Mingun pagoda in Myanmar took my breath away when we arrived. I couldn’t believe how big it was….and what you see now isn’t even the finished product. Started at the end of the 18th century by King Bodawpayalt, it was meant to be the largest stupa in the world but it was never finished, due to various factors including a prophecy that stated once the pagoda was finished it would be the end of the Kingdom! It has been ravaged by earthquakes which have created massive craters and cracks across it, yet it still stands.
At the time of our visit there was a sign telling you not to climb it as its dangerous – not that it put anyone off! To get to the top we had to ascend a lot of steps up through the cracks. It could get quite tricky when we hit crowds of people coming up and down! As with all of these sites, we had to remove our shoes, so we had to tackle the climb barefoot!
Once we reached the top though, the climb was definitely worth it. We could see for miles in every direction. It’s very high and I must admit a bit of vertigo kicked in for me, so I didn’t really move from the spot where I took the photos below! My partner on the other hand was shown around by some locals – which included a lot of scrambling over rocks and crevices!
From the site of Hsinbyume Pagoda which you can see in the picture above (the gleaming white pagoda – you really needed your shades for that one!), you get a different perspective on the size of the Mingun Pahtodawgyi pagoda.
Built for the top of the stupa is a bronze cast bell of similarly massive proportions (it weighs about 90 tons), which is located nearby.
To get to the site required a slow boat trip down the Irrawaddy River, it took about 45 mins – 1 hour and was a lovely journey. We didn’t book tickets but turned up at the jetty and sorted it all out there without any trouble. We had a little wait but that was fine, it gave us a chance to watch the world go by on the river.
On arrival at Mingun, we had to pay an entrance fee but then we were left to our own devices to explore the various sites. It was fairly easy to walk around them all (it was definitely a necessity to have some water with us though!) but if we weren’t feeling energetic, there were taxi options:
We opted to walk but I’m sure a ride in a taxi bullock would have been lots of fun!
I really enjoyed our trip to Mingun, there was plenty to see and I would highly recommend it!
Daily Post Photo Challenge – Scale