Sagaing, U Bein Bridge and Mingun are only a short car drive from Mandalay. The pagoda-covered hills, bright temples and unique sights can be visited during a half- or full day trips.
It’s best to get a driver for the day, most hotels will organize someone who takes you to the places you want to see. The famous U Bein Bridge in Amarapura is usually crowded with tourists but nevertheless so beautiful at sunset. The longest teak bridge spreads over the Taungthaman lake to the picturesque village with the same name. There is the Kyauktawgyi pagoda with beautiful mural paintings at the entrances and monks playing soccer in the garden.
The many hills with the countless golden stupas right at the Ayeyarwaddy river make Sagaing a very special and sacred place. It’s the countries spiritual centre with many monasteries and monks living here. Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin pagoda is one of the oldest temples here, it sits on top of a hill and everything from the statues to the tiles is especially bright and colorful. The enchanted cave monastery Tilawkaguru is covered with magical, beautiful mural paintings showing the life of Buddha and old myths. You have to ask for the key at the Buddha Museum and someone will open the hidden, small door for you and show you around. Another very special place is a small, hidden teak monastery called Jo Su in the woods. There is no-one around except one monk and the carvings of mythological scenes and ancient gods are beautiful. In the village Mingun you can visit the unusual pagoda Hsinbyume Paya. It’s a pretty white painted round building with seven wave-like floors.