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Places of Interests (Yangon)
Bago (Pegu)
Bago (Pegu)Bago, the former royal capital of the Môn is located 80 km from Yangon. It takes 2 hours by road from Yangon passing through the landscape of the verdant rice fields.The first settlement on the site of present Bago are Mon people who founded their principality named "Ossa Bago" in 9th Century. In 11 century, it fell under the first Burmese empire of Bagan. It became again the capital of Mon kingdom in 14th century, and was known as "Hanthawaddy Bago". At that time, it was an active harbor for marine trade. In 16th century, the Burmese annexed it again and the king chose it as the royal capital of second Burmese empire. In 16th century, the Arakans destroyed and abandoned the capital. The Mon re-established their capital in Bago but the Burmese kings "Along-phaya" destroyed it completely in 1757. From that time onward, it was no longer as an important harbor with the receding of the sea, and remained a simple city until now. But it is worthy to visit for a day excursion from Yangon. A new international airport is being constructed at present.

Entrance fee = 10$ per pax for archaeological zone fee.

Shwe-maw-daw PagodaShwe-maw-daw Pagoda
Overlooking the plain with its spire 114 m, the "Shwe-maw-daw" pagoda is one of the most venerated pagodas in Burma. According to the legend, this pagoda was constructed by two merchants Mon brothers, "Tha-phu-sa" and "Bha-li-ka" to enshrine two hair-relics of Buddha which they brought from India last 2000 years ago. It has been enlarged and has been rebuilt several times through the centuries due to the damages of earthquakes. Those of 1912, 1917, and 1930 destroyed the pagoda completely and the present pagoda was rebuilt in the years of 1950. During the renovations, some holy relics were added (copies of the Buddha's tooth) to which the pagoda owes its reverence. While walking around the pagoda, one can notice the upper part of which felt down in 1917 at the place of the fall. There is a small museum that contains different vestiges and statuaries recovered after the earthquakes. The pagoda is accessible by four stair-ways full of souvenirs shops.

Maha-zedi Pagoda
Maha-zedi Pagoda BagoMaha-zedi means "Great pagoda" and it was constructed by the Burmese king "Ba-yin-naung" in 1560. The original pagoda sealed up the Buddha's relic (supposedly the Buddha's real famous tooth coming from Candy of Srilanka). In 17 century, the relic was conveyed to upper Burma by a Burmese king, and enshrined in "Kaung-hmu-taw" pagoda in Sagine near Mandalay together with another relic (the emerald alms bowl). After the fall of "Hantha-waddy" in 18 century, the "Maha-Zedi" pagoda was abandoned and destroyed by violent earthquakes. The present pagoda has recently restored in 1982. The men only can go up on the superior terraces by a staircase that offers a panoramic view on the vicinities. In the precinct of pagoda, there is a small temple made of lateritie, and a particular site called "Ba-yin-naung-aung-myway" where the king "Ba-yint-naung"; the Napoleon of Myanmar made a vow for the conquest before he involved in the battle-field. Most Myanmar pilgrims also believe in that particular spot, and made a wish.

Shwe-tha-hlaung Pagoda BagoShwe-tha-hlaung Pagoda
The gigantic colossal Buddha Image "Shwe-tha-hlaung" more than 1000 years old is one of the biggest statuaries of lying Buddha and considered to be more alive and elegant. It measures 55 - m long and 16 m of height. Its ear only measures 4.5 - m long. In front of the statue, there is a panel that describes in details all measurements. The position of this statue whose feet point in different directions represents the Buddha's relaxes. On the sole, the 108 distinctive symbols are engraved. The Buddha's head position on a pillow well decorated with glass mosaic and square block that illustrate the life of the Buddha and his eight victory scenes.

According to the legend described on the back of the statue, it has been constructed by a Mon king "Min-ga-di-pa" after his conversion to the Buddhism in 9th century. It is always maintained by the Buddhist devotees. But after the destruction of Bago by the Burmese in 18th century, the statue has been abandoned in the nature and covered by the jungle. It has been rediscovered by chance in 1881 at the time of a construction of the railroad. It has been restored thus and stake under a shelter made of iron.

Kan-baw-zathati Palace
Kan-baw-zathati Palace BagoBago is one of the richest archaeological sites in Myanmar. The archaeological department made some excavations on the site of the palace of the former royal capital "Han-tha-waddy" founded by king "Ba-yin-naung" in 16th century.

"Ba-yin-naung" (the Napoleon of Myanmar), the founder of second Burmese empire, was a great well-known king in the Burmese history. His military campaign to unify the country, his political and social achievement, and his religious actions are remarkable along his life. He was born from a royal lineage. When he was young, "Ba-yin-naung" was called "Shin-ye-htut". He became one of the generals and at the same time the brother-in-law of the king "Tabin-shwe-hti" in that period. After the great historic battle in "Naung-yoe" in 1538, he won the title of "Ba-yin-naung" that means "the Brother of King". After the death of king "Tabin-shwe-hti", he became king and could unify the whole Burma. He chose "Han-tha-waddy" as the Burmese royal capital and made a construction of palace named "Kan-bawza-thati".

The widely-known king "Ba-yin-naung" (the Napoleon of Myanmar) and his palace were described well in detail in Burmese chronicle records as well as by the narrations of the foreigners. The site spreads on about hundred hectares. The royal city was surrounded with ramparts with 20 doors. The royal palace was at the center and the original surrounding wall was in teak. The audience hall was surmounted by a roof 7 tiers that is covered with bronze sheets gilt with gold. There was a Thai style pavilion for his favorite Thai princess. After his death, under the reign of his successor, the capital and its palace were destroyed and abandoned. The site of the former palace has been discovered recently, and some pavilions have been rebuilt on the very original site. The recent palace also includes a museum that displays the objects unearthed on the old site (Potteries, original pillars of teak, various Buddha statues, etc...).

Kyaikpun Pagoda BagoKyaikpun Pagoda
Nearly 3 km from Bago, on the road of Yangon-Bago, is the "Kyaik-pun" pagoda. It consists of four huge seated Buddha Images made of brick lean to a central pillar. These statues of 30 m high represent the four Buddha appeared in this era (Kauk-ka-san-dha, Kaw-na-ga-ma-na, Ka-tha-pha, and Gor-ta-ma). The pagoda was constructed by the order of king "Dha-ma-zeti" in 1476. One among them has been damaged by the earthquake of 1930. It has been renovated already.


Thanlyin ( Syriam)
Yele Kyauktan PagodaOnly three quarters of an hour of crossing the Yangon or Bago or Hlaing River, or one half-hour of road or by train passing over "Thanhlyin" bridge leads a small town "Thanhlyin". This bridge of one-km long constructed with the help of the Chinese is one of the longest bridges in Burma.

"Thanhlyin" is a small town with a very rural agglomeration. But it was a very active port from 16th century to the middle of to 18th century. In 16th century, an English traveler described this port where the trading ships embarked before going up to "Bago". It was a passage obliged for the all marine trade. In the beginning of 17th century, a Portuguese adventurer, Felipe-de-Brito came to establish a trade-counter with the agreement of an "Arakan" king who dominated the inshore region of the southwest of Burma. He could make a big fortune and he founded his own kingdom with the help of the viceroy of Gôa. But, in 1613, a Burmese king conquered it and he has been condemned to death. "Thanhlyin" remained a very important active port until its destruction by the Burmese in 1756. It remains some vestiges of the Portuguese presence there (ruin of Church, stone grave, etc...). During the British time, the English brought the Indians there for the rice-cultivation. Today quite a lot of Indian origin inhabitants live there. Besides the very colorful local market, the town doesn't offer the visitors much.

Four km from "Thanhlyin" is a big golden pagoda, "Kyaik-khauk", situated on small hill. As the pagoda of Shwedagon, it is built in Burmese classic style and enshrined the hair of Buddha and some relics offered by king "Ashoka" of India. The pagoda was originally constructed by a monk named "Ashin-Khaw-laka" according to the legend. Therefore, the pagoda name after its builder, "Kyaik-khaw-la-ka". After the passage of years, the name distorted and became "Kyaik-khauk". The view from the pagoda platform passing over Yangon River is magnificent.

More 14 km from "Kyaik-khauk" is "Kyauk-tan", a small town surrounded with small villages of fishermen. "Kyauk-tan" is known for its "Yélè-phaya" pagoda situated on a small island close to the confluent of two rivers of Yangon and Bago. This small sacred island is only accessible by boat and is occupied by the religious buildings. According to the legend, the pagoda would date back more than 2000 years, and the original pagoda reached 3 m of height. In 1940, the former pagoda was embedded in the present pagoda that nearly makes 16 m of height. A pavilion shelters Buddha statue made of marble which can be disassemble into five pieces. There are two distinct characters of the pagoda; this island is never flooded by the water, and the big cat-fishes are always there to receive the food offered by the pilgrims. Being located on the interesting island and good surrounding area "Ye-le" pagoda is one of the most pleasant sites for all pilgrims and visitors.

A crossing of Yangon River by a ferry, then an hour and half by road on an old jeep leads to one small town on the Ayeyawaddy delta, "Twantay", 24 km from Yangon. The road to "Twantay" through the rice fields and the small villages furrows a cannel of the same name that rallies the delta area and Yangon. The journey allows discovering the country's daily life along the cannel.

This small typical town of the delta is known for its potteries. Nearly the whole quarter of "Oh-bo" is occupied by the cottage industries roofed with straw where the potters manufacture traditional containers made of clay and earth. As for other local handicrafts, the manufactures of incense sticks, the bamboo mats, the traditional hand weavings and the synthetic-diamond cutting and polishing are very interesting to be studied. The big local market and the small market nearby cannel are very colorful. "Shwe-san-taw" pagoda, with its 76 m of height is the most remarkable site of the town. According to the legend, the pagoda also sealed-up two hairs of the Buddha. The tour by rickshaw or by horse card is unforgettable experience for all visitors.

Let-khok-kone Beach
"Let-khok-kone" is a simple beach to the nearest of the capital of Burma. It is only 50 km in the south of Yangon and it takes one hour by car. To visit the beach either by bus or by private car, it is necessary crosses the Yangon river by a ferry from the pier of "Sin-Oh-Tan". It is possible to organize one day visit by car. To spend some days, there is also a hotel with bungalows sufficient for 108 people. This hotel organizes the transportation to and fro with the reasonable price. The beach edged of the coconut trees is pleasant for a walk and for the fresh air. One can admire the sunset as well as the sunrise. In the west of the coconut trees, there is a golf course of 8 hectares.

Places of other interest in Yangon Areas
Kyaik-ka-san Pagoda, Ko-htat-kyi pagoda, Ngar-htat-kyi pagoda, Shwe Phone Pwint Pagoda, Mo Kaung Pagoda, Maha Bandoola Park, Mingalardon Garden, Kyaikkalo Pagoda, Kayikkalae Pagoda, and Bogyoke Aung San Museum are also interesting places to visit if you have more free time.

Myanmar Typical Exploration Tours
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