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5 Best Things To Do In Mawlamyine

With the southern states of Myanmar often getting overlooked, we took a trip to Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon State.

Located at the mouth of the Thanlwin River, this charming city was once the administrative centre of British Burma and as such has many old colonial buildings.

Along with the worlds largest reclining Buddha, its most famous landmark is the stunning Kyaikthanlan Pagoda. It is also home to other places of historical and cultural interest.

Here’s a list of the top things to do in Mawlamyine.

1. Win Sein Taw Ya (World’s Largest Reclining Buddha)

Easily top of the things to do in Mawlamyine list! Moreover, probably one of the best things to do in Myanmar.

Laying at 180 meters in length, and standing at 30 meters high, Win Sein Taw Ya is the largest reclining Buddha in the world.

Located around 15 miles southwest of Mawlamyine, you can actually explore the inside of the concrete statue and tour the three (soon to be eight) floors of chambers.

From the outside, the Buddha and grounds speak for themselves. An impressively large scale buddha with a similarly impressive 100 monk statues lining the road on the way in.

On the inside you will find many statues, in human size, which are painted to replicate different stories in Buddhism. Some interesting and some which seem to be really cruel!

It relays scenes of history in the life of Buddha and touches on heaven and hell through life-size sculptures.

Although a lot of the sculptures are still under construction, it’s a great place to visit as an introduction to Buddhism and to have a stroll through the well kept gardens.

The monks here are very pleasant and helpful. As are the locals who are super friendly and eager to meet you.

Win Sein Tawya Mawlamyine World’s Largest Reclining Buddha Myanmar
Win Sein Taw Ya – the world’s largest reclining Buddha.

2. Kyaikthanlan Pagoda

Kyaikthanlan Pagoda is the tallest Buddhist pagoda in Mawlamyine and worth a spot on your Myanmar itinerary.

Standing proudly at a height of 150 feet, it is the beating heart of the city and has to be one of the best things to do in Myanmar.

Not only is it the biggest tourist attraction in Mawlamyine, but it’s also a locals favourite when choosing a spot to enjoy sunset from.

The big stupa and surrounding Buddhist buildings sit on a hilltop overlooking the city, giving a 360 degree view of Mawlamyine from above.

The best time to visit is actually just before sunset as the floor can get extremely hot during the peak heat of the day.

Also Kyaikthanlan Pagoda is accessible to those who have limited walking capacity as they have a lift for everyone to use.

So overall, if you’re looking for amazing views and a great spot to catch sunset, then Kyaikthanlan Pagoda is a serene place to view the city of Mawlamyine!

Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda Mawlamyine Things To Do In Mawlamyine
Charlie and our tour guide at Kyaikthanlan Pagoda.

3. Queen Sein Don’s Monastery

Yadanarbon Myint, or ‘Very Old Monastery’, is a historic Buddhist monastery that has been standing for over 120 years.

It is known also by the name Queen Sein Don Monastery, in respect to its previous habitant Queen Sein Don, wife of venerated late kingdom ruler King Mindon.

Standing proud, although slightly struggling as the timber planks seem to be rotting away, the monastery sits at the base of the Mawlamyine Taung Yoe hill.

It’s now welcome to all visitors and is cleaned daily by resident monks that live here.

Queen Sein Don Monastery Hpa An Things To Do In Hpa An
We made some friends on the way to Queen Sein Don’s Monastery

4. Mawlamyine Night Market

Located on Strand Road, Mawlamyine Night Market was one of our favourite spots in town.

Open daily from 5:00pm until around 10:00pm, here you will find many locals hanging out, watching sports events and eating the freshly caught fish from that day.

With barbecued meats and sweets also on offer, the average price of a meal varies from around 2,500 Kyat to 3,500 Kyat per meal.

So, if you’re looking for something to do in the evenings, head down to these local food stalls. Here, hundreds of people crowd around the big screens, watching the latest sporting events, whilst enjoying their typical Burmese dinners.

Mawlamyine Night Market Myanmar Things To Do In Mawlamyine
Street food at a Mawlamyine night market

5. Cruise The Thanlwin River

The Thanlwin River runs through Myanmar, China, Tibet and Thailand, stretching over 270,000 square kilometres in length.

One of the most popular modes of transport to get between Mawlamyine and Hpa An happens to be cruising down the Thanlwin River in a river boat.

There are a few other options including train and bus. Or of course you can pay for a private taxi.

However, we opted to hop on a river boat on the Thanlwin River. The journey took roughly three and a half hours in total.

This slow and steady morning boat ride was ideal for us. It was extremely relaxing and was a great scenic switch up from all the wheels and tarmac in Myanmar.

Mawlamyine to Hpa An Boat
Lauren cruising down the Thanlwin River

Where To Stay In Mawlamyine


Mawlamyaing Strand Hotel

Mawlamyaing Strand Hotel features a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Mawlamyine.

Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a children’s playground.

The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.

All units come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk.

At the hotel each room includes a wardrobe and a private bathroom.


Rehmonnya Hotel

Rehmonnya Hotel is offering accommodation in Mawlamyine.

Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking is available at an extra charge.

At the hotel, all rooms have a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.

All guest rooms at Rehmonnya Hotel feature air conditioning and a wardrobe.


Cinderella Hotel

Cinderella Hotel offers modern air conditioned rooms with free WiFi.

The hotel features a 24-hour front desk and tour desk.

Free private parking is possible on site. All rooms come with a satellite TV, refrigerator and hairdryer.

For guests’ convenience, the property has laundry and shuttle services.

Ticket service and currency exchange are also available.

For more places to stay in Mawlamyine, you can check the latest prices on

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

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5 Best Things To Do In Mawlamyine