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With a short and scenic trip up the Ayeyarwaddy from Mandalay you find Mingun, best known for the MingunPahtodawgyi, a huge, unfinished pagoda, which, if completed, would have stood at over 150metres and been the largest monument in the world. At 50 metres high, what remains of the pagoda is still spectacular, and climbing up its ruin’s barefoot rewards explorers with a fantastic view of the Ayeyarwady. Mingun is also home to the world’s largest working bell. Weighing 90 tons, the Mingun Bell is actually second in size to one in the Kremlin in Moscow but the Russian bell is cracked and therefore not in service. A trip from Mandalay takes around one hour upriver and 40 minutes to return, a perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon.

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