Sagaing is the capital of Sagaing Region in Myanmar and located on the Irrawaddy River. Nowadays, Sagaing, with numerous Buddhist monasteries, is the most important religious and monastic hub of the area. About history, Sagaing, in the past was the capital of the Sagaing Kingdom (1315-1364) which ruled a part of the central area of Burma after the fall of Pagan dynasty. During the Ava period (1364-1555), the city was the common fief of the crown prince or senior princes.
The city briefly became the royal capital between 1760 and 1763 in the reign of King Naungdawgyi. There are many things you can do and visit in this place. Sagaing Hills may be the first name in your mind. You can hike up to the top of this 240m hills and enjoy the whole view of Sagaing with pagodas and great Irrawaddy River. There are many pagodas on the top; some significant names are U Min Thonze and Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda. Besides the hills, Buddhist pagodas are also the unignorable sites in Sagaing. Kaunghmudaw Pagoda is one of the must-see pagodas when you visit Sagaing.
This special and impressive pagoda was built in Sri Lanka style with the shape of an egg, or you may call onion and golden stupa. This stupa was built by King Thalun in 1636-1648 to commemorate the re-establishment of Inwa as the Shan capital. The temple is particularly prominent as there are a number of Buddhist relics including reputedly part of Buddha’s tooth and an emerald bowl. The ritual hit ‘holy umbrella’ on top of the stupa is also well-known. There are 802 stone pillars around the Pagoda plus 120 ‘nat’ and ‘deva’ spirit images placed around the circumference of the stupa. The stupa is 46m high and has a 271 meter circumference, and 10,126,552 bricks are meant to have been used in the construction of the vast stupa.
There is also a large white marble seated Buddha in a hollowed out base to the Pagoda. The third place in Sagaing that you must visit is the Inwa Bridge. This 1-kilometer-long bridge, also known as the Old Ava Bridge, was built in 1934 by the British to connect Inwa to Sagaing. It was used to be the longest bridge in Burma until the Thanlyin Bridge accomplished in 1993. Walking on the bridge and enjoy the beauty of Irrawaddy River and its dolphins, as well as feeling the cool wind and seeing the blue of the sky are also great way to discover Sagaing. About the eating places in Sagaing, there are some famous names.
The first is Win Guest House, a nice and clean place with acceptable prices. Following is the Irrawaddy Guest House, a place that similar to Win Guest. If you want a better hotel with perfect services and sightseeing, let move outside to Mandalay where you can live in luxurious hotels such as Hotel in the Red Canal – a cute place in Mandalay with incredible sightseeing (50 pounds per night), Mandalay City Hotel – rooms are goods and the staffs are very excellent and friendly (more than 23 pounds per night) and Sedona Hotel Mandalay – perfect services, staff, foods and sightseeing but the prices is quite expensive but still worth paying.