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Mawlamyine & Hpa-an


Scene from Thanlwin River
with the back ground of old Mawlamein Pagoda

Mawlamyine: Visitors, who like the idea of driving through the villages and sleepy towns and seeing the way of life of the people, a trip to Mawlamyine is well worth the effort. One should plan for a four nights to explore Mawlamyine and its vicinity with one night stop at Golden Rock with an en route visit of Bago along the way.

Mawlamyine itself a charming city, built at the mouth of wide Thanlwin (Salween) River and the confluence of the four small rivers with the Mawlamyine Hill behind. The west of the city is protected from the gulf of Mottama (Martaban) by Bilukyun Island, but Mawlamyine nonetheless is a river town.
 


Fishing boats on Thanlyin River
in the late afternoon

Monks walking in line to receive
the alm of the day in Mawlamyine

The gilded Kyaikthalan pagoda, Kipling’s Maulemine pagoda set in the hills with wide terraces from which there are fine views over the city and the habour.
After a day in Mawlamyine seeing its attractions, a day-return excursion to the following towns and places in its vicinity can be made in a private car by driving through villages among many a coconut trees and rubber plantations.

 

The town of Kyaikhamee, once a British costal resort known as, Amherst, is 90 km south of Mawlamyine. The main pagoda in Kyaikhamee, though of no particular architectural merit is considered one of the sacred site for Buddhist pilgrims. The pagoda enjoys an outstanding location, perched on rocks lapped by sea and joined to land by a covered causeway, which floods at high tide.

 

Thanbyuzayat: About 18 miles (29 kilometers) south of Mawlamyine is Thanphyuzayat, which literally means “A shed of iron sheet’, is named after a structure which existed when it was the western terminus of the Death Railway built by prisoners of war of the Japanese during WWII. Thousands of Allied prisoners-of-war as well as Myanmar and other Asians died building the Burmese-Siam railway, the world famous line that crosses the Bridge on the River Kwai in Thailand. The eastern terminus of the railway is situated at Kanchnaburi in Thailand. Thanbyuzayat symbolizes the horrors of war and has a cemetery under the care of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission.

 

Setse Beach: Before starting the return to Mawlamyine, pause at Setse Beach for a refereshing swim in the clear waters of the Gulf of Mattama.


Kayin man in his tribal costume
in Hpana on the way to Mawlamyine

Hpa-an, a beautiful town of Kayain State, which has beautiful wide lakes, lush islands, limestone cliffs and soaring peaks, with mountain ranges receding into the distance can be visited en route either to and from Mawlamyine.

 
   

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2008 Condé Nast Traveler World’s Top Travel Specialists Award






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