A full day’s exploarion of the former capitals – Ava, Sagaing and Amarapura.
You start (as early as you comfortable) by crossing 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 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centres and you will visit pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae.
We’ll also visit Sagaing’s local market, a typical Burmese market that few tourists visit. We will also stop at a small pottery village to see the process of making the ubiquitous water pots found throughout Myanmar.
Then continue south of the city to Ava, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries, where a short ferry ride will take us across the river to where a horse and carriage are waiting. 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 as you travel by horse and cart you’ll get a glimpse of local life in the Burmese countryside. We’ll stop for lunch in Ava before returning to our car.
Return toward the city and stop at Amarapura, a former capital whose name means ‘City of Immortality’. First visit a silk weaving workshop. After touring this tranquil site, continue to picturesque and famous U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak bridge. The bridge was constructed of 984 teak posts that were once part of the deserted Inwa Palace and it is 1.2 kilometers in length making it the world’s longest teak span.
Return to Mandalay in the late afternoon.