After a busy day walking all over Mandalay, we decided to have a more relaxing day, with a bit less walking. We arranged with a tuk tuk driver to drive us to Mingun and back. Mingun is a small town about one and a half hours outside of Mandalay, on the opposing bank of the Irrawaddy River. Mingun is famous for it’s cracked pagoda, lion statues and white pagoda (Hsinbyume). We paid the driver 30,000 Kyat, which is roughly 30 US dollars for the return trip (and to wait while we visited Mingun).
We went down to breakfast at our hotel around 8am, where we decided that a Mingun day trip would be the order of the day. After a quick breakfast we headed out to negotiate a ride to Mingun. I had heard that the day rate for a tuk tuk was around 30,000 kyat. The tuk tuk driver we spoke to gave us this rate (all the tuk tuk drivers we encountered on our trip to Myanmar were very honest, and never once tried to over quote prices. Yet another reason why the people of Myanmar are so amazing).
The journey took about an hour and a half each way, but honestly the tuk tuk ride itself was the highlight of the trip for me, considering that we had walked so much on the previous two days in Mandalay.
The tuk tuk driver drove through little villages and along the coast of the Irrawaddy River. It was amazing!
Upon arrival in U Mingun we were instructed to pay 5000 kyat each to enter all the sites.
First we visited the two giant (most destroyed by the earthquake) lion statues. They were HUGE, and would have easily been three stories tall if they were in one piece.
We then walked to the Mingun Paya or Cracked Pagoda. This Paya was meant to be the biggest pagoda ever, but the king was told by a fortune teller that if he finished the pagoda he would die, so the pagoda remains unfinished.
We climbed the stairs and admired the view of the flat landscapes. From here we walked to the Hsinbyume White Pagoda…..