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Lower Myanmar

Favorite attractions in Myanmar: YANGON, THANLYIN,TWANTE, BAGO, KYAIKHTIYO, HPA-AN, MAWLAMYINE, PATHEIN, PYAY (PROME)

YANGON

Yangon is a capital city and main gate way to Myanmar. Yangon is also known as Garden city of South East Asia. Yangon has a unique charm, with its old colonial buildings, green lush tropical trees, tree-lined streets, bustling local markets, shady parks and tranquil lakes. The earliest history of Yangon is always associated with the history of Shewdagon pagoda. According to legendary basis, the place of Yangon was named Paukkrawaddy or Okkala during the life span of Gautama Buddha and in the building of Tigon or Dagon pagoda. Based on the Mon inscription in 11 century A.D., the place was mentioned as Dagon which was a small village on the seaside in lower Myanmar. In the second half of 15 century, Queen Shinsawbu (1453-72 A.D.) and King Dhammaecti renovated and enlarged the grand Shwedagon pagoda. In the 16 century, Dagon gradually achieved some reputations and significant as the detailed inscriptions and informative data about the city were mentioned in the records of Gaspano Balbi in 1853 and Ralph Fitch in 1856-57. In 1755 A.D, as a result of strengthening national unity and expansion of Empire, King Alaungmintaya, the founder of Konbaung Dynasty and Third Myanmar Empire, conquered Mon region in lower Myanmar, including of Dagon. This was a remarkable event and led the small town growing to be modern Yangon in history. Supposing his last struggle for national unifying campaign, a new city was built and entitled Yangon (Ending of Strife).

Recommended tour highlights are
Shwedagon pagoda ( more than 2500years old, one of the wonders of the world and the first pagoda on earth, 100 meter high and plated with more than 30tons of gold, tip of the golden cone is set with rubies, diamonds, sapphires and topaz.), Sule pagoda ( 46m high and octagonal shape, landmark of the heart of the city, located near the City Hall, Bandoola park and Myanmar Travels and Tours office) Kabaaye pagoda (world peace pagoda, where 6th Buddha synod was held), Botataung pagoda ( means 1000 military commander, Buddha's hair relics were enshrine, hallow inside, it has a mirror-maze), Chaukhtatkyi pagoda( 70 meter long, one of the largest reclining Buddha in Myanmar), National Museum ( its famous lion throne ), Karaweik Royal barge, ( largest marble Buddha in the world sculptured out from a single piece of stone), Bogyoke Aung San market (formerly called Scott Market named after Mr. Jar van Scott, Yangon Municipal commissioner )for shopping, the city's busiest and most colorful bazaar, China town & Fruit market.

THANLYIN

Thanlyin was a major trade center in late 16th17th century. In the late 16th century and early century, Portuguese adventurer Philip De Brito occupied Thanlyin and founded the first colonial administration in Myanmar and he destroyed a large number of Buddhist monuments in order to obtain jewelry. In 1613, King Anaukphetlum raided into Thanlyan and seized Phillip De Brito. As a result of destroying Buddhist monuments, he was punished death by impalement. A famous Myanmar writer Natshinnaung was also executed assuming he had connected with Phillip De Brito. It can be reached by car, 30-45 minutes drive crossing Thanlyin Bridge which is the longest and biggest bridge in Myanmar.

TWANTE

Twante is in the Yangon divisions. It is 24 km far from Yangon. It can be reached either by ferry boat on a 2-3 hours ride along the Twante canal and or by car. Twante is also known for its pottery and cotton weaving industries. Pots are major products in Twante and various shapes and sizes of pots are produced in Oh-Bo ward. Shwesandaw Pagoda, Oh-Bo Pottery Sheds, local town market, Baungdawgyoke Pagoda, Snake Temple, weavers are among the interesting sites.




BAGO

An ancient capital Mon Kingdom in 15th century. It is also well known as Hanthawaddy. Today Bago is capital of Bago division. Bago (Pegu) is one of the richest archaeological sites in Myanmar. It is situated 80 km from Yangon and two hours drive from Yangon.
Recommended tour highlights include Htaukkyant allied war cemetery (32 km from Yangon on the way to Bago and 27000 stone graves of allied soldiers died in Myanmar during the second world war) Pottery, Shwemawdaw Pagoda (114 meter high and 14m higher than Shwedagon pagoda), Kalyani Sima Ordination Hall (constructed in 1476), Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha(55metre long and 16m high, the most lifelike of all reclining Buddha's in a "relaxing" mode), Bago Market, Four 28 meter high huge Buddha images of Kyaikpun pagoda, the Palace of King Bayinnaung (Kanbawzathadi Palace), Snake Monastery ( short distance from the Kanbawzathadi Palace, Saw Nan Wai who has been reincarnated in the form of 115year old boa)

KYAIKHTIYO

This mystical pagoda stands on a gold gilded boulder, precariously perched on the edge of the hill over 1100m above sea-level. The small stupa, 7.3m high sits atop the Golden Rock, a massive, gold-leafed boulder delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff at the top of the Mountain. It is a major pilgrimage site and one of the most sacred Buddhist site for Burmese Buddhists and tourists also. There are many legends about the pagoda and nats or spirits. To reach the top of the mountain, one is to ride large trucks up to winding road to Yatetaung for 45 min drive from the Kim pun base camp. There were 4.6km from Yatetaung to the top. All tourists are not allowed to go up by truck because the road is winding and very steep. All visitors can walk up the remaining 4.6km steep tracks for about 45min to one hour or another easy way is to sit on the sedan chair, carried by four porters to the top. It is worth while visiting for inspiring views from the top as for the gravity defying boulder itself.

HPA-AN

The capital city of Kayin State, Hpa-An is located 270 km east of Yangon. Reach Hpa-an by road from Yangon across a bridge over the Thanlwin River or by ferry boat from Mawlamyine.





MAWLAMYINE

Mawlamyine is the capital of Mon state, situated at the mouth of the Thanlwin River and located 270km southeast of Yangon. It is an old colonial town and once an important teak port.

Recommended tour sides include the
Mahamuni pagoda (the largest temple complex in Mawlamyine, built in the typical Mon style, the main image is a replica of its namesake in Mandalay) & Uzina Pagodas (named after a former monk who dreamt of finding gems at this place and then dug up and proceeds to build a temple on the site), Kyaikthanlan Pagoda (the city's tallest and most visible stupa, can go up by a lift). Win Sein TawYa reclining Buddha, 177m long, is world biggest and has not been finished yet. Further down the coast you can visit Setse Beach (very wide and brown sand beach and half way between Kyaikkhami and Thanbyuzayat). Kyaikkhami Yale pagoda (metal-roofed Buddhist shrine complex perched over the sea and joined to the land by a long covered causeway). 34 km from Mawlamyine is Thanbyuzayat, an Allied War Memorial Cemetery for the prisoners of war who lost their lives in the building of the famous Death Railway across the River Kwai.

PATHEIN

Pathein is the capital of Ayeyarwady division and 190km west of Yangon. It situated on the eastern bank of the Pathein River in the Ayeyarwady Delta. It can be reached by coach or by car and takes 4-5 hours drive. Pathein is popular for its colorful hand-painted umbrellas and it produces the best rice available in Myanmar.

PYAY (PROME)

Pyay (Prome) is located 285 km north-west of Yangon which can be accessible by car in about 5 hours and 7to 8hr by train. Pyay is an enormous Pyu city from the 5th to 9th century and also known as Thayekhittaya. It was an important trading centre during the Bagan era. Tour highlights includes small museum, behind the museum to the remains of the old palace wall, Yahanta gate, Yahanta cave temple, Bawbawgyi paya, Be Be gyi paya, Lamyethna paya, cemetery, the Shwesandaw Paya (Just over 1m taller than the main zedi at Yangon's shwedagon), Sehtatgyi paya, Shwemyetman Paya in Shwedaung and, Akauk Taung - beautiful Buddha images carved in the banks of rock along the river.
 
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