This town half the way from Mandalay to Bagan is mostly overlooked by tourists doing the classic triangle. But it definitely does not get overlooked by the Burmese tourists, as it contains two of their most important temples.
1. Count the 500’000 Buddhas at the Thanboddhay Pagoda
This pagoda was for us the one with the most beautiful interior design in all of Myanmar. Most of the half a million Buddha statues are located inside of the temple and the majority is tiny. Other than in most pagodas there is no big hall but a set of hallways with beautiful archways with many larger Buddhas on its side and a main Buddha at the end of it. Walking through those hallways while admiring the outstanding architectural work gives you an amazing feeling.
Outside of the main building there are also several other buildings to explore and a tower to look down on it all. Unfortunately, women are not allowed to climb the tower.
2. Cruise around a thousand Buddhas
It takes ten more minutes with the motorbike to reach this second Buddhist highlight. There is a gigantic standing buddha and several sitting and lying Buddhas and there are entire fields of similar looking Buddha statues.
We were already used to the fact, that the Burmese show a lot of interest in us and some even want to take photos with us. But as this pagoda they couldn’t get enough of us. But we loved it to take photos with them and also took some for ourselves.