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Amarapura, just South of Mandalay was an old capital of the Konbaung dynasty. When King Mindon moved the capital from Amarapura to Mandalay, the old Royal Palace was dismantled, taken to Mandalay and rebuild there. Of the old Amarapura Palace only the watch tower and the treasury building remain.

The U Bein bridge was built halfway the 19th century using wood of dismantled buildings. The all teak wooden bridge is about 1,200 meters long and crosses Thaungthaman Lake.

Across the bridge, on the East side of the lake is the beautiful Kyauktawgyi Pagoda. This pagoda was built in 1847 and modelled after the Ananda temple in Bagan. The temple houses a 5½ high marble Buddha image and contains beautiful mural paintings.

One of the largest monasteries of the Mandalay area is the Mahagandayon Monastery, also known as the Maha Ganayon Kyaung. Over 1,000 monks study the Buddhist teachings here. Every morning monks and novices queue up in procession towards the dining hall receiving their food in bowls that they carry, a spectacle witnessed by many tourists.

Other monasteries in Amarapura worth seeing are the early 10th century Pahtodawgyi Pagoda and the Shwe Gu Gyi Pagoda dating back to the 12th century.