Sparkling mosaic pagoda in the centre of town
The Aung Chan Pagoda or ‘Mosaic pagoda’ as it’s known, is the heart of Kalaw. Covered in gold and silver coloured glass mosaics, built around 1960. Previously smaller pagodas stood in this space before the larger pagoda that you see today was built. In the morning you’ll see Buddhists paying tribute in the grounds and placing flowers in vases at its base. It gets especially busy during full moon and new moon days.
Pagoda or monastery?
Wander what the difference is? In Buddhism, a pagoda is the building that enshrines Buddha’s image whereas a monastery is a residency for monks to practice Dhamma or to meditate. Many people believe that donating things to the monastery or to the monks, helps them sustain and do good deeds to bring peace of mind to the community as a whole.
If you stand on the street side of the markets at sunset the mirror mosaic tiles shine brilliantly, framed on a background of pink and lavender streaks across the sky as the sun sets.