Colonial Moulmein, now called it’s original Mawlamyine, is southeast of Yangon and is the capitol of Mon State. It has a population of about 400,000 and is the 4th most populous city in Myanmar. In colonial times the city served as the administrative capitol of Lower Burma, and was a major port, sitting at the moth of the Thanlwin River accessible from the Gulf of Mottama.
Mawlamyine’s signature landmark is Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, which was completed in 875. Yes, 875, not 1875! This pagoda, not Mandalay, is where Rudyard Kipling is believed to have written his classic poem, “The Road to Mandalay”. So grab your tablets and have a seat!
Win Sein Taw Ya is the longest reclining Buddha on earth at 560 feet, or 180 meters. It’s not exactly a gem on the outside, and the inside features a Buddhist hell, with all kinds of outlandish scenes of demon blood-lust, which is apparently fun for the whole family!
Not on most tourists destinations list, Mawlamyine is now easily accessible by air and ground from Thailand. It’s a lovely and charming city with a rich history. Ever ridden on a wooden bus? Now is your chance!