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An update from Evaneos

Mawlamyine (Burma)

Practical information about Mawlamyine

  • Island
  • Viewpoint
  • Port
  • River
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Museums
  • Handicraft
  • Place or Historical Monument
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
Three and a half hours by bus from Kyaiktiyo
When to go
From December to March
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Mawlamyine

Romain Beuvart Travel writer
89 travel articles

Mawlamyine used to be capital of Burma at the time of British rule, and was then known as Moulmein. There are still various colonial buildings in the city today, though there are many temples too.

My suggestion:
Be sure to admire the sunset from the heights of the Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda. The views are wonderful.

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, .

A street in Mawlamyine
Aurélie Chartier Travel writer
45 travel articles

Mawlamyine means "damaged eye". According to a legend, a Mon king lost one of his eyes there.

My suggestion:
Wander its streets, explore the city, and smile: the Burmese are very friendly and welcoming. Go and see the pagodas in the evening just before sunset.

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.