Along with Mandalay, Inwa (or Ava as it was previously known) is perhaps Myanmar’s most famous old capital, and is situated 20 kilometres south of Mandalay. The heart of government and royal power on five separate occasions from the 14th to the 19th centuries, Inwa was finally abandoned in 1839 after a series of devastating earthquakes.
Today a visit to Inwa is a fascinating trip back in time, allowing you to explore the remains of an ancient city full of old watchtowers, city walls, monasteries, and temples that feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of Mandalay.
Interesting places to visit include the atmospheric, teak-built Bagaya monastery and its surrounding stupas, the Maha Aungmye Bonzan, and the Nanmyint watch tower (which unfortunately cannot currently be climbed due to its wooden stairs being in an advanced state of disrepair).
We offer a variety of tours of Myanmar that include the sights of Inwa - find out more here.
Just north of Inwa you can find the ruins of Thabyedan (Thapyaytan) Fortress, which was built under King Mindon between 1874 and 1878 to defend against the British during the third Anglo-Burmese War. It is near the southern bridge to Sagaing; look down the embankment before crossing the bridge, just below the police checkpoint.
For a wider selection of photos from Inwa, go to our Flickr photo set.
The $10 Mandalay ticket is required to enter Inwa, but it is rarely checked.