Myanmar’s golden capital city reminds the visitors of the old time gone. You can walk in the shade of the charming colonial buildings, in the joyful confusion of market stalls, in the glittering pagodas and temples to plunge, slowly, into the Burmese charming atmosphere.
Everyday from dawn to sunset hundreds of people come to pray and walk around the golden glittering stupa, Shwedagon Pagoda, the landmark of Yangon, described in the 20’s by S. Maugham as “a sudden hope in the darkness of soul”.
Situated only about 80km (two-hour drive) north of Yangon, Bago is renowned for the 55-meter long reclining Buddha image, the Shwethalyaung, the beautiful golden Shwemawdaw Pagoda and many more religious monuments such as the old Ordination Hall. You can visit on a day-return trip from Yangon or on your way to the Golden Rock (Kyaikhtio) Pagoda and to Mawlamyaing (Moulmein). Bago remains a quiet and easy-going town with a lot more bicycles than cars.
Thanlyin is 45 minutes by ferry across the Bago River or about 30 minutes ride from Yangon by car across the Thanlyin Bridge. Thanlyin was an important trading centre in the 17th century under the Portuguese. Places of interest include Old Portuguese buildings, Kyaik Khauk Pagoda and Yele Pagoda on a small island at Kyauktan, 12km south of Thanlyin.
Well known for its pottery and cotton weaving and for an old Mon paya complex, Twante is situated at the Twante Canal which was dug during the colonial era for a short boat ride from Yangon. A ride on the canal offer contrasting images, from the buzzing chaos in Yangon to the provincial calmness of the countryside only a few minutes outside the capital.
Located on the Eastern bank of the Ayerwaddy River, it is known for the nearby ancient Pyu capital of Thayekhittaya (Sri Ksetra). In the surrounding areas, there are the ruins of this ancient capital. The high lights are Pyay Shwasandaw Pagoda, Baw Baw Gyi Paya and Mawzar Museum.
The Golden Rock pagoda which is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites of Myanmar, located about 160km from Yangon. Rising 1100 meter above sea level, this small golden stupa stands on the top of a huge gold-gilded boulder. This Golden Rock is precariously perched on the edge of the hill and is place of important pilgrimage for Buddhists and the legend says that maintains its precarious balance due to a Buddha hair placed in the stupa.
Hpa An is the capital of Kayin State. The city is connected to other towns like Kawkareik, Hpapun and Myawaddy by roads and waterway transportation. The singularly distinctive limestone pinnacle forming the Zwegabin Mountain provides a dramatic backdrop for Hpa An. The Kayin people are very fond of the color red, which can be seen on most of the men and women clothing. But nowadays, colourful dresses for both men an women are available giving attractive sight and comfort.
Mawlamyaing is a busy commercial port mainly exporting rice and wood. It is the fourth largest city in Myanmar, located 270km southeast of Yangon. As it served as capital of British Burma from 1827 to 1852, many old colonial buildings still remain. Places of interest in this area include the Mahamuni & Uzina Pagodas, Kipling's Kyaikthanlan Pagoda and the Mon Cultural museum.
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