Having a boat trip to Mingun is a very pleasant way to see the real life of local people on the river. Besides, Mingun would have become the remain of what would have been the world's largest religious monument if it had still worked on.
Mingun is an ancient village located upstream of the Ayeyarwady river, about 11 km from Mandalay city to the North. There are four famous destinations in ancient Mingun village consisting of the pair of Chinthe statues, Mingun hanging bells, Pahtodawgyi stupas and Hsinbyume temple. These sightseeing attractions make Mingun an interesting place to visit.
The first famous spot to visit is Pahtodawgyi, the incomplete stupa. This stupa was built by King Bodawpaya in the wish of creating a temple with the architecture of the largest pyramid in the world. Unfortunately, when this building is under construction, he suddenly passed away and the construction had to stop permanently. Though the temple remains unfinished, visitors will still be stunned by the orange-colored building made of majestic and outstanding fired bricks. The four sides of the stupa are unevenly colored due to different exposure of the light. Though the entrance is quite small, it is spacious inside. In 183 this stupa was cracked due to an earthquake, but it was these cracks that gave the Pahtodawgyi stupa a mysterious touch.
The second attraction is the pair of giant Chinthe, mythical hybrid creature of lion and dragon statues. The statues located just off the banks of the Ayeyarwady River. Today when visiting Mingun ancient village, visitors can only see the body of this mascot duo because the heads had been destroyed by an earthquake. Their gigantic look will overwhelm visitors when they witness them in near distance.
Pair of giant Chinthe statues
The next famous place is Hsinbyume temple. The temple took its name from a queen, Hsinbyume. The uniqueness of this temple is it dazzling white color theme. This building was built in 1816 with the architecture model based on the Sulamani temple on the Meru mount with seven corridors surrounding the mountain. Tourists will fall in love with the beautiful, pure white and photogenic charm of this temple. According to Buddhist mythology, the lower part of the temple was built as a representative of the Meru mount and 7 concentric bells represent the seven mountain ranges that lead to Meru mount.
The forth place to pay a visit in Mingun is Mingun hanging bell. The bell location is not so far from the Pahtodawgyi stupa. The special thing of this bell is that it is the only intact bell hanging bell in the world after the big bell in Russia broke. That is why people in Mingun respect and protect it very strictly. Made in 1808 by King Bodawpaya, the bell is mainly used for worship purposes.
Tourists can travel to Mingun via Ayeyarwady river. From the west pier of Street no 26, there is a boat to Mingun at 9 am every morning. Tickets are purchased at the entrance of the pier with the price of 5000 Kyat / person, or 10000 Kyat to sit on the second floor. The return trip starts at 1 pm. It is best time to visit Mingun is from November to February when the weather is relatively manageable and not so hot or flooded by rains.