Mawlamyine is the fourth largest city in Myanmar, sitting at the mouth of Thanlwin River-the longest river in Myanmar. It is also the capital of Mon State (Myanmar is formed of Seven States and Seven Regions). It had been an ancient Mon City and, now, the main trading center and seaport in Southeastern Myanmar. The pagodas and many kinds of trees along the mountain ranges in the east of the city give the beautiful view to the visitors. The city is well known for its pleasant green scenery and fruits.It can also make the visitors feel the undertone of colonial era of Myanmar. After the first Anglo-Burmese war (1826-1852), Mawlamyine became the first capital of lower Myanmar. In those days, there are many Anglo-Burmese people in the city so that it is called little England. Moreover, it is the city where the famous English Author, Gorge Orwell lived. In Mawlamyine, there are many famous attractions the visitors should not miss to visit, including the world’s largest reclining Buddha Image, the Kyeikthalan Pagoda, SeindoneMinphaya Monastery, Mahamuni Image,Thanphyuzayet Dead Railway , Satse Beach, Shamphoo island, etc.
World’s largest reclining Buddha Image
This world’s largest reclining Buddha Image is on 499 acre cloistral site, lying in front of the green mountain ranges on the Mawlamyine- Mudone road. The image is 400 feet long and 110 feet high, having six-storey. Inside the each storey, there are interesting Buddhist iconography and life of Buddha demonstration. Around the image, 500 Buddha images are wandering to collect the alms food. And, this site is quiet and peaceful, covered with forest.
The Kyeikthalan Pagoda
The Kyeikthalan Pagoda is the biggest pagoda in Mawlamyine, locating on the Thanlwin hill. The name of the pagoda means as being able to make the Shan ( one of the ethic group) flee away. The story of pagoda is very interesting. Once, the Mon and Shan ethnic groups were engaging in hostilities each other very often. After a long time, the two regions are also destroyed by the war. So, the King of Mon sent the ambassadors to tell the the King of Shan that hostility makes the devastation and it is fruitless and they need to decide wisely. By the wise decision, the defeated one has to make invasion to the victor never. The way is to build a pagoda by each and the one who completes the pagoda first, is the victor. The Mons built the pagoda with Bamboo strips so that they finish it first in a day. The Shans built it with the bricks and stones that makes them not to be able to finish in a day .And, the Mons painted it with lime. So, the Shans thought it’s real and Mons won. Since then, the Mon region was never invaded by Shans. Later, people said the region also became developed because of the almighty of the Pagoda.
Thanphyuzayet Railway ( Burmese-Siam Railway )(1942-1943 )
The JapaneseArmy built the railway during the Japanese occupation in World War II. It starts from Thanphyuzayat town in Myanmar, across the Phayathonezu ( Three Pagoda Pass ) valley on Thai-Myanmar Border with building a bridge over the Kwe River ( Me Khong in former time )and finish at Ban Pong town in Thailand. It is 275 miles long and the purpose is to connect with the Bangkok-Singapore railway. It was known as the Death Railway due to the many prisoners of war who died constructing the 275 mile (415 kilometer) line for the Japanese Imperial Army. Only 112 km of line ran within the boundaries of Burma.An estimated 120,000 people died during constructing the railway, including Australian, Dutch, American and British prisoners of war, as well as laborers from Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia. And, in the memory of people who died during constructing the railway, the graves of them were kept in the Thanphyuzayat War Cemetery on Thanphyuzayat-Maungmakan road. It is 25 arces wide.
The Setse Beach
Setse is a beach resort on the Golf of Mottama of the Andaman Sea in Thanphyuzayat Township. The beach itself is composed of brown sand, is quite wideand about 5.6 kilometers long, but the water is often muddy when currents bring down silts from the Thanlwin river which enters the Gulf of Mottama just to the north. Setse has been a resort since the 19th century, and still remains popular.
Kyeikkhami YeleKyauk Tan Pagoda
This Pagoda is on a peninsula in the west of Kyeikkhami Town about 55 miles south of Mawlamyine. It is a popular destination for local pilgrims and some tourists. It had been just constructed on the sea using the natural foundation of its ocean reefs, which is connected with the corridor to the beach. We can also pay homage to the pagoda from Satse Beach. Buddha’s relics are enshrined inside the pagoda. With respect to the pagoda, two things are noticed that the water level never rises to cover the pagoda, and there will always be enough room for everyone who come to visit the pagoda (meaning, even the pagoda has small room for visitors somehow it is always balanced out between those who is coming & leaving). The history of KyeikkhamiYeleKyauk Tan Pagoda is really amazing. According to the history, the King of Srilanka floated the four Buddha images down the sea, wishing to locate the place where the Buddha’s relics remain. One of them reaches near KyeikkhamiYele reef. So, the town people get the pagoda and keep inside the temple.