As if Myanmar is not enough of a hidden gem, you’ll traverse this less-visited country and experience two towns that many leave off their itinerary when discovering Burma. They are Hpa An and Mawlamein. Ever heard of them? If not, and are interested in a Burmese countryside experience, you should certainly head over to these two towns.
Start off in the big city (for Burmese standards), Yangon. After your sightseeing here, hop in a car and drive on south to Mawlamein, the capital of the Mon State. But first, Bago. This is where the world’s second largest reclining Buddha statue peacefully lies down. Just so you know, this image is 30 and a half men long and about nine men tall.
Located at the confluence of four rivers close to the coastline, Mawlamein is a fertile area filled with plantations as well as small fishing villages. Reach here by afternoon, with plenty of time to relax from your journey.
Fist, get a taste and preview of Burmese countryside life with a visit to the town’s local market. See, hear, smell, taste and feel the atmosphere of a colorful and happening marketplace. You’ll visit the stupa of Kyaik Thanlan, a spectacular hillside temple with fabulous views of the countryside, the Queen Sein Don Monastery with its many antiques and intricate carvings and take a boat trip to Shampoo Island. If you want a few pointers on meditation, head over to Pa Auk Taw Ya Monastery, about 15 kilometers out of town.
Ready for another scenic drive to another of Myanmar’s treasures? You’ll also traverse green fields, lush rainforests and sleepy villages, but this time, you’ll head to the sleepy capital of the Kayin State, Hpa An. Buddhas and caves, yep, it’s here. Mt. Zwe Kabin, also known as the Cave of Ten Thousand Buddhas (for obvious reasons) is spectacular for another reason, most of the images look quite alike from each other. This also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s poem titled Mandalay.
Before returning to Yangon, take a boat trip along the Than Lwin River to a secluded temple and cave. The views and tranquil scenes leave a lasting impression of this beautiful area and are a fitting end to your journey.
These are of course, some of the less visited sites. Perhaps you want to embrace in the country’s famous ones like Shwedagon in Yangon or the temples of Bagan? Or perhaps the mountain or beach suits you more? Look no further than our Myanmar tours.
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