Monday, September 16, 2013

Amarapura - the City of Immortality, U Bein Bridge, Inwa and Sagaing

See the locations on Mandalay Inwa and Sagaing Google Map

Amarapura comes from Pali, it means "City of Immortality". During the Konboung period (1783-1821 and 1842-1859) it was twice the capital of Myanmar. But then Amapura got victim of mortality: In February 1857 King Mindon began building Mandalay as his new capital, 11 km north of Amarapura. He reused material from Amarapura. The palace buildings were dismantled and moved by elephants to the new location, and the city walls were pulled down. Therefore Amapura today is a township of Mandalay, known for silk and cotton weaving and bronze casting.

But Amapura is also famous for the U Bein Bridge: A 1.2 km long wooden footbridge, the longest teak bridge in the world. It spans the Taungthaman Lake. The bridge on 1086 pillars was built from wood reclaimed from the former royal palace in Inwa. Read: 1000 Amazing Places: U Bein Bridge.

Picture by Greg Walters

Picture by imke.stahlmann
U Bein Bridge

Picture by patrikmloeff

Picture by Andurinha
View from U Bein Bridge

Picture by imke.stahlmann
Wedding on U Bein Bridge

Picture by Mark Abel
U Bein Bridge before 6 am.

Picture by llee_wu
Sunset at U Bein Bridge.

Picture by Stephan Rebernik
Just a moment on U Bein Bridge

Picture by marhas

Kyauktawgyi Pagoda:

Picture by Antoine 49

Picture by Trevor Mills

Picture by Mat Maessen

Picture by Anzoine 49

Picture by Antoine 49

Picture by marhas

Inwa: Formerly Ava, the capital of the Kingdom of Ava. Foundet 1364 here Mjitnge River joins Ayeyarwady River. 1783 King Bodawpaya transfered the capital to Amarapura and let Ava distroy. 1821 his grandson Bagyidaw returned and reconstructed Ava. But in 1841 an earthquake destroyed the city and Amarapura became the capital again. The zigzagged outer walls of Ava are popularly thought to outline the figure of a seated lion.

Bagaya Kyaung: A wooden monastery founded in 1834 by King Mindon, in Innwa.

Picture by Thomas Z H Zhu

Picture by gorbulas_sandybanks

Picture by gorbulas_sandybanks

Picture by gorbulas_sandybanks

Picture by Matt Werner

Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery: Built in 1818. See picture on

Picture by brussels100

Picture by Anandajoti
The basement

Besides Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery you discover Htilaingshin Paya, a recently restored group of stupas dating back several centuries, some to the Bagan period. See picture by samthetax and ceka01 and viedeo by hotshotmonkey.

Picture by gorbulas_sandybanks

Picture by scotted400
Lilyponds in Inwa

Nanmyin Watchtower: A leaning tower. See picture by Dexters Lab.

Picture by antwerpeneR

Yedanasini Paya:

Picture by chenevier

Chinese Joss House - Kuan Yin Temple: The temple was founded in the 18th century. The original temple was destroyed by firein 1810. What you see today dates from 1847. Pictures by John Meckley.

Kyauksein (Jade) Pagoda: The pagoda made entirely of jade is nearing completion. It includes more than 10000 tonnes of the gemstone and is being built at the junction of Ygn-Mdy Expressway and Sagaing-Myitnge Road at an estimated cost of US$ 10.3 million, reports Myanmar Times. The donator Soe Naing plans to donate the pagoda to the government, reported Eleven.


Picture by brussels100
View of Sagaing across Ayeyarwady River

Picture by Anthony Tong Lee
Sagaing Hill

Umin Thounzeh Phaya:

Picture by Tianyake

Picture by Tianyake

Soon U Ponya Shin Phaya:

Picture by Tianyake

Picture by Tianyake

Picture by Tianyake

Kaung Hmu Daw Pagoda: Outstanding this pagoda with egg-shaped design. It has been modeled after the Ruwanwelisaya pagoda of Sri Lanka. The stupa's formal name is Yaza Mani Sula. This signifies Buddhist relics inside its relic chamber. It is said to contain the lower left tooth of the Buddha and 11 hair relics. The construction started in 1636 and was finished in 1648. The dome houses a seated 7.3 meter-high Buddha statute, carved out of white marble. The lowest terrace of the pagoda is decorated with 120 nats and devas. It is ringed by 802 stone lanterns, carved with inscriptions of Buddha's life in three languages: Burmese, Mon and Shan Yuan, representing the three main regions of Toungoo Kingdom.

Picture by dany13

Read more:
Mandalay Impressions
Mandalay Hotel Picks: Reviews by guests
Mandalay Restaurant Picks: Reviews by guests
Get around in Mandalay by Taxi
River Cruises from Mandalay to Bagan and Mingun
From Mandakay by train to Gokteik and one of the longest viaducts of the world across a canyon

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mandalay Hotel and Guesthouse Picks

See the locations on Mandalay Hotels and Guesthouses Google Map

Ayeyarwaddy Riverview Hotel: "Try hard to get a high river view room and avoid the all night music / loudspeaker chanting coming from a nearby temple", recommends one reviewer on Rooftop terrace. Noise from the riverfront and a road, beside this a good hotel.

Great Wall Hotel: From 70 USD. 78th Street, between 42th and Theinpan Street. Noisy, as highway leading into Mandalay is in front of the hotel, but rooms at the back are quiet. Mixed reviews on

Hotel by the Red Canal: No. 417 Corner of 63 & 22 streets. Restaurant with Indian food. 1500 meters away from the main entrance of Mandalay's Palace. Very good breakfast according to reviews on

Picture by travfotos

Hotel 76: 434, 76th Street, between 32nd and 33rd Street. See picture by Nay Minn Nyi.

Hotel Mandalay:

Picture by isrya

Hotel Yadanarbon: A new hotel with very good reviews on, very attentive staff. Rooms on first floor with street view can be noisy. ATM inside the hotel.

Mandalay City Hotel: 26th Street, Between 82nd and 83rd Street. Set back from the busy street. Quiet, small rooms. No elevator. Ask for floor two: not to many stairs and more calm than floor one. With a small swimming pool. Central location near Zay Cho Market. Good reviews on

Mandalay Hill Resort: 9, Kwin 416.B, 10th Street, at the foot of Mandalay Hill. Rooms with hill and Palace views, good breakfast, very good reviews on

Picture by antwerpenR

Picture by druidabruxux

Mann Myanmar Inn: 27th Street, between 65th and 66th Street. Average according to reviews on

Picture by marhas

Nylon Hotel:

Picture by -AX-

Peacock Lodge: From 27 USD. 5, 61st Street, Mandalay. Just five guestrooms, some with view of lily pond at the back. Restaurant with Burmese and Bamar dishes. Bicycles to rent. Tipp: Let them organize you a driver for your city tour. A lot of good reviews on See pictures on

Picture by Peacock Lodge

Hotel Queen Mandalay: No.456, 81th Street, between 32th and 33th Street. See their Facebook Page. View from Queen Hotel by Anuar T.

Royal Guesthouse: No. 41 25th Street, between 82th and 83th streets. Average according to reviews on See room picture by rheanna2 and room picture by Round W Go.

Rupar Mandalar Resort: No. A-15, Corner of 53rd & 30th Street. On the outskirts of Mandalay. Two pools. See pool-picture on

Sedona Mandalay: In front of Mandalay Palace. Excellent breakfast buffet and swimming pool. Excellent reviews on See view from Sedona Hotel.

Picture by marhas

Picture by toyohara

Shwe Inngyinn Hotel: Corner of 30th Street and 78 Street. Quite good reviews on See picture by KyawThu Tun.

Silver Swan Hotel: 400 83th Street, between 32th and 33th Street. In the rooms on the street side you may be disturbed by street noise, as you can read on See view from the hotel by Afsaal.

Unity Hotel: Corner of 27th Street and 82th Street. Mixed reviews on See picture by Fumitaka Asano.

Universe Hotel: 215, 83th Street, between 27th and 28th Street. Mixed reviews on See picture by Fumitaka Asano.

Yadanarpon Dynasty Hotel: From 87 USD. Rooms in main building and villas. With rooftop restaurant. Its easy to get taxis nearby in front of Sedona Hotel, also some restaurants in walking distance. Very good reviews on

Picture by marhas

Picture by marhas
Villas along the wlakway to the main building

Picture by marhas
Mandalay Hill seen from the rooftop restaurant

Zegyo Hotel: 84th Street, between 27th and 28th Street. You can book a rooftop bungalow, but noise of the street and the market nearby is an issue in many reviews on See picture by Ronnie Sy Twu

Guesthouses in Mandalay:

Rich Queen Guesthouse: 30 USD. Number 52 87th Street, between 26th and 27th Streets. Quite new, clean, helful staff according to reviews on

Yoe Yoe Lay Homestay: Between 35th and 36th and between 57th and 58th street. Dormitory-Rooms. Phone +95 9 44404 1944. You can do reservations by Facebook-Message. See pictures of the facilities. Excellent reviews for this hostel on The owners are said to be very helpful. But be aware that the house is small and full of beds and people, it's for travellers who want to socialize. Read more; Away with Lily.

Read more:
Mandalay Impressions
Get around in Mandalay by Taxi
Mandalay Restaurant Picks
Amarapura - the City of Immortality and U Bein Bridge: A day trip from Mandalay
River Cruises from Mandalay to Bagan and Mingun
From Mandakay by train to Gokteik and one of the longest viaducts of the world across a canyon

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Strolling in the streets of Bagan

Picture by Francisco Azola
Old Bagan street scene

Picture by killerturnip
Tharabar III: a small roadside eatery amongst a cluster of tea and food stalls just outside the Tharabar Gate. There are a couple of restaurants in this area that cater to tourists and tour groups, called Sarabha, and Sarabha II. Because of those two restaurants, the locals jokingly refer to this food stall as "Tharabar Three". Here you pick a curry or fried chicken, along with a plate of rice, some vegetables, a soup, and a few other small dishes of salads, relishes and condiments to complete your meal. A thermos of hot tea is always provided for free at each table.

Picture by llee_wu
Street market

Picture by Fabio Silva

Picture by Kaj Iversön

Picture by mikecogh
Old Bagan pier

Tipps for Bagan:
There are ATM accepting Visa Cards in Bagan (Nyaung-U), at KBZ Bank and Myanma Apex Bank, see the locations on Bagan Goohle Map.

Read more:
Bagan Impressions: Temples, Pagodas, Stupas and Ruins as far as your eyes are reaching
Where to sleep in Bagan
Mouthwatering Food in Bagan: Reviews of restaurants