You need to see these 5 attractions around Mandalay

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Mingun

Why: The massive, unfinished Paya project impresses

Description: Mingun is on the opposite side of Mandalay at the Ayarwaddy river and you’ll most likely cruise there with the tourist ferry. The trip on the river is nice too. King Bodawpaya wanted to build the biggest Paya ever here, but after his death it was not finished. You’ll also find the Mingun bell here, that would have been part of the Paya. It’s the second largest bell in the world after one in Moscow and was cast in 1808. Further up the road you find the completely white Hsinbyume Paya.

mingun-paya 100 1997

mingun-bell 100 1967

mingun-hsinbyume-paya 100 1972

mingun-paya-stupa-chinthe 100 1955

Sagaing Hill

Why: You can enjoy beautiful views from up here and visit a nicely done Paya

Description: Climb up the Soon Oo Pinnya Shin Paya and enjoy the views from there. The shrines and the stupa up here are nicely done. The stupa was originally built in 1312. The other attraction I wanted to see, the Tilawkaguru cave, has been closed by the government according to my guide. You can visit more Payas and the hilltop itself if you want to spend more time in Sagaing.

sagaing soon-oo-ponnya-shin-pagoda-100 1851

sagaing soon-oo-ponnya-shin-pagoda-100 1856

sagaing soon-oo-ponnya-shin-pagoda-100 1836

Amarapura, U Bein bridge

Why: It’s long bridge made from Teak and lovely for sunrise pictures

Description: I was there during rainy season, so the water levels were high and the sky was cloudy, but it’s still an impressive sight. I guess it was built as a short-cut to cross the Taungthaman Lake.

amarapura-bein-u-bridge 100 1872

amarapura-bein-u-bridge 100 1908

Amarapura, Kyauk Taw Gyi Paya

Why: A nice sight close to U Bein Bridge

Description: The Paya was built in 1847 and is completely in white like a few other Payas in the Mandalay area.

kyauk-taw-gyi-pagoda 100 1926

Inn Wa

Why: Used to be the capital of Burma for a long time

Description: Inn Wa served as the Burmese capital many times. You can have a look at a teak monastery, some Payas and the former city walls there. Rent an ox cart to avoid walking around in the heat yourself. You have to pay the 10 USD Mandalay and around combo fee, the ferry and the ox-cart-driver to see Inn Wa.

How to get there for all outside Mandalay attractions

Rent a motorbike guide for 15’000 Kyat a day. My guide was Mr. Koko. He did quite a good job. Ask for him in front of Royal Guesthouse.

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