“What do these figures of spirits, dragons, and ogres represent?” "What these mythical figures mean to us Myanmar Buddhists?" They are not just figures created by primitive imagination, nor are they pagan idols of the ancient days. They are as real and alive as any human being. They are part of our daily life. We not only see them as static things on the pagoda platforms but also on the stage, singing, dancing, and very much involved in the drama of human life.
Its geographical features are varied and striking; ranges of mountains running north to south, a vast plateau, extensive river systems, and a large delta. A forest cover on half the land is a great help, weather-wise. From October to February is generally recommended as the best time to visit the country. But major attractions of Bagan and Mandalay lying in Central Myanmar with scanty rain, foreign tourists can come here the whole year-round, and they do.
Pagodas are not merely places of religious worship and rituals; for that matter, ritual worship has no place in Buddhist teaching. It is the human need to express devotion to and adoration of the Buddha and his teaching that manifests itself in the act of building pagodas and in making ceremonial offerings before the shrines. Pagodas are also centers of social activities. They are places for communal alms-giving at proper seasons, people contributing in cash or in kind.