The Hsinbyume Pagoda (also called Sat Taw Yar Pagoda or Myatheindan Pagoda), is a huge white pagoda at the Northern end of the tourist strip in Mingun village.
You have two choices from here. Either, turn left into a small side street and enter the pagoda from the Southern entrance, or, instead of turning left, continue up the main street for another 50m and enter via the main Eastern entrance on your left.
If you enter from the South you might be able to put your shoes in your backpack and that way you can exit via the Eastern entrance. (Tip – a plastic shopping bag is a great way to carry dusty shoes). If you leave your shoes at either gate they will be safe till you return to get them, just remember which gate you started from.
Hsinbyume Pagoda was built in 1816 by the same Burmese King who was building the massive Mingun Pathodawgi Temple. The king dedicated it to his wife, named Hsinbyume, who died in childbirth.
Whilst this building suffered major damage as a result of an earthquake in 1839 it was fully restored in 1874 and still looks as it did when built centuries ago.
From whichever direction you approach the pagoda you will have to enter a staircase to climb the first 7 levels to reach the wide main terrace. In the middle of the terrace you will see the main central tower ringed by 5 rows of statues in little grottos. From the main terrace climb the enclosed Eastern staircase or the open staircases beside it up to the smaller upper terrace. A little bit of a steep climb but there are handrails both inside and outside.
At the top of the staircase there is a small shrine to Buddha, You are now on the upper terrace which circles all the way around. There are terrific views from up here including a good view of Mingun Pathodawgi to the south.
When finished descend the steep staircase, be careful if it has been raining as it will be a bit slippery, use the handrails.
If you are fortunate you may see some of the male Bhuddist Monks and the pink robed female novitiates called Thilashins wandering in and around Hsinbyume Pagoda. Their monastry is very close nearby. They are generally very friendly and will often approach tourists to have a chat and practice their language skills.
If Hsinbyume Pagoda was your last stop then amble back South towards the ferry terminal past the main monastry and the aged care facility for a quick rest before you leave Mingun. There are plenty of little shops and restaurants along the way.