Mawlamyine, a beautiful town, it’s the Capital of Mon State, located at the mouth of the Thanlwin river. It is 44 miles south of Thatone. British called it Moulmein. It was a major seaport during British time and the famous writer and poet Rudyard Kipling has stayed there for sometimes. The old Moulmein Pagoda looking lazy at the sea is Kyaikthanlan Pagoda which located at the hill top offering splendid views over the sea and its harbor. Mawlamyine boast its many beautiful pagodas, colorful markets and the old buildings from British time.
Kyaik – Than – Lan Pagoda
The Kyaik-thanlan pagoda was erected in 875 A.D. During the reign of King Mutpi Raja. A hair relic of the Buddha, Successive kings raised the pagoda higher, from 56 feet to the present 150 feet. The present base of the pagoda is 450 feet in circumference. There are 34 small pagodas called Zediyan surrounding the pagoda. A lift has now been installed for easy access.
Kyaik in Mon language means Pagoda. The Pagoda was repaired by king Anawrahta, founder of the Bagan Dynasty, and later enlarged by Mon King, especially king Wagaru of Mottama in 1538 A.D. On the platform can be seen a big bell with a medieval Mon inscription and also another bell with a quaint inscription in English, dated 30th March 1885: “This bell made by koonalenga, the priest, and weight 500 vises.
Kyaik-than-lan was the pagoda that the famous English poet Rudyard Kipling wrote about in his poem “Mandalay” which opens with the line: By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea.
U Zina Pagoda
This pagoda is named after a person called U Zina, but no one really known who he was. Some say that U Zina was a sage who lived at the time of king Asoka, and that U Zina was Just a villager who while collecting shoots on the hill where the Pagoda now stands, found a pot of gold buried in a bamboo grove. The villager and his wife became rich and built this pagoda on the hill which gave up its treasure to them. The old Mon name for this pagoda is kyaikpatan, named after the white hill on which it stands. Legend says it was first built in the 3rd century B.C.
There is a reclining Buddha Image. Visitors should also see the four life-like figures, a decrepit old man leaning on a staff, a man suffering from a loathsome disease, aputrid corpse and finally a monk in yellow robes free from all worldly cares. These four figures represent the four signs that made lord Buddha leave the palace for the life of a religious recluse.
Other interesting Sites to see in Mawlamyine are Gaung Zey Kyung, Queen Seindom monastery and Kawgun cave which holds an enormous number of its countless Buddha images.
A small charming town located 24km at the south of Mawlamyine, there is very famous temple built by Queen Shinsawpu in 1455 A.D.
Win Sein Taw Ya
A bout 14 miles away from Mawlamyine is another interesting religious site 499.62 acres founded by a reverend monk Win sein taw ya Sayataw long ago. There one can see the world largest reclining Buddha Image. It is hollow type and 110 feet in height, including 8 stories and 182 rooms with statues, relief’s and painting depicting the events in the history of Buddhism .
One may also see the beautiful scenery from above and many other strange figures. Kyaikkhami Pagoda, perched on the rocks by the sea and joined to the land by a covered causeway, is the main attraction.
About 34 km from Mawlamyine is Thanbyuzayat, an Allied War Memorial Cemetery for the prisoners of war during the Second World War, who lost their lives in the construction of the famous Death Railway across the River Kwai.
It is one of the mysterious lands of with many old historical monuments as Buddha Images and Stupas. Kyake Hti Saung Sayadaw( venerable monk) and his monastery are very well known spot for local people. There are many old lateite stone Images and the brick wall of the old city in Zote thoke village. It was discovered by the Sayadaw over 30 years ago.
It is believed to have been the place where Tharavada Buddhism started in Myanmar. It was an ancient capital of former Mon kingdom and also known as Suvanabhumi. But very little remnant of its past time can be seen today except from some religious monuments. It is situated on the main road from Bago to Mawlamyine, 367 km away from Yangon, accessible by car and train from Yangon.
The main things to see in Thatone are Shwe San yan Pagoda and a few kilometers out from its town is AlanTa Yar Phaya and Thakka meat free religious site.
Bayin Nyi Cave
About an hour drive from Thatone is Bayin Nyi Cave. Sometime busy with local visitor who come and pay homage inside the cave temple and donate food to the monkeys. Many believe the water come out from the hot spring possess medicinal qualities which can be cure the believers diseases and sickness.
Kawgun is name after the village rear by which is roughly about 4 miles from Pha An. A natural lime stone cave measuring 200ft height and 300ft length. The rock surface is beautifully decorated with different sizes of clay Buddha images and votive tablets according to historian, some of the images are from 11 century AD. One can see very old Mon language and a broken stone figure which cannot be easily dated.