After leaving Yangon, I first ventured south to a small town called Mawlamyine. After spending a few days there, I began the great trek north, through Kyaikto and Bago, eventually getting to Bagan. Here are some photos from the past week north bound.
The South of Myanmar is definitely less touristy and much less explored in comparison to the north of the country. It’s so relaxed and quiet – perfect if you feel like taking it easy for a few days.
Mawlamyine is a sleepy town down south – you get the feeling nothing really happens there. The town lies on the Thanlwin River – a typical lazy South East Asian river. Here’s an old fishing vessel docked, waiting for the tides to change.
The monastery at the Kyaikthanlan Pagoda. Myanmar has an incredibly large population of ‘stray’ dogs. They’re everywhere and wander the streets in packs. Although homeless, the locals do leave food out for them but it’s pretty sad. Animals get a raw deal here.
The Kyaikthanlan Pagoda.
The Central Market in Mawlamyine – it’s a real, untouristy local market. Go with a strong stomach – the smells can’t be described as pleasant. This lady was a pro at gutting fish – incredible to watch.
The MASSIVE Win Sein Taw Ya Reclining Buddha just outside Mawlamyine. Inside, there are 3 floors of some pretty disturbing statues. I think the floors are designed such that the lower floor represents the ‘underworld’, and the higher floors represent more enlightened things. Really creepy place to explore by yourself!
The Win Sein Taw Ya Reclining Buddah.
Sunset on the Thanlwin River. There are a couple street food vendors on the promenade so it’s a good idea to grab some dinner and watch the sunset from there.
Moving north now, this is the Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Pagoda), located just outside Kyaikto in the Mon Province of Myanmar. Legend has it that this rock is precariously balanced on a single stand of Buddha’s hair. It’s an extremely important pilgrimage site so expect thousands of people. If you decide to visit, base yourself in Kinpun, a town nearby, and catch a truck (yes, a truck with benches on the back) up to the Pagoda. It’s a hair-raising journey on the back of a jam-packed truck. Quite an experience.
Ladies – sorry. Many of Myanmar’s sites don’t let women past a certain point.
This guy was paying his respects to the Golden Rock. 100% concentration at work here!
Incense and candles burning at the Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Pagoda).
Local pilgrims picnic at the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda on weekends. Weird place to have a picnic but ridiculously popular!
Further north now, this is the Shwemawdaw Pagoda in Bago.
Young Monks chanting at the Sandaw Twin Monastery in Bago.
The feet of yet another Reclining Buddha in Bago, this one being the Mya Tha Lyaung Reclining Buddha. I am now Pagoda’ed and Buddha’ed out!