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Just west of the Second Defile, Shwegu is a remote agricultural town on the Ayeyarwady’s south bank where IWT ferries make an obligatory stop. Much of the fruit and rice sold in the local market is grown on the sandy soil of the two islands visible in the river opposite. The smaller, Kyundaw, holds the remnants of between 6,000 and 7,000 old stupas from the Bagan era of the 11th–13th centuries. While some have recently been renovated and sport coats of whitewash, most remain in a state of charismatic dereliction.

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