Hsinbyume Pagoda Mingun – the famous Mandalay white temple

I’ve been to many temples, hundreds of them. I’ve seen temples in Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Vietnam, Laos and many other countries but none impressed me as much as the Hsinbyume Pagoda in Mingun, Mandalay.

This famous Mandalay white temple took the internet by storm when people from around the world started to visit it and post photos on Instagram. With its incredible architecture, it’s no wander why this round shaped temple became so famous. In my opinion, after the Swedagon Pagoda in Yangon, this is the second most beautiful temple in Myanmar.

Hsinbyume Pagoda - Myatheindan Pagoda - Mingun, Mandalay

Of course, the temples in Bagan are incredible too but the Hsinbyume Pagoda is special. Once you will get in front of this temple, it will feel like stepping into another world. Before getting into more details about his beautiful white temple in Mingun, Mandalay, let’s talk about its history.

1. History

Also known as Myatheindan Pagoda, this temple sits on the western bank of the Irrawaddy River. Behind this beautiful structure there is a beautiful love story.

This pagoda was built in 1816 by the Bagydaw prince, the heir of King Bodawpaya as a way to show his love for his first wife – Queen Hsinbyume – who unfortunately lost her life during childbirth.

In 1836 a major earthquake hit the pagoda and left it severely damaged. Later on, in 1874, King Mindon restored it.

To check out the differences between temples, pagodas and stupas click here.

2. About Hsinbyume Pagoda

The thing that differentiates the Hsinbyume Pagoda from other temples around the world is its architecture. This temple has several different layers that look like waves. These terraces represent the seven mountain ranges surrounding Mount Meru, which is considered the center of the universe in the Buddhist cosmology.

Hsinbyume Pagoda - Myatheindan Pagoda - Mingun, Mandalay

You can actually walk around the pagoda on every terrace. Don’t hesitate to bring your camera with you and snap some awesome photos!

You can also climb on top of the Hsinbyume Pagoda. After passing by the terraces you will get to a plateau where you can enjoy the view around the temple.

Hsinbyume Pagoda - Myatheindan Pagoda - Mingun, Mandalay

The top of the pagoda

From this plateau you will have to climb a few more stairs to get to the top of the temple. Buddhist people come here to make offerings and light incense. Even though the Hsinbyume Pagoda is popular among tourists, you will find many locals too.

Note: When entering the pagoda, you will have to take your shoes off. Also, make sure to dress accordingly. More details about the temple dress code in Myanmar here

Hsinbyume Pagoda - Myatheindan Pagoda - Mingun, Mandalay

View from the top of the pagoda

3. Hsinbyume Pagoda entrance fee and opening hours

The pagoda is opened daily and there is no entrance fee. However, you will have to pay the ticket for the Sagaing – Mingun archeological zone which is $4. Keep this ticket to visit other nearby attractions such as the Mingun Pagoda or Mingun Bell.

4. How to get to Hsinbyume Pagoda

If you are wondering how to get to the Hsinbyume Pagoda from Mandalay, you have only two options: you can either take the boat or a taxi.

The boat from Mandalay to Mingun leaves every morning from the Manadaly Jetty at 9am. The ride takes about one hour and it costs $3 per person. I recommend taking the boat to Hsinbyume Pagoda since it is a really interesting experience. You will pass by local villages, built entirely on water and you can observe the daily life of Burmese people.

boat trip to Mingun, Mandalay

Boat ride from Mandalay to Mingun

If you choose to take the taxi, make sure to negotiate the price in advance. Taking the taxi will definitely cost you more than the boat and the ride won’t be that interesting.

5. The best time to visit Hsinbyume Pagoda

If you are taking the 9am boat from Mandalay, make sure to visit the Hsinbyume Pagoda first before all the other tourists get there. If you are taking a taxi, you can visit anytime. However, my advice would be either to visit it during the morning or during the evening. If you are visiting the pagoda in the middle of the day, stepping on the hot pavement will hurt too much.

May the travel bug bite you!

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Hsinbyume Pagoda - Myatheindan Pagoda - Mingun, Mandalay

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