There are 3 ancient imperial cities that can be visited as day trips from Mandalay in Myanmar. Innwa (aka Ava) was my favorite. I crossed Ayeyarwaddy River to get there, hired a horse-drawn carriage to take me around, and checked out relics of old temples. Catastrophe got the better of this ancient Burmese kingdom, which reigned between 14th to 19th century. The Big Earthquakes of March 1839 leveled the grandeur that was Innwa which literally means "mouth of the lake". The location couldn't be more strategic because it sits at the confluence of Ayeyarwaddy and Myitnge Rivers. But natural forces seem to have cast Innwa's fate.
From Ava Palace, now just a watchtower, I visited Bagaya Monastery. At a relic nearby, I found my youthful welcoming committee - two novice monks who were curious of my presence. I caught my shy but curious little host in one of my photos (above).
Red robes characterize the garbs of Burmese monks. You can't miss them.
This is the Eye in the Sky!