Discovering the Legacy of Myanmar’s Royal Capitals

Day Return Mandalay Division Mandalay & Environs, Short & Sweet Day Tours

Tour Overview

On this full-day tour, you’ll have the chance to explore some of Myanmar’s former capitals. Over the course of the day, you’ll visit a handful of highlights from previous kingdoms, including Sagaing, Ava, and Amarapura. With a focus on ancient capitals, historical monuments, religious sites, traditional handicrafts, and local communities, this tour provides a glimpse into the rich and varied past of Mandalay. By the end of the tour, you’ll have gained a deeper appreciation for the historical significance of the region.

Travel itinerary

  • Travel Itinerary

    Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in the morning for a full-day excursion to Sagaing Hill, considered the religious center of Myanmar. After driving across the Irrawaddy River bridge, you’ll explore the area, which is home to 600 ivory-colored pagodas and monasteries housing approximately 5,000 monks and 3,000 nuns.

    Your first stop in Sagaing will be at the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, which is the oldest pagoda in the area, built in the early 14th century and the first temple to receive alms offerings. Next, you’ll visit the U Min Thonze Cave Pagoda, which features 30 caves and 45 large Buddha images arranged in a crescent row in the main hall.

    You’ll then head to the less-visited local market and find a variety of locally-made goods for sale, including pottery, silver, and other handicrafts. You will next go to a small pottery village that is well-known for producing water pots that are used all around Myanmar.

    Subsequently, you’ll embark on a 10-minute boat ride to reach the former Royal Capital Inwa, formerly known as Ava, which is situated on an island between the Ayeyarwady and the Myitnge Rivers. On a lovely horse-drawn carriage, you will go past the historic city walls and the little villages dotted throughout the ruins of Ava as you learn about the history of this ancient city.

    The majestic Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, also known as “Mae Nu Ok Kyaung,” which was gifted by Queen Me Nu and is lavishly decorated with brick and stucco, will then be your next stop. Thereafter, move to The Bagaya Monastery, which is entirely made of teak wood and rests on 267 enormous teak stilts, is home to beautiful wood carvings with floral themes, animals, and mythical beings.

    Coming up next, you’ll explore the Nan Myint Watchtower, the sole surviving 20m high structure in the old palace of King Bagyidaw and also known as the “learning tower of Ava.”

    In the afternoon, you’ll visit Amarapura, also known as the “City of Immortality,” and stop by a silk weaving workshop to view the famous “Achiek Longyi” which the people of Myanmar proudly wear at traditional rituals and weddings,  

    You’ll stroll down the fabled U Bein Bridge in the evening. It was constructed in 1782, when Amarapura was the royal focus of interest. The bridge, which stretches 1.2 kilometers across the small Taungthaman Lake, is reputed to be the world’s longest teakwood structure. You’ll encounter a special atmosphere as the sun sets in the late afternoon, where long shadows are cast and locals can be seen returning home, producing a lovely scene that’s well worth photographing.

    Finally, you will drive back to Mandalay where you can unwind and rest for the night.

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