This will be my third and last day in Monywa. There is still one place nearby that I would like to visit and as I have much fuel on the usually rented motorbike, I decided to give it a shot. There is an undiscovered Myanmar place near Monywa and that’s where I’m heading. This time I am only exploring in the morning as I will go from Monywa to Mandalay the same day.
As I wanted to do as many train rides as possible, I checked at the train station if there is any train from Monywa to Mandalay. They told me that there is only one daily train that departs at 1 pm and arrives at Mandalay at 6 pm. It sounds like a nice schedule and I was willing to do it, but I couldn’t. My morning trip to undiscovered Myanmar Amyint ruins took longer than expected and instead I got the bus from Monywa to Mandalay at 3 pm and the funny thing is that it reaches Mandalay about the same time as the train would. That means that going by train takes 2 more hours.
This time I went by bus from Monywa to Mandalay, and it was really a bus. There is a bus departing from Monywa to Mandalay every hour at the main bus station. The price was 2500 kyats, too much for that type of bus as I paid 500 kyats more for a much comfortable seat on a minivan. I was ripped off I am sure. I saw the locals handing the bus assistant way less than I did.
Now, back to my morning trip. I know the motorbike ride to reach AMyint ruins will be long, but it took me longer than expected. Trying to visit undiscovered Myanmar is not easy. I followed the main road until Chaung-U. It is the longest one, but I’m glad I did it this way. After leaving it, I face myself with really bad roads that led me to take as much time as I did on the main road, but half the distance. At some point my GPS stopped working properly– don’t know if it’s about the area- and I needed to follow my instincts that the street was that one. It is a very bumpy street, a bad one, but the scenery is nice. I can see how surprised are the faces of the people I come across. Going in the middle of the fields and villages makes it a nice ride. I stop many times to try to check my GPS to see how far I am. It is taking so long to reach AMyint ruins…
Finally, I know I am at the right spot when in my sight is an old abandoned pagoda. AMyint ruins deserve way more the title of “Little Bagan” than other places with the same name but much smaller in size, like little Bagan in Hsipaw. I love Bagan and this time I am not visiting it, so it will be a treat to myself.
AMyint ruins city is clearly off the tourist track but is a really charming place. I understand why, as I would rather see Bagan itself than just a little of it in the middle of nowhere, and not so easy to reach. And, travelers in Myanmar claimed being tired of seeing pagodas- I don’t understand how. For those reasons, I get why AMyint ruins city is part of an undiscovered Myanmar.
Being to a place where not many foreigners have reached is the most exciting part for me. The ancient city lays by the river and has about 300 different stupas and pagodas. WOW, impressive. Once I read it on the web, I thought maybe that number was high, but it actually might be very accurate.
But, unlike Bagan, the pagodas aren’t spread through a huge area. Here, many of them stand together along with each other, but you can still go to several focus points with many of those architectural wonders. I took more than I expected to visit this place. You will not see any foreigners, but you will also not see that many locals. The ones you see will stare at you in admiring state, laughing, some waving smiley hello’s and goodbyes under a shy voice.
Walking here is another Indiana Jones experience. As you walk you discover more and more pagodas, some so destroyed that they are not more than a piece of stones on top of each other. Some are still very well preserved. It’s a quite calm place where you seem to be the attraction as people come closer to see you.
I don’t know the history of this place, but I am sure it was great over time and a very important worship place as the number of pagodas indicates. I also saw a photo shooting going on in the place. They too look surprised to see me.
As I would like to see as many pagodas as I could, I just wandered around the undiscovered Myanmar area that is actually a village, finding more and more pagodas in unexpected places as I walk through the village. I spent more time in AMyint ruins than I was initially thinking. Unlike Bagan, these ancient ruins are actually placed in the middle of the village and their habitant’ houses.
You can buy some snacks in AMyint village. There is only one place I saw selling. I didn’t see any place to have a meal. When I decide to go back, I know that I won’t be able to go to Mandalay by train as the ride back will take a long time. But I couldn’t hurry to leave that place sooner. I took exactly the same path as I know that the shorter street is a bad one, and I could testify how long could it take to make short distances in this type of street. It was a pleasant morning exploring undiscovered Myanmar unknown to the rest of the world. It makes me happy to know that I’m visiting it before the majority of people.
Here is the video about this place: