Although Bagan Ancient city is outstanding historical site, due to mismanagement in developing and maintaining, it is still not eligible to be listed as UNESCO historical sites. But you will see some sites in Bagan are being maintained by UNESCO such as fine UNESCO resorted murals at the nearby Mingalazedi, the last great stupa built at Bagan.
Fortunately, UNESCO has listed below sites in Myanmar which dramatically attract historical tourism markets.
1. Sri Ksetra a.k.a Thayekhittaya (Pyay township, Bago division)
1,200 years ago, there was one Capital of the Pyu Kingdom which is one of the Asia’s grandest fortified settlements is located in the fields a few miles east of the Ayeyarwaddy River at Pyay. Sri Ksetra(City of Splendor) has distinctively shaped stupas, dried-up moats and earthworks nowadays is the evidence of once grew wealthy kingdom by controlling trade down across the Bay of Bengel to India between 4th and 9th centuries. This city was invaded by Mon kingdom then by the 10th century, it had been eclipsed by Bagan dynasty.
This has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage by 2014. Within this city, visitor can learn about 5th century heritages from Pagodas, Gate, cemetery and small museum which displaying uncovered at the site.
Pyay township is the 6 hours drive from Yangon along the Ayeyarwaddy river. Passengers cruises disembark at this city as a part of their program.
2. Hanlin (Shwebo township, Sagaing Division)
Another city of Pyu kingdom is Hanlin which is a village near Shwebo township in Sagain. This was possibly a local capital which was replacing Sriksetra. Nowadays which is popular for its hot spring and archaeological sites. Expertise says that habitation existed in this area since Bronze age during the 1st or 2nd century BC by Pyu people. Also regard as largest Pyu city until 9th century AD. Shwegugyi pagoda in this area shows some histories and legend of the cause of Hanlin city disappearance. The museum there is must visit as well as unearthed structures of palace fortresses, cremation grounds and also water management structures.
This village is located 12 miles to the southeast of Shwebo township. Limited off-road vehicles type can be easily assessed at the moment. Sagaing region is 1-2 hours drive from Mandalay.
3. Beikthano (Minbu township)
The last city of Pyu kingdom, Beikthano which is named after the Hindu god Vishnu, which has legendary stories and may be the first capital of culturally and politically uniform state in the Myanmar history. This is located near Taungdwingyi in Minbu township where remaining structures, pottery and human skeletons from 200 BC to 100 CE. Besides the walls and fortifications are measured six meters thick and since 180 BCE and 610 CE. All these interesting facts is promoting this site to be one of the top attraction in this region in future.
4. Kuthodaw Pagoda (Mandalay city, Mandalay division)
This site has been listed by UNESCO World heritage in 2013 for its complex dominated by 729 slender, 1458 pages, white washed ancillary pagodas as each containing carved alabaster slabs inscribed with a page of the Tipitaka, the Theravda Pali canon. These were created for the achievement of fifth Buddhist synod of 1871 which took 2,400 monks six months to recite. Local proudly describe this is as “World’s largest book”. This is truly photogenic place and keeping dark memories of British army and this site as original Tipitaka slabs were looted for use by British army in road construction.
It is located right at the foot of Mandalay landmark, Mandalay Hill within the city. Mandalay is the second busiest city after the Yangon with international airport. 9-10 hours drive from Yangon and well accessible from all other cities by land, by air or by water as it has Ayeyarwaddy river.