Chaukhtatgyi Paya, with its 65-meter-long reclining Buddha, is not only a must-see, its sheer size and rich details make it one of the most memorable stops in all of Yangon. The Buddha’s bright white face hovers some 16 meters above the ground and is decorated with brilliant red lips and bright blue eye shadow. Its golden robes drape down to the statue’s feet, which are covered in 108 intricately designed lakshanas representing each of the noble characteristics of the Buddha. Travelers can witness local monks from nearby monasteries honoring Buddha’s teachings as they wander the grounds, thick with the scent of burning incense and fresh flowers.
Since 1926 this city heritage site known for its rare antiques, old coins, Burmese jade and black market moneychangers has been a destination for locals and travelers alike. The halls of this crowded labyrinth are lined with bustling stalls where local artists sell traditional handicrafts, handmade clothes and hearty regional dishes.
Bogyoke Aung San Market has one of the largest selections of traditional longyi and gemstones, and since the first sale of the day is considered good luck, those who arrive early are likely to get some of the best prices. Travelers can watch jade being fashioned into earrings or bracelets and see clothes being stitched by hand on the second floor of Bogyoke.
Visitors looking to escape the intensity of the market and the sounds of the city can stop into the nearby Holy Trinity Cathedral for some peace and quiet contemplation.
About 11 kilometers south of Mandalay, just between the Taungthaman Lake and the Ayeyarwady River, lays the small town of Amarapura, another former capital of the old Burmese kingdom. Apart from pagodas and the ruins of the ancient palace, the city offers one of Myanmar’s most photographed sights: the narrow, 1,200-meter-long U Bein bridge, which made entirely out of teak wood. The gangly looking bridge was built in 1784, but is still in mint condition and never needed any serious repairs. It was named after its founder, a former mayor, and was built from over 1,000 teak logs, partially even with the ruins of the abandoned royal city. Thus, for its incredible length spanning the lake, the U Bein bridge is recognized as the longest teak wood bridge in the world. Sunsets are especially popular, as the setting sun creates a beautiful silhouette of the bridge, photos of which adorn many a living room at home.
Bezienswaardigheden in de omgeving van Myanmar
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