Situated in the Sagaing Region of Myanmar, Monywa is considered the largest city there. The city fills with lush neem trees and a vast number of attractions. It pays homage to the second tallest Buddha statue in the world, and a beautiful monastery as well which has 500,000 images of the Buddha!
The climate in Monywa is a bit dry, it is labeled as ‘Hot Semi-arid’. Thus, if you want to visit this part of Myanmar it is best to do your research regarding the best time regarding the atmosphere. Reaching this place through Mandalay through bus transportation is manageable, and the Mandalay-Budalin branch railway line will be the correct path.
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10 Best Things to Do in Monywa | Myanmar
1. Journey to Thanboddhay Paya
Thanboddhay Paya is a vivid temple and considered one of the more recent ones in Monywa. Even seeing from a picture will excite you to pack your bags and venture out! It is famous for amassing an impressive number of Buddha images.
The architecture of the temple is quite intricate, starting with the roof which is covered in small stupas and embellished in sparkling gold leaf. There’s also decorated obelisks which have cravings of the Buddha and soaring over 30 feet.
2. Fancy a boat trip?
This city has an aquatic abundance, and tourists love to take part in activities because of it. Several Burmese towns just like Monywa are located on the river. Therefore, take a peaceful boat ride along the city’s waterway to immerse yourself in its scenery.
The best part of visiting a foreign country is to witness different cultures and lifestyles in its true essence. So, when you’re on your boat ride, keep a keen eye out for local families who reside on the river banks.
3. Take a stroll around Hpo Win Daung Complex
This destination is a magnificent portrayal of Myanmar’s local culture. This complex comprises of about 500 Buddha chambers which are constructed into the neighboring hillside and is composed of soft limestone. Dating back to the 14th and 18th centuries, these caves are a bit long but an amazing sight to capture.
The chambers are filled with Buddha images and there are larger caves that have vibrant murals that speak about the local Buddha history.
4. Visit Payagyi
This marvel is renowned for having a huge change which is a deity, it is constructed to resemble a half lion and half dragon. The Payagi stupa sits over a hill, once you encounter this area it will feel quite picturesque. The reason being, the countryside of Monywa is nearby, thus the Payagi stupa fits nicely within the environment. There is also a prayer hall inside which has teak pillars dating back 170 years back!
5. Traverse through Shwe Ba Taung
Shwe Ba Taung is situated close to Hpo Win Village, and is respected for its 46 different caves! To travel to the caves, a long walk through the rustic pathways must commence, which cut into the side of a hill and a few of these have a vertical drop of about 25 feet.
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6. Check out Kyaukka Village
This incredible village is situated twelve miles outside of Monywa. So, if you wish to visit the outskirts of town a day trip could suffice.
Kyaukka Village has a tranquil atmosphere where lacquer products are sold, so grab a memento. These goods, in comparison with other parts of the country, has a distinguishing black and gold design thicker than other lacquer products.
7. Make a tour towards A Myint
Holidays should be enriching experiences, so have a sufficient amount of time for each detour. Therefore, if you can squeeze in other activities within your general schedule, then consider spending an afternoon in a nearby village known as A Myint.
The village is famous for having three hundred scenic stupas. Making your way around this area will allow you to discover beautiful stupas which surround the countryside.
8. Gallivanting towards Twin Taung
Picturesque villages are one of the best features of Monywa, and one of the best things to do is travel around Twin Taung. This is a beautiful village located near the city. It is famous for its lake which possesses a rare supply of spirulina, that is harvested to produce cosmetics and health products.
9. Feast out at Pleasant Island
Are you a foodie? Then, Pleasant Island will surely delight you and offer an array of pleasant dishes! Situated on the central lake, every backpacker should visit this place, because for such a little restaurant it surely is a marvel!
What makes this place more adventurous is that you need to cross an ancient little bridge which is made of wooden planks. It’d make you feel like a pirate sailing the mighty shores, and stumbling upon this little treasure box on ‘Pleasant Island’.
The restaurant has a plethora of delicious food items, such as local Burmese, Chinese, Thai, and even Indian! The environment around the restaurant is praiseworthy, on one side the lake inhabits and on the other, there’s mouth-watering food!
10. Make a stop at Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda
Our final stop is located around 29 miles outside of the center of Monywa. The Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda was constructed back in the 14th century. The focus of this Pagoda is the monumental Buddha Statue standing at a whopping thirty-three meters! Decorated with gold leaf foils, monks conduct pilgrimages and attach gold leaves as a sign of reverence.
Observation is key when visiting historical landmarks such as these. This is because if you stay long enough you will be able to know things which are overlooked. So, when looked closely, the gold leaf is many inches thick in parts and almost shelters the face of the Buddha.
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In conclusion, these destinations will surely put a smile on any traveler’s face. However, it is advisable to properly research the ethics behind each country to visit. To have a healthy and friendly time with the locals, knowing one’s culture goes a long way!