Mandalay's Royal Capitals
A thrilling and fascinating tour taking in a trio of Burmese royal capitals, Ava, Sagaing and Amarapura. Across the Irrawaddy River is Sagaing, covered with 600 white-painted pagodas and monasteries, and as a religious centre of Myanmar, it is home to 3,000 monks and 100 meditation centres. Here you’ll get to explore pagodas such as Swan Oo Pon Nya Shin and U Min Thone Sae. The nearby local market is full of locally-produced pottery and silver handicrafts. Visit Ava, too, the capital from 14th to 18th centuries, by horse cart, discovering small villages, the wooden Bagaya Monastery and the remains of the Royal Palace and Fort. Amarapura, different again, has a fabulous silk weaving workshop, and is the jumping off point for U Bein Bridge. A walk along this fabled 200 year-old teak bridge, brings to life the 984 teak posts that were once part of the deserted Inwa Palace. It also offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.