- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
A visit to Mawlamyine is a little like following in the footsteps of famous authors such as George Orwell and Rudyard Kipling, the first having spent several years here, and the other referring to the city in a poem titled "Mandalay" after spending three days there.
Though Mawlamyine is a large city, it doesn't feel it. You can easily look round the whole city center on foot in two or three hours. For those with less time, it is possible to hire bicycles and motorbikes. I personally chose to stroll around the city's streets on foot, heading first to the Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda (which is precisely what inspired Rudyard Kipling's poem). Though it's a popular place to go to watch the sunset, I went there in the morning when I went there; the views are still wonderful in either case as the pagoda literally dominates the area and offers more or less 360° views out over the city.
The streets close by the river are the most interesting, with the areas around the port and the market especially busy and bustling. You can still see the remains of the city's colonial past in the form of a number of dilapidated buildings you can encounter there. In conclusion, Mawlamyine is an ideal place to stop and see before heading on to Hpa-an to complete your trip through Burma. And if you happen to be planning to continue your journey through Southeast, you can then cross into Thailand at the border town of Myawaddy, .
With a population of 500,000, Mawlamyine is Myanmar's third largest city. It's a very enjoyable place to explore on foot and isn't as big as it may seem. To really absorb the atmosphere of the city, there's nothing better than wandering its streets at leisure and a visit to the local market. As you'll discover when travelling around Myanmar, the locals are very curious and friendly towards foreigners, especially in areas that don't yet receive much tourism.
On the other side of the river you can visit Shampoo Island. This is where royal hair-washing ceremonies took place in the 16th century. It's a very small island where you walk barefoot from one temple to the next. I recommend rounding off the day with a visit to the city's various pagodas. Located on a hill, they offer wonderful views over Mawlamyine, especially at dusk.