The Shwe In Bin Monastery, the old teakwood sculpture temple in Mandalay, Myanmar.

© Mongkolchon Akesin/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Shwe In Bin Kyaung

Top choice in Mandalay

A meditative departure from the usual Burmese 'douse-it-all-in-gold-and-pastels' aesthetic, this gorgeously carved teak monastery is beloved by tourists and locals. Commissioned in 1895 by a pair of wealthy Chinese jade merchants, the central building stands on tree-trunk poles and the interior has a soaring dark majesty. Balustrades and roof cornices are covered in detailed engravings, a few of them mildly humorous.

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