the golden rock that I have been quite a number of friends and acquaintances had visited in the past but few come back remembering the name. But doesn’t matter, most information these are accessible online and directly via our mobile phones so its not right to say that language is a barrier these days. Nonetheless, I would very much like to visit these sacred sites one day. Another destination added onto my bucket list.

  7. Lum Kok Luen on Jun 8, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Dear Pastor Adeline,

    Thank you very much for this well researched article on Myanmar.

    I was posted to Yangon last year (Sep till Dec 2016) and discovered that it’s actually a wonderful country with very warm and culturally united people, despite it being a country with > 100 ethnically different people.

    They are very well mannered, gentle and hospitality is second nature to them.

    I managed to visit the world famous Shwedagon Pagoda, Bogyoke market, and Kyaiktiyo. These are really wonderful and historical places.

    The Buddhism practiced in Mynmar is Theravadan (if I am not wrong). They are very spiritual people and one can almost find a temple (big or small) along most roads in Yangon.

    Monks typically come out from the monasteries very early every morning to seek alms and I know of many of my company’s colleagues in Yangon who actually cook food and provide to the monks as they walk along the road. This is very meritorious as taught by HE Tsem Rinpoche during the visit to Thailand some years back.

    Of course, if one were to look or analyse their level of happiness (being in a generally hand to mouth economic situation for most of its population), they are very contended people. However, in the more urban areas such as downtown Yangon, people are actually growing more materialistic and one can almost find the younger generation going after the latest gadget, or personal electronic devices.

    The average wages that a normal worker takes home is about MMK108,000 or US$80 per month. Cost of living in Yangon is not low. A typical tea shop lunch (with rice and two side dishes) will set on back by about MMK 3,000. The living costs are rising and they have to revise the wages quickly to enable the general population to prosper. Cost of living is edging up very fast.

    Public transport is another major issue as there are no LRT. One has to rely on public buses which are typically packed like sardines during rush hours.

    Buddhism is practiced very widely in Myanmar and this is good as the country is still spiritually inclined.

    Myanmar is a wonderful country.

    Humbly yours
    Lum Kok Luen

  8. Fong on Jun 8, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Love reading this article. It makes me want to visit Myanmar before it gets spoil by too many tourists. The natural scenery is awesome and the marriage of nature and human ingenuity as in the balancing rock of Kyaiktiyo Paya at Mount Kyaiktiyo’s summit. How they managed to build the stupa on top of the rock is marvel of human innovation.

    And, the Sule Pagoda which has come to symbolize Myanmar and the many similar pagodas built by the Myanmarese in the various holy sites around the world, makes Myanmar known in a very positive light.

    With all these informaiton here, it will make a trip to Myanmar less intimidating and in fact, seem very feasible and exciting.

    Thank you, Pastor Adeline for this wondrous article.

  9. Samfoonheei on Jun 8, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Visiting Myanmar (Burma) is my next destination which i have been looking forward. Its rich culture and natural attractions attracted me most with numerous archaeological sites, pagodas and temples and natural sites of natural beauty.i always wanted to visit these beautiful and exciting country,especially the huge golden rock perched at Mount Kyaiktiyo’s summit, Bagan Archaeological Zone and Inle Lake to name afew.Myanmar’s rich past and cultural heritage is worthy visiting.
    Thank you Pastor Adeline for sharing these informative and wonderful post which will definitely help me and the rest to visit Myanmar easier.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 20. 2019 03:24 PM
    Rejoice to those who had followed Rinpoche on a special pilgrimage to the Holy and scared place …Kathmandu,Nepal. Even though it is an old post yet it brought many happy memories to those pilgrims , I am sure. Wow a big group of Kecharians , all in 61 of them. Simply wonderful and the smiles on their faces paints a thousands words. Such a meaningful and a powerful spiritual experience for them. I have not been to Kathmandu valley but would certainly love to . Visiting the Boudhanath Stupa will be my top priority for sure.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing of those wonderful pictures.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/gallery/photo-album-sacred-sites-in-nepal.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 20. 2019 03:23 PM
    Very special and rare thangka from Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen , merely by looking at tells all…..a blessing. Dorje Shugden is in a peaceful form which truly love it . I do have this beautiful Dorje Shugden thangka in this same peaceful form given by my Guru , Tsem Rinpoche. I could understand much better with Rinpoche details explanation of the thangka. Rinpoche relationship with Geshe Trultrim Gyeltsen and Kyeje Zong Rinpoche is an unbreakable, strong as an iron steel. And Rinpoche truly treasure those times spent together as told. Rinpoche had a faith and strong guru devotion with them. Very good example and inspiring for us to learn and practice .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing with us the importance of Guru devotion.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/geshe-tsultrim-gyeltsens-special-thangka.html
  • sarassitham
    Tuesday, Aug 20. 2019 02:37 PM
    Depression is a feeling of something that is too hard to forget. The imagination of past, enjoyment moment, time and money that has gone in sudden. This slowly take over a person appetite, being very lonely, unhealthy and ill.

    To resolve depression, one has to spend time to talk and to divert the mind and their imagination. Consult and get friends to look for ways to help them. To look for interesting topic to talk and to spend time to take them for outing by changing the environment and meeting people. Depression is an action that need to be change. To accept tragedy and to control the feeling aside. The mind has too be very strong. The best and the only way that gives a good results is to talk to them about spiritual, teach them to meditate and pray.

    Thank for the sharing, I too have helped people who have gone through their difficult time by listening to their problems and paying them a visit with friends.
  • Yee Yin
    Monday, Aug 19. 2019 06:41 PM
    Animals are like human beings. They will feel scared and they need protections. They are more vulnerable than human. Since we are stronger than them, we should protect them, but not inflict pain on them.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/all-she-needed-was-a-hug.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

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  Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch

The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
1 month ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
1 month ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
2 months ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
2 months ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
2 months ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
2 months ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
2 months ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
2 months ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
2 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
3 months ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
3 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
3 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
3 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
3 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
3 months ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
3 months ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
3 months ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
3 months ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 months ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
3 months ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 months ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 months ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 months ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
3 months ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
3 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
3 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
3 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
4 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
4 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
4 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
4 months ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
4 months ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
4 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
4 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
4 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
4 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
4 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
4 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
4 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
4 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
4 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
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    5 months ago
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  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

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CHAT PICTURES

Teacher Jayce explained the good value from Rinpoche’s teachings. Alice, KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Jayce explained the good value from Rinpoche’s teachings. Alice, KSDS
“Be kind to animals.” Let your kids join the monthly Animal Liberation at Kechara House, Sunwaymas.
yesterday
“Be kind to animals.” Let your kids join the monthly Animal Liberation at Kechara House, Sunwaymas.
Chern Chern learnt dharma and show the good attitudes to others. Alice, KSDS
yesterday
Chern Chern learnt dharma and show the good attitudes to others. Alice, KSDS
Encourage the kids to express their feelings and at the same instill the dharma to them. Alice, KSDS
yesterday
Encourage the kids to express their feelings and at the same instill the dharma to them. Alice, KSDS
Teacher Grace taught the participants for the DIY candles. Alice , KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Grace taught the participants for the DIY candles. Alice , KSDS
Children recite Migtsema and Manjushri mantra before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Children recite Migtsema and Manjushri mantra before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Student do full prostration before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Student do full prostration before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wen Yue led students to do key chain as part of art and craft activity. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Wen Yue led students to do key chain as part of art and craft activity. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Kien shared some photos of sangha members. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Kien shared some photos of sangha members. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- close bonding during WOAH camp. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Throwback- close bonding during WOAH camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Teenage dharma class in Kechara House . Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Teenage dharma class in Kechara House . Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity, calligraphy with best wishes words. Lin Mun KSDS
4 days ago
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity, calligraphy with best wishes words. Lin Mun KSDS
KISG has been performing White Tara and Dorje Shugden puja for 4 consecutive nights. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
5 days ago
KISG has been performing White Tara and Dorje Shugden puja for 4 consecutive nights. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG members travelled to KFR for Ullambana today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
KISG members travelled to KFR for Ullambana today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
After the Bird Liberation, we proceeded with Dorje Shugden puja. Just before we started our puja, Pastor Patsy gave us a short Dharma Sharing. Pastor spoke about Dharma practice in these days and reminded us to always keep our samaya with Guru intact. To honour our promises, reduce our worldly activities and practice Dharma strongly. Thank you Pastor for the valuable advice~Jacinta, KPSG
2 weeks ago
After the Bird Liberation, we proceeded with Dorje Shugden puja. Just before we started our puja, Pastor Patsy gave us a short Dharma Sharing. Pastor spoke about Dharma practice in these days and reminded us to always keep our samaya with Guru intact. To honour our promises, reduce our worldly activities and practice Dharma strongly. Thank you Pastor for the valuable advice~Jacinta, KPSG
We chanted Medicine Buddha's mantra before we blessed them. May they be connected with Buddha always. ~Jacinta , monthly Bird Liberation Kechara Penang Study Group
2 weeks ago
We chanted Medicine Buddha's mantra before we blessed them. May they be connected with Buddha always. ~Jacinta , monthly Bird Liberation Kechara Penang Study Group
Special thanks to Linny Neoh and her friend for joining our Kechara Penang Study Group Bird Liberation. ~Jacinta, KPSG
2 weeks ago
Special thanks to Linny Neoh and her friend for joining our Kechara Penang Study Group Bird Liberation. ~Jacinta, KPSG
Birds were blessed before their departure to freedom. They deserved love & freedom too ~Jacinta,KPSG
2 weeks ago
Birds were blessed before their departure to freedom. They deserved love & freedom too ~Jacinta,KPSG
Pastor Patsy giving explanation during Bird Liberation event. Kechara Penang Study Group's monthly bird liberation - Jacinta
2 weeks ago
Pastor Patsy giving explanation during Bird Liberation event. Kechara Penang Study Group's monthly bird liberation - Jacinta
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teachers and students start dharma learning at this blissful morning ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
2 weeks ago
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teachers and students start dharma learning at this blissful morning ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teacher Lin Mun start class with Manjusri prayers after prostration ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
2 weeks ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teacher Lin Mun start class with Manjusri prayers after prostration ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
Mdm Glian Sim offered Serkym on behalf of KISG today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Mdm Glian Sim offered Serkym on behalf of KISG today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Janice So offered water to Lama Tsongkhapa, Mother Tara, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Janice So offered water to Lama Tsongkhapa, Mother Tara, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Leow offered lights and incense prior to the prayer session in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Ms. Leow offered lights and incense prior to the prayer session in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG has carried out a session of 21 Praises to Taras prayer recitations today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
KISG has carried out a session of 21 Praises to Taras prayer recitations today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
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Dorje Shugden
Click to watch my talk about Dorje Shugden....