Today it may be a sleepy rural area, but Inwa – formerly known as Ava – was the site of the Burmese capital for more than 300 years, across three separate periods.

Most people take a tour of Inwa by horse and cart , covering the four main sights, although it’s also possible to visit independently on foot or if you bring your own bicycle or motorbike from Mandalay (the circuit is 5km long). The closest to the start is the bulky brick Maha Aungmye Bonzan temple, where you should take a look in the creepy bat-filled undercroft. The second attraction, nearby, is the “leaning tower” Nanmyint, one of the only structures remaining from King Bagyidaw’s palace. Further west you’ll find Yedanasini Paya, a collection of stupas situated photogenically in fields, and then Bagaya Kyaung. The highlight of Inwa, this is a wonderfully atmospheric working monastery built from teak in 1834.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Myanmar (Burma) features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In Buddha's footsteps: 15 evocative pictures of faith in Myanmar

In Buddha's footsteps: 15 evocative pictures of faith in Myanmar

Buddhism has ancient roots in Myanmar, and its influence is all pervasive – arguably more so than in any other Southeast Asian country. Everywhere you go you …

28 Oct 2016 • David Abram insert_drive_file Article
12 photos that prove Myanmar (Burma) is most beautiful at sunset

12 photos that prove Myanmar (Burma) is most beautiful at sunset

Sunset is one of our favourite times of the day – it's an excuse to sit back, drink in hand and take in the scenery, whether you're high above your favourite …

23 May 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
9 tips for backpacking Myanmar (Burma)

9 tips for backpacking Myanmar (Burma)

In 2011, after 15 years of a tourism boycott to avoid aiding the oppressive military junta, Myanmar opened its doors to visitors. The country, now with a democr…

16 May 2016 • Helen Abramson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month