Travel Myanmar | Mon State Attraction
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Located towards the south of the country, Mon State offers beautiful locales to travellers. The capital of Mon, Mawlamyine, is the third largest town of Myanmar. It is a bustling city located 300 kilometres southeast of Yangon. It is an important trading port as well as a trading centre of Mon State.

Mon has several things to explore, the most popular being the Golden Rock Pagoda, the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage centre in Myanmar. There are several other pagodas that deserve a visit too. Being blessed with a coastline along the Bay of Bengal, Mon also offers several beaches and several small islands to explore.

Things To Do

EXPLORE MAWLAMYINE

The third largest city and the most important port of Myanmar deserves a visit. Mawlamyine was the erstwhile capital of the British empire and has been featured in famous literary works of writers. Mawlamyine provides a blend of Buddhism-influenced and colonial-style architecture. There’s much to see in Mawlamyine. You can visit the Mon Cultural Museum, Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda, U Zina Pagoda and Mahamuni Pagoda.

VISIT THATON

Thaton is the oldest city in this area, with a history dating back to the time of King Ashoka. It is believed that the area termed Suvarnabhumi by writers from the kingdom of King Ashoka is actually Thaton. In ancient times, Thaton was a flourishing port and connected Southeast Asia with South India. Today, you can see the remnants of the defensive wall and a moat that lies between the two walls. There is also a pagoda located between the palace and the south wall.

UNWIND AT SETSE BEACH

Having a significant coastline that meets the Bay of Bengal, Mon has several beaches to its credit. The most notable among them is Setse Beach, located about 80 kilometres away from Mawlamyine. Setse is a brown-sand beach with unhindered views of the sea. Lines of trees add greenery to the area. You can simply sit under the shade of the trees, sip on the juice of a young coconut and enjoy some delicious seafood.

PLAN A DAY TRIP TO THANBYUZAYAT

Located 30 kilometres south of Mawlamyine, Thanbyuzayat is the erstwhile western terminus of the famous Burma-Siam railway, often termed as the Death Railway. This route was made famous by the award-winning Hollywood movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. If you walk a kilometre to the west of the clock tower, you can see the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, which contains the graves of 3,771 allied prisoners of war who died while building the railway. This town will show you the destructions faced during World War II.

Did You Know?

The Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery not only contains the graves of British soldiers but also American, Australian and Dutch soldiers killed during World War II.

Pagodas

KYAIKTIYO PAGODA

The most famous tourist site in Mon State, this pagoda is known by the golden rock perched at the edge of a cliff on Mount Kyaiktiyo. Built in 574 BC, the pagoda is located about 229 kilometres away from Yangon and about 167 kilometres from Mawlamyine. It is the third most important Buddhist monument in the country. It used to be a difficult place to reach. However, it can now be easily accessed through transportation facilities. You can also stay there.

KYAIKHTEE SAUNG PAGODA

This pagoda is one of the most ancient hair relic pagodas in the country, located on a stunning laterite stone hillock. In 1971, Monk U Pyinnyadipa found this pagoda in between huge bushes when he visited his native village Zoke Thoke. Wih the help of villagers and his disciples, he cleared the bushes and renovated the pagoda. Today, this pagoda is a revered religious site of the country.

WIN SEIN TAW YA PAGODA

This is the largest reclining Buddha statue in the world, rising up to 30 metres in height. It can be seen from miles away. The statue is filled with rooms that showcase the teachings of Buddha. It’s a novelty walking to the giant head of Buddha. However, it is a place of religious worship for the people. Hence, dressing decently is recommended. You will have to remove your shoes before entering the shrine.

KYAIK THAN LAN PAGODA

This historical pagoda, which was famously featured in Rudyard Kipling’s poem Mandalay, is located on the Mawlamyine Ridge. It was erected in 875 AD, during the reign of Mutpi Raja. The pagoda enshrines a hair relic of Lord Buddha, gold images of Buddha and Tripitaka manuscripts. The pagoda’s height has been increased by kings over the years. Visitors can climb up using a lift. There is a big bell with medieval Mon inscription on the main pagoda platform. There is also a memorial of the famous Thingaza Sayadaw in the complex.

U ZINA PAGODA

This pagoda has been named after U Zina. There are different claims to who U Zina was. Some say that he was a villager, others say he was a sage during King Ashoka’s time. The pagoda has a reclining Buddha image and 4 other life-like figures – the image of a leaning old man, a putrid corpse, a man suffering from a disease and a monk wearing yellow robe. These 4 figures show Buddha’s journey from a luxurious life in the palace to monkhood. The pagoda was built in 1886.