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Sagaing Hill is regarded as the living centre of Buddhist faith in Myanmar. The hills and valleys are scattered with over 600 monasteries, temples, stupas and caves dedicated to Buddhism and it is home to over 5000 monks. (In 1988, Sagaing was the site of demonstrations which resulted in the massacre of around 300 civilians)


We visited the 14th century Sun-U-Ponnya-Shin Pagoda on the hilltop connected by a set of covered staircases that run up the 240 m hill. We then visited a nunnery.

We crossed the Inwa bridge over the River Irrawaddy and then took a small ferry boat to cross the smaller river Mytinge into Ava (Inwa). We travelled by horse and cart to the ruined city of Ava which was capital of Burma for 400 years.  We visited a workshop where they made the food bowls that are used by the monks to receive their morning donations of food.

We then visited the Bagaya Kyaung monastery built in 1834, entirely of teak wood. It has 267 gigantic teak wood posts, the biggest measuring 60 feet high and 9feet circumference. The 188 feet by 103 feet monastery represents ancient architecture and sculpture which is rarely seen in any other monastery of a later date.