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Mandalay

6 bytes removed, 04:01, 31 March 2013
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*<do name="Mingun" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The boat to the village of Mingun departs at 9am and returns at 1pm (5000 kyat round trip). It takes about one hour there and 45 minutes back, giving you three hours to explore. You can climb the Mingun Paya for views of the village and across the river - its best to do this before it gets too hot. You are technically supposed to purchase the $3 Mingun/Amarapura ticket (going to the government) but tickets are only checked (sometimes) on the stairs to the top - make it look like you have bought a ticket by loitering in front of the ticket office to the right of the stairs. Or just start climbing and see if they check you (though if you come straight to the stairs from the boat they probably will). Other sites include the world's largest uncracked bell and Hsinbyume Paya, the white pagoda you can see from the top of Mingun Paya. </do>
*<do name="'''Tour Innwa" ''' Hotels are hooked up to motorcycle drivers serving as tour drivers for trips to Innwa or Ava south of U-Pein bridge. This is a 3-hour trip. The driver delivers you to the boat landing where another small river crossing (estuary of Ayeyarwaddy) to the island of Ava awaits. The rustic island of Ava meets unsuspecting tourists by horse cart drivers who will bring you to a package tour of three four destinations (shown on the tarpaulin signage) - Yadan Sinme pagoda, Nanmyin Watch Tower, Bagaya Monastery, & Maha Aung Mye Bon Zan Monastery - all antiquated, quaint, and beautiful. They all have the rural and abandoned feel matched by the bucolic countryside. Just don't judge the book by its cover. The very primitive dusty earth landing, the horse dung everywhere, the bronze colored, disheveled drivers as first impression on the landing should not be a fear factor and is soothed up by well dressed tour guides leading caucasian and chinese looking tourists. </do>
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