- The Road North - less-visited, a hidden gem
- See one of the largest bells in the world
Most visitors when staying in Mandalay will go south to explore the treasures of Bagan. Relatively few people sail north, which is a shame, given that the Sagaing region has many historic gems and beautiful landscapes of its own to share. This Mandalay gift experience takes you up the Irrawaddy river on a relaxing scenic cruise, past traditional fishermen’s communities up to the town of Mingun on the west bank. Here you’ll see the immense Pahtodawgyi, which had it been completed would have been the largest stupa in the world - but the king who commissioned it, Bodawpaya, was told by an astrologer he would die when the last stone was cast - so he left it unfinished.
The Mingun bell, cast for this stupa, was for long periods the largest, heaviest functioning bell in the world - it’s a truly impressive sight. Nearby, the brilliant white Myatheindan pagoda is one of the most strikingly unusual in Myanmar, well-known for the fearsome lion statues that guard its entrance, and the tragic story behind its construction. You’ll finish your tour of the area with a short cultural visit to a farming village, before cruising back to Mandalay, with the chance to see an epic sunset as you go.