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A city where Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell once made their steps in is a place where one can find the religious aspects of legendary Mon people. This city was once the largest city of British Burma after the first Burma-Anglo War between the years of 1826 and 1852. It was the most suitable place for the British to found a capital as it is located in the best location, at the mouth of the Thanlwin River. Thus, it had become a major trading city and seaport in southeastern Myanmar.

Being the biggest city and capital of Mon State, Mawlamyine highlights a variety of interesting destinations for visitors. Some of them can be found below.

Kyaikthanlan Pagoda

Probably the place where Rudyard Kipling had the inspiration to start his poem, Kyaikthanlan Pagoda is the tallest pagoda in Mawlamyine. It also has an interesting story of its evolution from its founded time until the present. This pagoda is the most famous for its aesthetic panoramic view from the compound of the pagoda. The view of old Mawlamyine prison, nearby islands, Thanlwin estuary, Gulf of Martaban, and the range of limestone mountains of Kayin State in the east would catch the eyes of visitors and makes them start taking photos.

Pa Auk Taw Ya Monastary

Locating in the forest which is 15 kilometers to the southeast of Mawlamyine, Pa Auk Taw Ya Monastery is one of the largest meditation centers in Myanmar. It is the place where the headquarters of the meditation center resides. In this tranquil place, 500 to 1000 meditators including some foreigners can be found.

Win Sein Taw Ya Monastery

7.8 kilometers away from Pa Auk Taw Ya Monastery, Win Sein Taw Ya is where the world’s largest reclining Buddha statue exists. 500 statues of monks reside at the side of the main road to the Buddha statue. Besides this marvelous statue, visitors can learn the Buddha’s life story and the underworld in Buddhism at the chamber in the compound.

First Baptist Church

Built in 1827 by an American missionary, Dr. Andoniram Judson, it is the first Baptist church in Myanmar. It is renowned for being the landmark for the first movement of Baptism in Myanmar.

Bilu Kyun (Ogre Island)

Unlike its name, it is a stunning and beautiful island residing in the west of Mawlamyine. Now, it is linked with a bridge to the mainland. The island with 78 villages is popular for its artistic handicrafts. This green and the fecund island has plenty of rice paddies and rubber plantation which is the main living for the villagers. Day tours to the island would be ample enough to explore the lifestyles of the residents.

Mon Cultural Museum

This cultural museum would be a worth-a-visit place in Mawlamyine. Although the collection is not huge, it is the place where one can trace the history of the Mon dynasty, their traditions, and lifestyles through the collection of inscriptions, musical instruments, and a variety of old historic utilities displayed.

Besides the attractions described, there are way too places and activities to explore and experience in this vibrant city of Mon State. This place would be the paradise for those who want to trace the aspects of a once colonial city and the contemporary Mawlamyine of the present.


About the Author

Sky Bird Travels & Tours, founded in 2012, your One-Stop Travel Partner in Myanmar, provides bespoke travel and tour services to individual travelers and groups from Myanmar and all over the world. Sky Bird is the initiative of two women entrepreneurs with backgrounds in tourism and development sector. Myanmar is our home and we want you to experience the wonders of our serene culture, our friendly people, our beautiful landscapes and our religious heritage.

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