Amarapura, Myanmar (Burma)
A must-visit when you're in MandalayAmarapura is situated only 11km (6.8 mi) from Mandalay.
It was founded by King Bodawpaya in 1783, and was the capital of Myanmar twice, first from 1783 to 1821, and then from 1842 to 1859.
Nowadays, Amarapura is a township of Mandalay and has become one of the most visited places in Myanmar.
Some of the points of interest in Amarapura are: Mahagandhayon Monastery, U Bein Bridge, Bagaya Monastery and Amarapura Palace ruins.
Most people visit Amarapura at the end of the afternoon to see the sunset from U Bein Bridge, the longest and oldest teak wood bridge in the world, measuring 1.2 Km. But if you are expecting to take a classic picture of the Buddhist monks crossing the bridge with the sun setting in the background, the reality is that U Bein Bridge is very touristy and crowded, so if the weather is not excellent, I don’t think is worth going there during sunset.
Another increasingly popular Amarapura attraction is Mahagandhayon Monastery, especially during the monks’ lunch time (around 10 – 10:30). Seeing thousands of monks wearing burgundy robes lining up in complete silence to collect their food donations is very picturesque and if you like photography this is a good opportunity to take extraordinary pictures.
I really enjoyed visiting Amarapura, specially in the morning to see the monks.