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Over 800,000 pilgrims, 411 tourists visit Shwedagon Pagoda as of May second week

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Shwedagon Pagoda on Kason full moon day.  Photo: Htun Htun

There are 807,336 local visitors and 411 foreign visitors to the renowned Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon between 1 and 15 May, said the pagoda board of trustees.
According to the data from 1 to 15 May, a total of 807,747 visitors – 5,945 monks, 3,817 nuns, 356,442 males (local), 441,132 females (local), 258 male foreigners and 153 female foreigners visited the pagoda.
Most of the tourists are from Asian Buddhist countries. China recorded the highest numbers of visitors followed by Viet Nam and Thailand. Similarly, the visitors from European countries, Africa and the US came here to study the architectural works of Myanmar.
The pagoda hosts more than 20,000 visitors per day and between 30,000 and 50,000 on weekends.
The visitors were from European countries such as French including the US, Russia, India, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Germany, Australia, the UK, Switzerland, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Mexico, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Guatemala and African countries.
Due to the fears over the spread of COVID-19, the Shwedagon Pagoda was closed to visitors for more than 10 months starting on 9 April 2020.
When the disease reached under control to a certain extent, the pagoda was opened to the public on 11 February with three-time visiting hours in the morning and the afternoon for 3,000 visitors per day. Then, the visiting hours were changed like 6 am-11 am and 1 pm-6 pm on 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’s Day. They also changed the visiting hours between 5 am and 7 pm for the visitors on weekdays, weekends and public holidays on 27 November 2021 and between 5 am and 6 am on office days. Starting 26 March 2022, the visiting hour was set from 5 am to 8 pm. — Pwint Thitsa/GNLM

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