Marble Buddha at Paya Shwekyimyint temple, Mandalay, Myanmar.

© Tuul & Bruno Morandi/Getty Images

Shwekyimyint Paya


Founded in 1167 by Prince Minshinzaw, exiled son of King Alaungsithu, Shwekyimyint considerably predates Mandalay itself. Minshinzaw consecrated the central sitting Buddha image that's roughly life sized, encrusted with gold and jewelled raiments, and set in an intimately hushed little prayer chamber. The pagoda also hosts other images collected by later Myanmar kings that were relocated here for safekeeping after the British occupied Mandalay Palace.

Be on the lookout for a pretty alcove covered in a mural that depicts trees growing around a seated, meditating Buddha.

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