Located in the center of Burma, Amarapura is considered to be the country’s ultimate capital, although it had held this role for over 70 years. In 1857, King Mindon took the decision to dismantle most of the palaces of the city and went back to Mandalay.
Today, Amarapura is a peripheral city of Mandalay, located on the shores of a large lake named after an ogre who had gone a so long journey to find the Buddha in the past.
1. How to come to Amarapura and stay there.
Being 11km far from Mandalay, it will be easy to include a day in Amarapura during your tour in Burma. Generally, a one-day drive to Amarapura, Sagaing and Inwa will start from your hotel at 9:00 am and end at 5:00 pm. If you wish, you can choose to visit only Ammarapura in half a day.
By public transport: The starting point is near the Zegyo market in Mandalay. The journey is very cheap (about 0.25 USD).
By motorcycle: You can rent a motorbike or a scooter for yourself for about 15 USD per day.
To move to Amarapura, we recommend the motorcycle (if you rented one to go there) or bike. This is the best way to enjoy the city and its scenery.
2. What to visit, what to do in Amarapura?
Technically, you will need a ticket for the Archeological Zone of Mandalay (10USD per person) to visit Amarapura, but travelers are rarely checked.
The Monastery of Mahagandayon is one of the largest monastic institutions in the country. Every day, 1000 monks living at the monastery go out in procession at 10:00 to receive their lunch. This is considered an honor for the Buddhists.
The monastery is vast, and you will be free to explore it. Educational and prayer rooms, residential areas and kitchens are also opened.
In Amarapura you will also find historical and religious buildings demonstrating the glorious past of the city. Visiting Kyauktawgyi Paya Pagoda, Werawsana Jade Pagoda or the ruins of the Royal Palace is certainly an unforgettable experience.
U-Bein Bridge is one of the most must-see sites in Amarapura. It is the longest teak–made bridge in the world, which was built in 1849. The bridge has a curved shape to withstand the force of the wind. The majority of the bridge is still original. If you choose to go the bridge at sunset, you will be enchanted by the tranquil atmosphere and the bucolic landscape surrounding mountains.
During your trip to Burma, be sure to spend a day in Amarapura. The city has witnessed the greatness of its glorious past. Moreover, the U-Bein Bridge is certainly one of the most emblematic places of Burma.