Tuesday, April 21, 2015

High Tech Swedagon in Myanmar

I am fascinated by the ways in which technology intersects with and sometimes enables ancient traditions.

Upon entering Shwedagon, you must remove your shoes, as you are in a pagoda and footwear is prohibited. Interestingly, the place where shoes are removed is still a 5-minute walk from the pagoda itself. Coming in from the West Gate, I had to get take an escalator to the pagoda entrance.
It occurred to me then: this is the first time I've been barefoot on an escalator.

Barefoot on an escalator

Perhaps the best place to get wifi in all of Myanmar is Shwedagon Pagoda. That's right, fast, free, stable wifi all throughout the compound. Maybe that's what the $8 admission fee was for.

Monk prays for free wifi. Wish granted. 

I also noticed a small awning in the pagoda advertising a phone company. It was still only 7:00 am. There were probably just getting set up for a day of business. 

Vivo sets up a tent to sell cellphones. 

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