Places to Visit in
Amarapura used to be the site of an old Myanmar Palace at the beginning of
the 18th Century. Traditional silk weaving, the U Bein Teakwood bridge and
Mahaghandayone Monastery (famous for following the real Buddha’s
discipline) are situated in this area.
U BEIN TEAK-BRIDGE
U Bein Bridge is about 200 years old, about 1 km long and built from teak,
being the longest teak bridge in the world. Toddy palm plantations and
toddy palm juice production can be seen after walking past the other
end of the bridge. Still further, ruined Stupas can be seen as well as the cozy Taungtamum village.
INWA (AVA) TOWN
Inwa (Ava) town used to be the most important dynasty in Myanmar
History. Bagayar teak monastery, Mae Nu Brick monastery and palace
tower are attractive places. You may do sightseeing in Ava by
pony-cart. Missionary Dr. Adniram Judson was jailed in Ava 150 years
After crossing the 1.5 km long Sagaing Bridge over the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy),
built by the British before the 2nd World War, you will reach Sagaing.
Sagaing hill is famous for clergymen who want retreat. Being an old
dynasty town, visitors will see hundreds of old Stupas. Silversmith
workshops in Ywa Htaung village are also well reputed. Kaung Hmu Daw
Pagoda outside of Sagaing towards Monywa is reputed for its festival in
November or December. The exact date is based on the lunar calendar.
Mingun Stupa was initiated by King Bodawpaya but never finished,
although the construction went on for 20 years. You can imagine the sheer size of the
project, when knowing that building was stopped at a height
of around 60 meters, whereas it was planned to be around 150 meters.
It partly cracked during an earthquake around 70 years ago. If you are
not afraid of heights, you may climb the steep stairs.
Besides the Stupa is Mingun Bell, 200 years old and weighing 90 tons,
the biggest ringing bronze bell in the world. There is also
Myatheindan Stupa, depicting the Buddhist concept of cosmology.
AYEYARWADY (IRRAWADDY) RIVER
All former Kingdoms were built along Ayeyarwady. The river is the
life-line of the whole Myanmar people since ever. Many villages along
the river still today can only be reached by boat. The mighty
Ayeyarwady provides “fresh” water and transport means. The many
sandbanks and islands in it make navigation somewhat difficult for
larger boats towards the end of the dry season.
You can do luxurious river cruises or go by ordinary passenger boats
or go by charter boat
as the best way to observe people living on the banks.