Maha Aungmye Bonzan

Myanmar (Burma)

Built, unusually, of stucco-covered brick, this 1822 royal monastery temple is a rare survivor from the Ava era. The faded, sturdy structure looks very attractive in cleverly taken photographs, but in the harsh midday sun the main attraction is the cool afforded by its ultrathick walls and the bats flitting through its empty undercroft. Directly east, forming a fine background, is Htilaingshin Paya, an attractive array of gilded stupas, some dating to the Bagan period.

Behind, near the crumbling former monks’ residence, a footpath leads to seasonally flooded river gardens and views to Sagaing.

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