Central Myanmar

Central Myanmar is the "dry zone" of the country.

The flat land in central Myanmar is not particularly human friendly. The problem is the water although there is more than enough water because the wide Irrawaddy river runs through the plain it is not used.

All old cities where the Myanmar kings of the past ruled are in this area. It extends from roughly Pyu in the south to Shwebo in the north and in between are Bagan Amarapura / Innwa Mandalay Mingun Sagaing and more.

Some of the best tourism sightseeing spots in Myanmar are there too such as Monywa with the Thambuddhe temple plus the Phowintaung cave pagodas west of Mandalay and Pin Oo Lwin east of Mandalay plus further east is the famous Inle Lake and Taunggyi the Shan State Capital with a rich culture. Actually according to ethnic research Shan are of the same Chinese tribe from the area of Yunnan as the Thai.

There are two main focusing points in central Myanmar, first is Bagan the old pagoda and temple city of Myanmar which is the biggest tourist magnet in the country. The second focus is on Mandalay, a city built just before the British took over Myanmar or Burma.

Today Mandalay is the center by any means, except government, of central and northern Myanmar. Since several years now Mandalay receives lots of Chinese migrants who started to flee China after the last natural disasters a few years ago. Already more than two millions of Chinese settled in the Mandalay area until 2009 and there is a steady stream of new immigrants.

It somehow remembers to the tin boom times in Malaysia and Thailand when Chinese workers came by the thousands to work in the tin mines, after they settled in the area. This was mainly Phuket in Thailand, Kuala Lumpur Chinatown and Penang Georgetown.

Around Mandalay

Mandalay is the last city in Myanmar where king ruled. King Thibaw of the Konbaung dynasty was the last King before the

British annexation in 1885. Today Mandalay it is the hub and center of Central and Northern  Myanmar plus culture and communication. 

Mandalay is famous for significant Myanmar monasteries, pagodas, temples, handicraft, art etc. just name it and also for the palace where the last two Myanmar Kings resided, King Mindon and King Thibaw.

The panoramic view of Mandalay shows pagoda-studded landscape, the grand royal palace, to the east are the blue ridge of the Shan plateau, the life line of Myanmar, the Irrawaddy or Ayeyarwady river is to the west and separates Mandalay from the great pagoda county of Sagaing and Mingun with such fabulous and notable towns like Amarapura and Monywa famed for Myanmar arts and crafts and pagodas and temples.

U Min Thonzeh Pagoda at Sagaing, overlooking the mighty Irrawaddy or Ayeyarwady River.

Pagoda picture above (outside) and right (inside). Min means caves; and Thonzeh means thirty. This pagoda comprises of 45 gilded Buddha statues in a crescent-shaped 30 colonnade on the side of the Sagaing Hill.

The entrances and the archways of the U Min Thonzeh Pagoda are decorated with fine stuccowork with the figures of spirits and mythological beings. The view from the high pinnacle of this pagoda is splendid and resplendent.

The Soon U Ponnya Shin Pagoda at Sagaing, overlooking the Irrawaddy or Ayeyarwady river was built after a donation from Sage U Ponnya.
If you go a little along up the Sagaing Hills, you will reach this pagoda on the apex of a hill and the whole panorama over Mandalay and Amarapura with the blue Shan Plateau in the distance is visible. The Soon U Ponnya Shin Pagoda at Sagaing was constructed in 1312, reaching the height of 29.3 m with a hti (umbrella) of 7.8 m. The donation box in front of the image is made in the form of a bronze frog on wheels.