We started Day 2 by driving past Aung San Suu Kyi’s house. The house is surrounded by a high wall and so cannot be seen from the street. Since her release from house arrest in November 2010, the military no longer guard the house. The entrance is emblazoned with the National League of Democracy (NLD) posters and flags.
We then drove 32km to Taukkyan Allied War Memorial. The memorial commemorates over 30,000 British Commonwealth soldiers who died in Burma during World War II. There are 6,374 beautifully well-kept graves, and a further 27,000 names of fallen soldiers with no known graves are engraved on the Rangoon Memorial, an imposing and sombre memorial pillar. The memorial is built and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Inscriptions on the top reads: Here are recorded the names of 27,000 soldiers of many races united in service to the British Crown who gave their lives in Burma and Assam but to whom the fortune of war denied the customary rites accorded to their comrades in death
Names of soldiers inscripted on the pillars
Another wall with names
On the way back, we stopped by a temple, the highlight of which is the image of a sitting Buddha crafted from a single piece of marble.
The Kaba Aye Pagoda was built by U Nu, one of the earlier prime ministers of Myanmar not long after her independence from the British in 1954 in dedication to the Sixth Buddhist Synod held from 1954-56. This 34 metres high pagoda also measures 34 meters around the base. Nearby is the Mahapasana Cave, a man-made cave built simultaneously with the Kaba Aye Pagoda to host the Sixth Buddhist Synod. Inside the assembly hall measuring 67m long and 140m wide, 2500 monks converged to recite, edit and approve all of the Buddhist scriptures. It is now still used for major Buddhist ceremonies and conferences, and examination and ordination of monks.
We then drove past the Sein Yaung Chi Pagoda, a pagoda made entirely of glass mosaic. The name Sein Yaung Chi means “reflection of diamond”.