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Fascinating Facts

  • Pathein is famous for its colourfully designed Pathein umbrellas, which are considered a cultural treasure of Myanmar.
  • The 6,000-seater Ayar Stadium is located in Pathein. It is the main venue for football tournaments and the home stadium of Ayeyarwady United FC, a Myanmar National League football club.
  • Some of the Pathein umbrella workshops found here were set up 200 years or more ago. They still operate successfully.

Pathein is the capital and largest city of the Ayeyarwady Region, located about 190 kilometres away from Yangon. It sits on the banks of Pathein River, a distributary of Ayeyarwady River. Earlier known as Bassein, this city is the most important delta port of the country. Pathein is a quiet, laid-back riverside city, ideal for spending a few idle days. It is also the best place to be if you want to pay a visit to the stunning deltas of the Ayeyarwady River.

Pathein enjoys a tropical monsoon climate of continuous rainfall from June to August. December to April is the driest and coolest season, making it the best time to visit this place.


Literature reveals that Pathein existed even before Bagan. In the pre-colonial times, Pathein was a part of the Mon Kingdom. It was taken over by the British at the end of the First Anglo-Burmese War. The British built a fort and established a garrison in 1826. They also changed the name from Pathein to Bassein, mostly for ease of pronunciation.


Top Attractions

Pathein is a peaceful town with much to see. The Shwemokhtaw Pagoda is definitely not to be missed. It was founded by King Ashoka of India in 305 BC. The pagoda is gilded with gold, silver and bronze along with more than 800 diamonds, 800 rubies and thousands of semi-precious stones. You can visit St. Peter’s Cathedral as well. The catholic church was built in 1872 and demonstrates authentic colonial architecture. Take a walk to the harbour and enjoy a port brimming with life.

Pathein is famous for its Pathein umbrellas. The town is dotted with umbrella workshops where artisans hand-paint intricate designs on the umbrellas. They are quite reasonably priced, so don’t forget to pick up a few as a memory of your trip to Myanmar. You can also visit the Cultural Museum of the Ayeyarwady Delta located on Mahabandoola Road, where you will find traditional artefacts of the region.

Things To Do


Pathein town is not very large in size. You can simply walk around and see the life of the local people. Thanks to its colonial history, the town has several old buildings from the era. You will find old schools, post offices and a jail that was established in 1879. Do check them out.


The Mawtinsoun Pagoda is located on a hilltop beside the beach. It is a revered Buddhist site of the country. The pagoda is located in Mawdin, which requires a 5- to 6-hour journey from Pathein. This is where Buddhism entered Myanmar through the Indian Ocean. The pagoda literally juts out into the sea. Every March, the popular Mawdin Zun Payar Ceremony is held here.


Located on rolling green hills, this is a revered Buddhist temple in Pathein. It is dedicated to the footprints of Buddha, left during his famous perambulation through Southeast Asia. The footprint is oblong and about 3 feet long.


This Catholic church is also an educational institution. The church was established in 1872 and is plastered in pleasant emerald green. The daily mass takes place at 6 AM every day and also at 4 PM on Sundays. You can attend the mass if you want.

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