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Touring Ancient Inwa

The Irrawaddy ...

An ancient city of two names, Inwa—previously Ava—sits in the center of Burma, a half hour’s drive from Mandalay city. For 500 years, the royal capital suffered numerous attempts at its destruction by competing kingdoms, some of which were successful. But it was not until the mid 19th century that the city was finally deserted, conquered not by a rival empire, but reportedly by multiple earthquakes.

The architecture of Inwa can now be explored by visitors from carts, pulled by oxen or horses, as well as by bicycle. Sites of note include the old city wall, the Mae Nu Brick Monastery, Bagaya Monastery, Thapyaydan Fort and the royal watchtower.