Yoke-Sone-Kyaung Wooden Monastery
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Photo Credit: Chuck Moravec | Yoke-Sone-Kyaung Wooden Monastery

Sale, Myanmar

The small village of Sale, also known as Salay, doesn’t look like much when you first stroll through its dusty streets filled with abandoned and crumbling colonial buildings — until, that is, you realize that this stop on some Myanmar river-cruise itineraries is home to more than 100 individual monasteries and Bagan-era shrines.

What We Love

The Quaint Charm: The monasteries and shrines are about a 15-minute walk from your river cruise ship, but half the joy of this small town is strolling through its deserted lanes and café-lined city center.

It’s Not Overrun: Located a considerable distance from Bagan and without any local hotels, Sale attracts few tourists — save for hearty backpackers and river cruisers. After being overwhelmed by crowds in temple-rich Bagan, you’ll relish the quiet solitude here.

Best Known For

Yoke-Sone-Kyaung Wooden Monastery: Constructed in 1882, this entirely wooden monastery looks older than it should. Famed for its intricate carvings, it is known as a Burmese Cultural Heritage Site. Though some of the wooden details have obviously been touched up over the past century and a half, the site is an impressive spectacle to behold.

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Who It's Best For

River Cruisers: With its limited facilities, Sale isn’t the place to travel over land on your own. As an afternoon port of call on a river cruise, however, this town is small enough to be explored independently, or as part of your ship’s guided shore excursions.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

It’s Hot — Very Hot: This is particularly true at the Yoke-Sone-Kyaung wooden monastery, where the breeze seems to disappear completely. Carry plenty of bottled water.

You’re Going to Get Dusty: Wear loose-fitting clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty; most of the roads in Salay are dirt, and passing motorcycles and trucks will leave you wearing a fine coating of dust.

Aaron Saunders

Aaron Saunders is a Calgary-based contributor to ShermansCruise.com.

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