Myanmar / Burma Travel Update
Since I was there, the situation in Myanmar/Burma has changed a lot. In February 2021, a military coup sparked widespread civil unrest and armed conflict.
The U.S. State Department currently advises: "Do not travel to Burma due to civil unrest and armed conflict." You can find their full travel advisory and security alerts here. And you can find the British Foreign Office's travel advice for Myanmar / Burma here.
It feels a little odd to be climbing hundreds of feet up on a pile of bricks that is famous for being structurally unsound. And there are places on the way up where the line between building and rubble is definitely fuzzy. But the view at the top is worth it, stretching out over the Irrawaddy and nearby pagodas.
Photos of Mingun Pagoda
More About Mingun Pagoda
- Commissioned by King Bodawpaya in 1790
- Intended to be the largest pagoda in the world at 150 meters tall
- Construction halted due to financial difficulties and King Bodawpaya’s death
- Base measures 140 meters by 140 meters
- Damaged by an earthquake in 1838, leaving large cracks on its structure
- Located on the west bank of the Irrawaddy River in the village of Mingun
The Mingun Pagoda, situated in the small village of Mingun in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar, serves as an enduring symbol of King Bodawpaya’s ambitious vision. This unfinished pagoda would have been the largest in the world if completed, with its base alone measuring an impressive 140 meters by 140 meters. Despite the halted construction and damage caused by an earthquake in 1838, the Mingun Pagoda remains an important historical and religious site in the region.
What’s Nearby to Mingun Pagoda
- Mingun Bell, the world’s second-largest ringing bell
- Hsinbyume Pagoda, a white, circular pagoda representing Mount Meru
- Myatheindan Pagoda, with its unique architectural style
- Mandalay Hill, offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding region (especially good at sunset)
- Mahamuni Buddha Temple, housing one of the most revered Buddha images in Myanmar
How to Get to Mingun Pagoda
Mingun Pagoda is located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar, approximately 11 kilometers north of Mandalay City. The nearest major airport is Mandalay International Airport (MDL). To reach Mingun Pagoda from Mandalay, you can take a boat ride along the Irrawaddy River, which is a particularly fun way to go and takes about an hour. You can also hire a private taxi if you prefer a land route.
Mingun Pagoda FAQs
What is the history of theMingun Pagoda?
Mingun Pagoda, also known as Mingun Pahtodawgyi, is an unfinished monument located in Mingun, Myanmar. It was commissioned by King Bodawpaya in 1790 with the intention of making it the world’s largest pagoda. However, construction was halted in 1819 due to an astrologer’s prophecy, leaving the pagoda incomplete.
How tall is the Mingun Pagoda and how does it compare to its original intended height?
The Mingun Pagoda currently stands at approximately 150 feet (46 meters) high. However, if it had been completed, it would have reached a height of around 500 feet (152 meters), making it the world’s largest pagoda.