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Bagan once was the capital of the first realm in today's Myanmar, whose area of dominance had roughly the extent of the present Burmese state. Bagan was founded in 849 on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy river about 500 kilometers north of Yangon. Today it is only a small town with a big past. in addition of that, one finds in this area, which can be managed in walking stages, at least another 2,000 temple ruins. Even though Bagan is less famous than Angkor Wat in Cambodia, sometime it compared to the temple city of the Khmer concerning its archaeological importance.
Mandalay is the second largest city and the last royal capital of Burma. Located on east bank of the Irrawaddy river 445 miles (716 km) north of Yangon, the city has a population of nearly 1 million, and is the capital of Mandalay Division. Mandalay is the economic hub of Upper Burma and considered the center of Burmese culture. A continuing influx of Chinese immigrants mostly from Yunnan Province in the past twenty years has reshaped the city's ethnic makeup and increased its economic dynamism. Despite Naypyidaw's recent rise, Mandalay remains Upper Burma's main commercial, educational and health center.
Yangon, with a population of four million, country's largest city and the most important commercial center. Yangon is a former capital of Burma and the capital of Yangon Division. Although the military government has officially relocated the capital to Naypyidaw since March 2006. Yangon's infrastructure is relatively undeveloped compared to those of other major cities in Southeast Asia. Yangon has the largest number of colonial buildings in Southeast Asia today. While many high-rise residential and commercial buildings have been constructed or renovated during downtown and Greater Yangon in the past two decades, most satellite towns that ring the city continue to be deeply impoverished.
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