Travel Myanmar | Mon State
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Fascinating Facts

  • The first settlement of the Mon people dates back to 1024 AD.
  • Mawlamyine has an interesting legend behind its name. Do ask the locals about it.
  • The best time to visit Mon is in February when the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda festival is held.

Fascinating Facts

  • The first settlement of the Mon people dates back to 1024 AD.
  • Mawlamyine has an interesting legend behind its name. Do ask the locals about it.
  • The best time to visit Mon is in February when the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda festival is held.

Mon State

Mon is a southern state of Myanmar bordered by the Kayin State in the east and the Andaman Sea in the west. The Bago Region lies to the north of Mon and the southernmost state of Tanintharyi to the extreme south. The state is inhabited by the Mon people, a predominant ethnic group of Myanmar.

Mon State enjoys a tropical climate with moderate to hot temperatures throughout the year. The region receives heavy rainfall in July and August. Mawlamyine, the third largest city of Myanmar, is the capital of Mon State. Mon also has an extensive coastline and several untouched beaches.

History

The history of Mon State dates back to about 300 BC, which is believed to be when it was founded. Historians believe that Mon is a part of the Suvarnabhumi mentioned in the literature during the time of Ashoka. The people living in this region came into contact with Buddhism around 2nd and 3rd century BC when monks from Ashoka’s kingdom visited Mon. Hence, the culture of this region is a blend of Indian and Mon cultures.

History

The history of Mon State dates back to about 300 BC, which is believed to be when it was founded. Historians believe that Mon is a part of the Suvarnabhumi mentioned in the literature during the time of Ashoka. The people living in this region came into contact with Buddhism around 2nd and 3rd century BC when monks from Ashoka’s kingdom visited Mon. Hence, the culture of this region is a blend of Indian and Mon cultures.

How To Get There

Mawlamyine is well connected with the rest of the country by bus. The travel from Yangon takes between 6 and 7 hours. Several buses are available throughout the day. Overnight highway buses are also available from Mandalay, the travel being quite comfortable.

You can also reach Mawlamyine by train from Yangon and Bago. The journey takes between 7 and 9 hours. You can reach Kyaiktiyo Pagoda by train from Mawlamyine. Tickets for all trains are available 3 days prior to departure.

Fancy a boat ride? Mawlamyine is connected to Hpa An by boat, although the journey can be more costly than a bus or train ride. Several operators operate boats in this route.

Top Attractions

Mon State is blessed with several places of tourist interest. There are several pagodas, out of which the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is the most renowned. The Golden Rock, perched precariously on a cliff, is one of the most respected Buddhist monuments in the country. The world’s largest reclining Buddha is located in Win Sein Taw Ya Pagoda, a must-visit destination for tourists. Apart from this, the Kyaik Paw Law Pagoda and the Shwe Sar Yan Pagoda also deserve a visit.

The capital of Mon State, Mawlamyine, was the former capital of the land during British rule and is a bustling city with much to explore. It blends colonial architecture and Buddhism and is an important port of Myanmar at present. The Setse beach is beautiful and ideal to relax and unwind. The historical town of Thaton is another place to visit, especially due to its rich historical background.

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Top Attractions

Mon State is blessed with several places of tourist interest. There are several pagodas, out of which the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is the most renowned. The Golden Rock, perched precariously on a cliff, is one of the most respected Buddhist monuments in the country. The world’s largest reclining Buddha is located in Win Sein Taw Ya Pagoda, a must-visit destination for tourists. Apart from this, the Kyaik Paw Law Pagoda and the Shwe Sar Yan Pagoda also deserve a visit.

The capital of Mon State, Mawlamyine, was the former capital of the land during British rule and is a bustling city with much to explore. It blends colonial architecture and Buddhism and is an important port of Myanmar at present. The Setse beach is beautiful and ideal to relax and unwind. The historical town of Thaton is another place to visit, especially due to its rich historical background.

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Things To Do

VISIT THE PAGODAS

Mon has several pagodas of extreme importance. The Kyaiktiyo Pagoda or the Golden Rock Pagoda is the most important and visited by pilgrims all over the world. Other important pagodas include Kyaik Paw Law Pagoda, Shwe Sar Yan Pagoda, Win Sein Taw Ya Pagoda and Kyauktalone Taung Pagoda.

EXPLORE THE CITIES

Mon State has several cities worth a visit. Mawlamyine is the third largest city of Myanmar, an erstwhile capital of the British empire. The Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda is a popular landmark in the town, built in 875 AD. Another city to visit is Thaton, a town located between two rivers. Filled with an interesting history, Thaton is an old town where you can see the remnants of the palace.

RELAX AT THE BEACH

One of the most beautiful beaches of Myanmar, Setse Beach is located in Mon State. It is a wide brown beach overlooking the Bay of Bengal. It takes about an hour and a half to reach Setse Beach from Mawlamyine. You can plan a day trip and relax at the beach.

TRAVEL TO THE ISLANDS

Having an extensive coastline, Mon not only has beaches but features several islands as well. You can hire a boat to visit these islands. Bilu Island is one of the primary ones to visit, being a centre of Mon culture. There are about 60 villages inhabited by the Mon people. Another island worth a visit is Gaugsay Kyin Island, located quite close to Mawlamyine. It is a good picnic spot, ideal to spend a lazy day.

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