Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Myanmar/Vietnam Vacation: Mingun

Floyd and I enjoyed a wonderful vacation in Myanmar and Vietnam over Christmas break! Scroll to the bottom for links to blog posts about other parts of the trip.

Here are some of our memories from the area of Mingun, about an hour's boat ride upriver from Mandalay.

From Mandalay, we took a boat an hour or so upstream to Mingun (or Min Gun), on the opposite bank. Just boarding the boat was an adventure!

This is a huge stupa (temple with no inside - it's solid) begun in 1790 and never completed. Supposedly, an astrologer told the king who commissioned it that when it was finished, the king would die, so he halted construction. The cracks were caused by a huge earthquake in 1839.
Don't be fooled by the fake door on the front. This structure has no inside - it's solid all the way through, except for a tiny shrine in the front.
We climbed up to the top - lots of steps, and (as at all stupas and temples in Myanmar) we had to go barefoot. We found most of them to be quite clean, but sadly, this one had trash all around. Walking barefoot there felt quite gross!

The view from the top.

Near the unfinished stupa is a gigantic, famous bell.
The Mingun Bell is the second-largest bell in the world, and the largest bell that actually rings.

Random locals kept asking to get their pictures taken with us!
These ox carts were all over Mingun, taking tourists around.

Across from the huge unfinished stupa are the remains of two giant lions built to guard it. They didn't look very lion-like to us, but then, they both lost their heads (which rolled into the nearby Irrawaddy River) in the earthquake.
Another of the lions.

Want to see more memories from our trip? Click on the links below!

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