Embarking on an Asian tour sounds good, right? But what sets this apart from other continental tours? The intriguing and charming beauty of its countries such as Myanmar. Rich in historical artifacts and abundant tales from the past, Myanmar is genuinely picturesque and interesting just like its neighboring nations. But Myanmar has its own unique allure that keeps tourists coming back for more and one of these is Sagaing.
Sagaing is the capital of Sagaing Region, Myanmar. It is located 20km southwest of Mandalay on the Ayeyarwady River. A number of Buddhist monasteries are in this area, hence, it has become a valuable monastic and religious hub. Sagaing used to be the Sagaing Kingdom’s capital way back in 1315 to 1364 and it was one of the minor kingdoms that withstood the fall of Pagan dynasty. Currently, this city is a major tourist spot of day travelers. The peak season in Sagaing covers the months of October and November, during the full moon of Tazaungmone when Buddhist devotees flock to the city to offer robes to the monasteries and nunneries.
How to Get Here
From Yangon, you can ride on a bus going to Sagaing for US$18. The departures of the buses are set at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.. You can also avail of the guided car tour to Sagaing, Amarapura and Inwa for 20,000K. This tour starts from the accommodation in Mandalay and usually takes around eight hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you want to take the more adventurous kind of traveling, you can hire motorbikes for around 15,000K per day. There are also pick-ups that leave from downtown for 300K but expect to wait longer and be sure to endure a crowded travel. You also need to inform the driver where you will be getting off.
Other options for transportation include trishaws and tuk-tuks (which can be found on most street corners) and you can ride on these for just 500 to 1,000K for a short trip. In smaller villages, horses and carts are the way to go. Trips on these transportation costs around 10,000 to 15,000K. Of course, there are rental cars and taxis if you have extra funds. Short trips in the city centers will cost you 10,000 to 20,000K.
Tips about Visiting Sagaing
It would be very helpful for you to know that you must always bargain and negotiate costs of hotels, transportation and other things in Sagaing and Myanmar in general. Also, learn some basic Burmese because most locals find it difficult to speak English. Many signboards are also in Burmese so you might consider looking for a reliable tourist guide from reputable travel agencies in Yangon or Sagaing.
Always keep your ensemble modest to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to your jewelry or other possessions. In addition, give enough attention to your belongings. Don’t be surprised if some locals will approach you and have their pictures taken with you especially if you have fair skin.
After your tour in the city, start stitching your travel tales in Sagaing and narrate them to your family and best buddies. Spread the one-of-a-kind experience among the people that you love and let them have a taste of the great adventure that waits in this amazing Myanmar city.