Day 05 – Mandalay excursion Sagaing – Ava - Amarapura
After breakfast early, depart for an excursion outside of Mandalay in the morning to explore the former capitals of Ava, Sagaing and Amarapura.
First, cross a bridge over the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing. Covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, Sagaing Hill is widely regarded as the religious centre of Myanmar. It is home to more than 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centers. Visit pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae.
Then, visit Sagaing’s local market, a typical Burmese market that few tourists visit. Here, one can find a range of items for sale including locally made pottery, silver and other handicrafts. We will also stop at a small pottery village to see various processes of making the ubiquitous water pots found throughout Myanmar.
Then continue south of the city to Ava, the Burmese capital from the 14th to 18th centuries, where a short ferry ride will head across the river to a waiting horse and carriage. While taking this charming form of transportation, visit the old wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort. There are many small villages located amid Ava’s ruins and, while traveling by horse and cart, get a glimpse of local life in the Burmese countryside.
Return toward the city and stop at Amarapura, a former capital whose name means ‘City of Immortality’. First visit a silk weaving workshop which produces exquisite handmade products. After touring this tranquil site, continue to U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200-year-old teak wood bridge. The bridge was constructed of 984 teak wood posts that were once part of the deserted Inwa Palace. At 1.2 kilometers in length, it’s the world’s longest teak wood construction. That’s not what the bridge is most famous for, though. As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, get ready for a truly unforgettable experience. The entire area becomes bathed in a vivid golden light. As traditionally-dressed locals pass over the bridge, be sure to snap some photos of the bridge’s iconic silhouette -widely considered to be one of Asia’s best photo opportunities. Afterwards, head back to the hotel in Mandalay.
Overnight in Mandalay.
Distances and journey time:
Mandalay-Sagaing (21 km): 50 minutes