Set on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady, 15 mi/20 km southwest of Mandalay, Sagaing is the center of Buddhism in Myanmar. The surrounding hills are covered with pagodas, stupas and cave temples—some 5,000 monks make their homes in more than 500 monasteries in the area. There are great views from Sagaing Hill and Kaung Hmudaw Pagoda. Stop at Ywataung village for silver betel boxes and bowls with ornate designs.

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