975 foreign tourists visit Shwedagon Pagoda as of 7 May

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Local and foreign visitors seen on the Shwedagon Pagoda platform. Photo : Soe Myint Aung

The renowned Shwedagon Pagoda welcomed the local and foreign visitors in line with the set visiting hours starting February.
A total of 975 foreign visitors came to the pagoda until 7 May (first week of May), said the pagoda’s board of trustees.
Most of the tourists are from Asian Buddhist countries. Similarly, some of the tourists from Europe, Africa and the US also visit the pagoda to study the architectures of ancient Myanmar.
Beginning 8 February, a total of 975 foreign visitors visited Shwedagon pagoda – 345 foreign visitors in February while 192 in March, 406 in April and 32 between 1 and 7 May, according to U Bo Thin, member of pagoda’s board of trustees.
Chinese were recorded the highest numbers of visitors, with 191, followed by Viet Nam 142 and Thailand 99.
The spokesperson explained that most visitors are from European countries and the US, Russia, India, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, New Zeland, Korea, Japan, Germany, Australia, the UK, Switzerland, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Mexico, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Guatemala and African countries.
Due to fears over the spread of COVID-19, the Shwedagon Pagoda was closed to visitors for more than ten months starting 9 April 2020.
After the disease reached under control to a certain extent, the pagoda reopened to the public on 11 February, with three-time visiting hours in the morning and afternoon for 3,000 visitors per day. Then, visiting hours have changed – 6 am-11 am and 1 pm-6 pm as of 24 March.
Moreover, the officials allowed the public to pay homage to the pagoda peacefully between 6 am and 6 pm starting Myanmar New Year. Therefore, the pagoda attracted 177,596 visitors, including monks and nuns, between 8 February and 9 May.
The authorities regulate the visiting rules, including COVID-19 preventive measures. The visitors must pass Disinfection Chamber, wash their hands, and the officials will take their body temperature.—Pwint Thitsa/GNLM

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