MYANMAR BURMA - Destinations & Hotels
Mingun/Sagaing Hill/Ava/Amarapura - near Mandalay
Surrounding Mandalay you will find the remnants of four deserted past capitals each set up by former rulers but now abandoned and left in various states of repair. Depending on your time in the city a visit to at least two of these sites is highly recommended.
Situated approximately 11 km south of Mandalay, Amarapura is the ancient capital of the Konbaung Dynasty. Places of interest include the Patodawgyi Pagoda, silk and cotton weaving workshops and the U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest Teakwood Bridge (1208 meters long). Another of Amarapura’s treasures is Maha Gandayon Monastery which is currently home to more than 1000 monks.
Inwa lies 20 km south west of Mandalay. Founded by the Shan King Thadominbya in 1364, it remained the royal capital for almost 5 centuries. Visitors cross the river on a ferry and ride around the sites of Inwa in a horse-drawn pony cart. Highlights include the Nanmyint Watchtower, Bagaya Teak wood monastery, Htilaingshin Paya and a workshop making lacquer alms bowls for monks.
Mingun is 11 km upriver from Mandalay on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady River. It is noted for the Mingun Paya, a huge unfinished pagoda, Myatheindan Pagoda and a gigantic 90-ton bell - the largest uncracked ringing bell in the world. The 45 minute boat trip to Mingun is a very pleasant way to see the life along the Ayeyarwady River.
The ancient capital of Sagaing lies 21 km southwest of Mandalay on the west bank of the Ayeyarwady River. The Sagaing Hills offer famous religious retreats where monks and nuns go for study and meditation in over 400 monasteries. Nearby is Ywataung Village known for its silver craftsmen.