The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis visits the spectacular ruined temple of Mingun Paya, Burma

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jul• 01•10

The mammoth temple of Mingun Paya. Chances are you’ll have the whole place to yourself.

Tour Mingun Paya! When you’re in Burma, the massive, ruined temple of Mingun Paya is not to be missed, and WoWasis visitors will discover that the river trip from Mandalay is just as rewarding as the visit to the huge structure itself.  Built by thousands of slave laborers commencing in 1790, work was halted in 1819 upon the death of King Bodawpaya. In 1838, an earthquake destroyed large portions of what many scholars believe to be the largest brick edifice ever built.  Huge cracks run down its sides, but you can climb to the top (barefoot, as it’s a Buddhist shrine) for a wonderful view of the river and surrounding area.   Although relatively easy to get to, there are relatively few visitors, so you may experience Mingun’s atmosphere all by yourself.

After descending Mingun Paya, you’ll want to walk a few meters north to the seven-terraced, circular white temple known as Hsinbyume Paya, with its monsters, niches, and shrines.  South of Mingun Paya, don’t miss Pondaw Paya, a five meter-high working model of what Mingun Paya was supposed to look like, when finished. 

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in the area, before you catch your boat back to Mandalay. You can even get a haircut in one of the shops.

To get there, take the boat from Mandalay, as there is no road to Mingun. The landing is at the western end of 26th Street, and leaves every day at 9 am. The trip takes 1-2 hours, depending on river conditions.  The boat will leave again from Mingun at 1 pm, and if you miss it, you’ll have to charter a boat back, as Mingun has no hotels. To be assured of a ticket, ask if you can purchase one at your hotel the day prior to departure. Tour Mingun Paya from Mandalay!

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