Half day tour – discovering Inn Wa Ancient City

Half day tour to Inn Wa Ancient City (also known as Inwa or Ava Ancient City) in a horse cart.

Read previous post on One day tour to see Monk’s breakfast in Amarapura.

One of the challenges we had during our trip in Myanmar was the spelling of the words. I often pronounce the word I saw on the internet but then the locals call the place with an absolutely different name. 

Post the monk’s breakfast in Mahagandhayon Monastery, we crossed the Irrawaddy River through Sagaing bridge (also known as Ayeyarwady Bridge, Yadanabon Bridge, Yadanar Pone Bridge or New Ava Bridge) to visit Sagaing. The locals seemed to be really proud of this  bridge connecting Mandalay and the rest of ancient cities nearby.

This bridge was completed in 2008 to replace the old Ava bridge (or Inva or Inwa Bridge) which was built by the British in 1934. The old bridge had a capacity limited to under 15 ton trucks since 1992 resulting in less efficient transportation of goods. 

Sagaing Bridge, Mandalay, Myanmar
Sagaing Bridge
U Min Thonze Temple, Sagaing, Myanmar
U Min Thonze Temple, Sagaing
U Min Thonze Temple, Sagaing, Myanmar
U Min Thonze Temple, Sagaing,
U Min Thonze Temple, Sagaing, Myanmar
U Min Thonze Temple, Sagaing

Inn Wa city was an ancient imperial capital of successive Bernese kingdoms from the 14th to 19th centuries. It was sacked and rebuilt numerous times. The capital city was finally abandoned after it was completely destroyed by a series of major earthquakes in March 1839.  It became one of the top attractions in Mandalay. 

How to get to Inn Wa City? 

Take a tuk tuk or taxi (using Grab APP) to Myitnge River and most drivers will wait for you at the port where you need to take a 3-min boat ride to the other side of the river. 

A few meters away from the boat, there are a few restaurants, unless your driver tells you where the restaurant is, it’s hard to identify them as they all look just local families to me. We had our lunch in one of the restaurants, the menu was really simple and it’s translated in English. 

Arriving the port in Inn Wa City
Inn Wa Ancient City’s gate print with another name “Ava”

How to get around inside the city? 

I must admit that the site is pretty big. Of course there are people walking through the village but I recommend taking the horse cart for US$5 per person. They will take you and wait for you at each spot and let the locals navigate. 

Inn Wa horse cart
Touring around in a horse cart
Inn Wa horse cart tour
Horse cart waiting outside of the sight

What to see in Inn Wa? 

The whole city itself is a ruin where you can still see a few remnants of the city and old monasteries still in good conditions. 

Right by the port is the main entrance where you would be crowded by local souvenir vendors. A lady works by the gate and allocates tourists to go on each of the waiting carts.   

It was fun to explore this ancient city in a horse cart, all roads are unpaved and it feels very authentic and original. There was a lady following our cart on a bike all the way to the gate of Bagaya Kyaung Monastery (3.5km from the port) who just wanted to sell the jade necklaces to my friend. Just for her effort, my friend bought the necklaces.

The Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Inn Wa City, Myanmar
The Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Inn Wa
The Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Inn Wa City, Myanmar
View outside of the Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Inn Wa City
The Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Inn Wa City, Myanmar
People working hard outside of The Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Inn Wa City
The Bagaya Kyaung Monastery
Local food vendor with our horse cart coachman outside of the Bagaya Kyaung Monastery, Inn Wa City

We made 5 stops in the city but you could request to stop as many times as you wanted as the city itself has so much to offer. 

Yadana Hsemee Pagoda Complex
An artist sitting inside Yadana Hsemee Pagoda Complex
Nanmyint Tower
Nanmyint Tower, Inn Wa City
Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery
Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, Inn Wa City
Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery
Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, Inn Wa City
Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, Inn Wa City
Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, Inn Wa City

Shortly after this amazing ancient city, we arrived at the U-Bein Bridge to see the stunning and beautiful Burmese sunset. 

About U-Bein Bridge…

U-Bein Bridge is a crossing that lies over the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura. The total length of the bridge is 1.2km and was built around 1850. U-Bein Bridge is one of the oldest and longest teakwood bridges in the world. 

Around the sunset hours, this bridge becomes very crowded and busy. Not only foreign tourists, but also many locals relaxing and chilling on the bridge. By the entrance of the bridge, there are so many souvenir stops, food and beverage vendors. 

Despite the crowds, the sunset view over this bridge was stunning. The reflection on the lake and the temperature created a magical atmosphere that felt surprisingly calm and relaxing. 

u-bein bridge
Sunset over U-Bein Bridge
U-Bein Bridge
Ladies just attended wedding, guess who is the bride? U-Bein Bridge

Next post on: The half day tour to Mingun City from Mandalay by boat. 


Blue Sky and Wine

A travel blogger who insists "It is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times."

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