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This is a destination you get to by boat. A 1 hour trip will take you 11 km to Mingun. One of those destinations where the joy of travel is as much in the getting there is as in the destination itself. Here there is a partially completed gigantic Paya (pagoda, temple) and the Mingun Bell

Mingun PagodaMingun Pagoda with Hsinbyume Paya in front_thumb

The building started in about 1791 but was never completed due to the death of the building king 30 years later in 1820. If completed it would have measured 500 feet but only managed to get to 162 feet. It was damaged in an 1838 earthquake. You can walk about and on this structure.

South of Mingun Pagoda is a 5m model of what the pagoda was supposed to look like, when finished.

After descending Mingun Paya, if you walk a short distance north you will find the ornate circular white temple known as Hsinbyume Paya,

Hsinbyume or Myatheindan PagodaHsinbyume Pagoda_thumb

Built in 1816, three this was a memorial to the Hsinbyume princess. Seven wavy terraces around the pagoda represent the seven mountains around the mythical Mount Meru. This pagoda was badly damaged in the 1838 earthquake but was restored it in 1874. Because it is very white it can be very hot here with the reflected light, so you may need a drinks stop after the visit.

Mingun BellMingun Bell_thumb

As is appropriate with a giant sized temple a giant sized bronze bell was cast. Weighing 90 tonnes it is the world’s largest uncracked bell. The bell supports were damaged in the 1838 earthquake so it was moved to a riverside shrine.

Getting to Mingun

Government run boats depart at 9am each morning and return at 1pm

Privately hired boats are also possible and expect to pay about $20 for the day’s trip. There is a vigorous trade in boats down by the water’s edge so you should have no problem with choice of boat.

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