Youqson Kyaung

Myanmar (Burma)

Designed as a copy of the Crown Prince House in Mandalay, and built in 1882–92, this huge wooden monastery is one of Salay's not-to-be-missed sights. Along two of its exterior sides are detailed original carvings displaying 19th-century court life and scenes from the Jataka (stories of the Buddha’s past lives) and Ramayana (Hindu epic). Inside, the 17th- to 19th-century pieces are behind glass cases, while the Bagan-era woodcarvings (including a massive throne backdrop) stand in open view.

The monastery was renovated twice in the 1990s and the government’s Department of Archaeology runs the site; on-site staff can point you to other nearby sites in and around the town. Note that opening hours are more an estimate than a reality as it really all depends on when a monk is aorund.

Just in front of the monastery are two 1920s-era colonial-style buildings linked to one another on the upper storeys by a short iron bridge. The building was constructed to serve as a library and today it continues in this role, as a monastic library.

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