Mawlamyaine is the biggest city in southern Myanmar. It was the first Burma colonial capital after the second Anglo-Burmese War. Many colonial buildings remain in town along with modern skyscrapers.
Ruyard Kipling wrote describing the town as Old Moulmein in his poem Road to Mandalay. He may have seen the old pagoda on the river bank where the city Moulmein, as it was then called, rests at the delta of the Thanlwin, the second longest river in Myanmar. Boat cruising from Mawlamyine to Pha-an, the capital city of Karen State, is the best river tour in Myanmar.
Besides the colonial influence, Mawlamyine has ancient monasteries. Among them is Sein Tone Queen Monastery donated by one of the queens of the founder of Mandalay Palace.
Mawlamyaine has famous pagodas. Kyaikthanlan sits atop a hill overlooking the whole city and the river delta provides a panoramic view of many pagodas in the city, colonial buildings, islands in the delta, and in the distance, Bilu Island where villages line the sea shore.
Mawlamyaine is also famous for its fruits, especially pomelo and durian.
Outside the city is the largest reclining Buddha in the country. It is longer than 600 meters.
Also nearby is the Pa-ouk Taw Ya, Forest Meditation Camp where those who are interested may participate in Buddhist Vipassana Meditation and may stay to study. Situated in the rubber forest and surrounded by many streams, peace and tranquility reign over the whole place.
Another outstanding site in the area is the Kyaikmayaw Sitting Buddha in European Posture. Flanked by the two disciples, Buddha sits in the chair in the mood of stepping forward.Â The scenery is very beautiful and stopping for photos is encourged.
Nearby, Pha-an can offer you additional sites to explore including natural lime stone caves, local villages, and famous pagodas.