Mahagandayon Monastery
Mahagandayon Monastery
4

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles471 reviews
Excellent
151
Very good
142
Average
117
Poor
32
Terrible
29

Charlotte
Kolding, Denmark382 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Hundreds of tourists gather at this monastery every morning around 10 as the munks will be going from their rooms to a common lunch at 11. They start their faste at 12, so this is the last time they eat until later in the night.
They walk in long processions with their food canteen passing all the tourists. Some tourists are very rude trying to interfer with the munks, but you are expected to stand quiertly and watch.
It is not allowed to use cameras - only mobilephones, this was due to rude chinese tourist who started a fight for the best picture... sad....
You are also allowed to walk around the monastery grounds. It is very nice and quiert - especially after all the busses leave again and you find nice photo spots.
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WhiteMouseBurrow
Moscow, Russia2,332 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We agreed in advance to arrive early so as not only to see the procedure itself, but also to participate in it. We visited the monastery’s kitchen, participated in the preparation of dinner, and of course in the very procedure of distributing food. At the same time, all the monks from the head of the monastery to the young novices were in the refectory. Everything went very naturally.
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KodoDrummer
Buenos Aires, Argentina70,534 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019 • Business
We watched the solemn procession of Buddhist monks, peacefully marching slowly to get their food and have their main (and possibly only) meal of the day. We got a glimpse of how the monks live in the monastery and their daily rituals. Well worth a visit. I believe that is monastery has the largest population of monks in Myanmar.
Written September 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mandalay_Taxi_Rental
Myanmar11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Couples
Very nice for visit and take photo.
Every morning 10.Am.start for offering. You should arrive there 9.50Am
Written December 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PedroWorth
Ashford, UK616 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2015 • Family
This is the largest teaching Buddhist monastery in Burma and accommodates over two thousand young monks. It was founded in 1914 and has now become part of every tour operators itinary. The reason for your visit is to watch the endless double queue of young novices shuffling quietly towards a massive cauldron of rice and thence to the dining rooms where they squat with their rice and other little goodies that have been donated. It's all very charming and quite humbling but at the same time very embarrassing. Tourists seem to have no respect for this everyday event and show little concern where they shove their cameras and jostle to get as close to the poor young men as possible. There are areas where tourists are not permitted but some flaunt the rules and go where they please just to get that special photo. This has led to a banning of public from the dining areas so at least they can eat in peace. You can visit the kitchens which are quite awesome. Huge vats bubbling over wood fires and piles of food everywhere and grisly men dropping their fag ash into the chopped vegetables. Great stuff. Beggars sit around and are given leftovers by the novices. I think this tourist attraction needs to close to anyone but Buddhists or maybe put on a heavy visitors charge to severely restrict numbers. If not this monastery will totally lose its gentle dignity and mass tourism will destroy this wonderful and peaceful academy of life.
Written January 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erindel66
Vilanova i la Geltru, Spain4,936 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Couples
It was Xmas day, and we arrived just in time for the lunch time at 10:00 am with our private car and it was a madness of cars inside the monastery. We visited the kitchens, where they were already cleaning and quickly went to the place when the monks stay in line waiting for their only meal of the day, all in silence. I must say that the tourist were also in silence, which is to thank and the only sound that you heard was the sound of the cameras shooting their pictures.

As we arrived late, I had to fight a little with the rest of tourist in order to take some good pictures, and after reading some of the comments of other travellers, I feel a bit shy because I was one ot those shooting my camera to the monks face... But all of us where there and did the same.

I agree with the fact that for them it must be very uncofortable as they are doing their daily life and there we were, disturbing their piece but they allow you to come in the dinning room if you don't wear shoes and stay with them (I didn't) ... so it mustn't bother them so much. I don't know. I asked that to my guide and told me it was OK and not to feel unconfortable, so I continued taking pictures.

It was a rare and confusing experience as I felt different feelings with the visit..

I suppose that if you visit it in a different time of the year (Xmas is peak time) there must be less tourist and the experience must be better
Written April 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kanokkaan
Bangkok, Thailand318 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Friends
Four of us were only tourists there.
It was a peaceful monastery and impressive amount of monks calmly lined up for the final meal of the day.
There was nothing we could do but took photographs.
Written May 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Asian_Wanderer888
München, Deutschland1,131 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017 • Solo
I had tried to avoid this temple at 10:00 am but the driver just dropped me to see a "must see" temple. The parking lot is full of buses and private cars, all shoving their tourists into this temple to see 1.500 monks when lining up and eating their meal in silence. It was honestly the most appalling thing I have ever experienced all over Asia. Have dressed tourists with spagetti shirts and shorts holding their cameras into the face of those poor monks and nuns who line up for food and then even sticking their cameras into the hall where the monks eat. Avoid it at 10:00am and just go at another time or see any other monastery and make contacts with the monks. This action here is beyong human (monk) rights! Or make a donation and give food to the monks.
Written February 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Me_n_my_rucksack
Yorkshire, UK6,213 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Couples
This is the Monastary near the Inwa bridge - there are a lot of reviews of this site incorrectly posted to Maha Aung Mye Bon Zan Monastery which is at Inwa the town to the South - not next to the inwa bridge.

This appears to be one of the top teaching monastaries in Myanmar - monks do not have to cook for themselves etc but are taught one of the more austere and strict branches of Bhudism. One can wander around the grounds which are not that attractive - mainly dorms and one can visit kitchens - the main attraction is the monks queuing up and going in for lunch when hundreds line up and walk in line to their meal.

Its very photogenic - but many monks seem uneasy with it - and many tourists behave very badly to get photographs - treating the monks asif they are there as their models or subject - as opposed to busy religious people going to lunch.

I queried this with our guide and apparently the Chief Monk wants pictures etc as they spread the word and image of Bhuddism to the west and as such it is an invitation one should accept.

It IS very photogenic and you can get some descent pictures but I for one didn't feel at ease partaking in a paparazzi style photoshoot of young monks....
Written March 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Little Wandering Wren
Phuket, Thailand815 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Family
There is nothing that sums up your Myanmar holiday more than the perfect photo of a Buddhist monk in a monastery. We arrive early, our tour-guide positions us in exactly the right spot to get the best views of the 1,000 + monks arriving to collect their food. It could be a lovely magical sight, but the pushing and jostling of the tourists behind are turning it into a horrible, far from zen experience. I honestly felt like slapping the Asian lady behind me, who eventually had the audacity to creep into the food donation area acting as if she was family and shove her huge lens in the face of some poor monk.
There needs to be some serious education of tourist etiquette and dare I say it a review on photography at this event, such a shame to see such inappropriate and disrespectful tourist behaviour.
Written March 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Mahagandayon Monastery, Amarapura

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