In 1790 Bodawpaya had a gigantic bell cast to go with his gigantic pagoda. Weighing 90 tons it is claimed to be the largest hung, uncracked bell in the world. The bell is about four metres high and over flve metres (15 feet) in diameter at the lip. You can scramble right inside it and some helpful bystander will give it a good thump so you can hear the ring from the interior.
This Paya on the banks of the river looks very impressive but as you can see, when I'd done half of the stairs, I wondered whether there was more to see... and there wasn't. Stupid, tourist based paya.
The Mingun Bell should be the second largest in the world.
The one in the Kremlin is the biggest (see my Moscow tips) but this one is much nicer.
You can climb inside and let your friends bang the bell so that you come out (nearly deaf) with the resounding noice in your head for the rest of the day
These are my feet you see
If King Bodawpaya had succeeded in his grandiose scheme Mingun might now have the world's largest pagoda. When Bodawpaya died in 1819 construction was abandoned. Each side of the enormous base measures 72 metres (235 feet) and the lowest terrace measures 140 metres (450 feet). There are projecting arches on each of the four sides.
Not really a Must See tip.....My son and I had brought along a lot of NBA collector cards to hand out as small gifts for children. They seemed quite popular. This guy was quite happy to receive his. He said thank-you as we left. I am always torn about what to have for a small gift and whether or not even have something. It can lead to the kids asking every foreigner that they see for a gift! Many children ask for candy and I'm quite against that. As many don't have access to Dental care and once a child tastes the sweets it's hard for them to stay away from it!! So I figured NBA collector cards would be good. I could carry several hundred of them and they didn't weigh much and we could make many kids happy!
This is a view of the area. You can see the Hsinbyume Paya in the back of the photo. That area in the photo is a nice place to spend a couple hours wandering around. The Mingun Bell would be a Must see if you've made it this far.
This is the gate that I mentioned in another tip. It isn't going to keep any invaders out but it does the job for keeping small animals out. At the end of this path you can see the main Jetty in Mingun. This is were you would land if you took the boat from Mandalay. So it's not that far of a walk to Mingun Paya. Most of the main sites of Mingun are gathered close to gether.
I also saw many local tourists in Mingun. I was surprised by it as I thought it was a good little distance from Mandalay. But I watched several truckloads of locals pull up to check out the pile of bricks.
My son and I had a very Hot time in Mingun as we arrived in the afternoon when it was very hot! We climbed to the top via brick steps and the sun was beating down on them heating them up!! And guess what?? There was a sign saying take off your shoes! Yikes... Well we did it but it was quite painful.
It's nice to enjoy a cool drink at the nearby shops while waiting for the boat ride back to Mandalay.
Of course you may.
But I don't know how. There was no office behind that sign post nor was there anyone to see.
Besides, what could they help us with? The island is small so you can't get lost...
On the one hour trip from Mnadalay to Mingun there's really nothing to see but some floating houses.
People live on these bamboos and use it to travel around. They're like a kind of nomads
Here you find what was meant to be the biggest Paya in Myanmar.
Earthquakes decided otherwise.
Also an enormous bronze bell
Well this is a nice view from the top of Mingun Island to the white pagoda beneath (which we didn't visit).
The little Jetty here in Mingun seemed to quite busy. There boats coming and going the whole time I was there.