magnificent temple ruins are of course those at Bagan
(Pagan), the country's No 1 tourist attraction and for
decades the most popular photo subject for tour brochures
and posters. Nearby Salay boasts a little-known set of ruins
from the same period, easily visited as a day trip from
Nearly as impressive in form and style, if not in number of
ruins, are the massive Mrauk U (Myohaung) temples near
Sittwe (Akyab) in the Rakhaing (Arakan) State, which so far
have seen few tourists. In local colour some people may in
fact find Mrauk U superior to Bagan.
Mandalay is surrounded by the ancient cities of Inwa (Ava),
Amarapura, Sagaing and Mingun, all easily visited on day
trips. Though not as old or impressive in scale as those
sites previously described, the atmosphere at the old
Mandalay temples is energised by the continued worship of
the local population.