Mingun is an ancient town located 11 km from Mandalay along Irrawaddy river west bank. I arrived at the end of the day in Mingun, after a ride all over Mandalay surroundings.
I was just in time to get some great shot with my camera before sunset, I was so excited to see the huge ruin of the largest stupa in the world. Definitely one of the best day in Myanmar.
I have not seen yet Bagan at that time but Mingun is definitely in the top list of Myanmar sites to visit.
Mingun gallery: Mingun and the huge pagoda
Usually people arrive in Mingun from Mandalay in the morning, by boat, on Irrawaddy river. Because of that and because the boat timetable the place can be crowded in the morning.
I arrived by land by motorbike in the afternoon just before sunset. I was the only one there.
The Mingun temple is a monumental uncompleted huge stupa began by King Bodawpaya in 1790.
The legend tell us that was not completed, due to an astrologer claiming the King would die if the temple was finished.
The King dead in 1819 and the pagoda was not completed.
The stupa, if completed, would have been the largest in the world with a high of 150 meters, but an earthquake in March 1839 destroyed the stupa and today huge amazing cracks are visible on the structure.
King Bodawpaya also had a gigantic bell cast to go with his huge stupa, the Mingun Bell weighing 90 tons, and is today the largest ringing bell in the world.