1. Hsinbyume Pagoda
The Hsinbyume Pagoda, also known as Myatheindan, is a large Buddhist temple located in Mingun in Sagaing Region in Myanmar. Situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, this enormous white temple is one of the main attractions for people visiting Sagaing province.
Its unique architecture is inspired by Mount Meru, the celestial mountain sacred to the Buddhists. The temple was built during the 18th century, by King Bagyidaw in memory of his princess Hsinbyume. It is expected to dress respectfully, covering both knees and shoulder while visiting the temple.
2. Sagaing Hill
Sagaing Hill is located in the district with the same name close to Mandalay city in Myanmar. Situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy river, it is a green hill dotted with more than 600 white and gold pagodas, making it one of the top attractions for tourists visiting Mandalay.
Depending on your preference, you can easily spend a few hours or an entire day exploring temples, taking a boat trip and enjoying the sunset views from Sagaing Hill. The Soon Oo Ponya Shin Pagoda is the most famous of all the temples, located at the top. A 45-minutes hike on the stairs leads to viewpoints from where you can get beautiful views of the horizon.
3. Bodhi Tataung
Maha Bodhi Ta Htaung is a region located in Monywa in Sagaing region in Myanmar. It is known for the world's third-largest standing statue of Buddha statue and many monasteries, which is home to thousands of monks from all over the country. It is a popular day trip option for tourists visiting Mandalay.
This vast temple situated on a hill consists of thousands of statues of Buddha donated by pilgrims as a gesture of offering prayers. The standing Buddha statue was added in 1960, while the temple belongs to the early 18th century.
4. Ava Bridge
Ava Bridge is a steel cantilever bridge constructed between Ava and Sagaing towns across the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. It is one of the notable landmarks in Sagaing and is visited by tourists for the panoramic views from the bridge.
The bridge was built by the British in 1934 and was one of the most advanced engineering projects of that time. It served as an important connection for trade and commerce between the two towns. It was destroyed during WWII and was later built by the Burmese government after its independence.
Phowintaung (also spelt as Hpowindaung, Powintaung, Po Win Taung) is a Buddhist cave complex located close to the town of Monywa in Sagaing Region in Myanmar. It is situated on the banks of the River Chindwin and is a popular attraction among tourists interested in Buddhist caves. Phowintaung is known for the cave architecture and monastery, home to hundreds of young monks from across the country.
The complex contains more than 900 caves, which are highly decorated with murals depicting Jataka stories and journeys of the Buddha. The caves house hundreds of statues of Buddha in various sizes, most of which are made of sandstone. The paintings and these statues are from the 14th to 18th centuries and were donations made by the people during the Mon and Pagan dynasties.
6. U Min Thonze Caves
U Min Thonze Caves also called as 30 Caves is a Buddhist temple complex located atop a hill in the town of Sagaing in Myanmar. It is known for the 10th-century wall paintings and stone columns consisting of 45 images of the Buddha spread across 30 caves. U Min Thonze is one of the most visited attractions among the tourists visiting Mandalay. The hilltop location offers stunning views of the sunset overlooking the Irrawaddy river, so it is best to visit in the late afternoon or early in the morning if you want to enjoy a sunrise.
7. Soon U Ponya Shin Paya
Soon U Ponya Shin Paya is an ancient Buddhist pagoda located on the top of Nga-Pha Hill in Sagaing town in Myanmar. It is the most richly decorated among all the temples atop Sagaing hill, and is rich in history and architecture, making it the top attraction for tourists visiting this region.
Soon U Ponya pagoda was built in the 13th century, and is based on Burmese style of architecture with terraced based structure topped with a circular stupa. The pagoda consists of a large statue of seated Buddha with a golden robe, which is intricately decorated with precious stones. Highly decorated patios surround the temple complex, which have tiled floors. There are a few viewpoints from where tourists can enjoy 360 degree views of the river.
8. Shwe Kyat Yat Pagoda
Shwe Kyat Yat Pagoda is an ancient Buddhist pagoda located on Shwe Kyat Yet Hill in Sagaing Region, in Mandalay. The original temple is probably the oldest in the country and is believed to be one of the 84,000 pagodas built by King Thiri Dhamma Thawka in 218 BC. It is one of the most famous Buddhist temples visited by tourists for its rich history. The temple complex has several statues of Burmese kings and queens belonging to Pagan and Mon dynasties, which is unique to Shwe Kyat Yat Pagoda.
9. Shwe Mohtaw Pagoda
Shwe Mohtaw Pagoda is a Buddhist temple located in the Sagaing region in Myanmar. It is a 17th century pagoda built during the Mon dynasty, and contains a white central stupa on top of a terraced pagoda built in Burmese style of architecture.
10. Tilawkaguru Caves
Tilawkaguru Caves is a Buddhist monastery located in Sagaing hill close to Mandalay in Myanmar. Built in the late 17th century, the caves are known for impressive wall paintings depicting the life of the Buddha, and also the lives of people during the Mon dynasty. It is one of the most popular attractions for tourists visiting Sagaing hill.
11. Yadanabon Bridge
Yadanabon Bridge also called the Irrawaddy, Yadanar Pone or New Ava, spans across the Irrawaddy River and connects Sagaing city to the southwest of Mandalay in Myanmar. It is built at the confluence of Ayeyarwady River with the Myitnge River and is the gateway to Mandalay, Yangon and other major cities. The bridge is an important landmark and is one of the most famous engineering marvels of the British colonial period in the country.
12. Kaunghmudaw Paya
Kaunghmudaw Paya, also called Yaza Mani Sula Kaunghmudaw is an ancient Buddhist temple located close to the centre of Sagaing town in Myanmar. It is known for the large gilded golden stupa which was built in the 17th century when the royal capital was shifted to Inwa city.
It is one of the worth-visiting attractions for tourists to appreciate the history and architecture. The architecture of the temple is influenced by Ruwanwelisaya stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
13. Thabyedan Fort
Thabyedan Fort is located south of Ava bridge in the ancient town of Ava in Sagaing region in Myanmar. It was built by the British to guard the ports during WWII. It is one of the lesser known attractions worth checking out for tourists visiting Sagaing. The fort consists of a few canons, a watchtower and offers beautiful views of the Irrawaddy river and Ava bridge.