Bodhi Tataung

Bodhi Tataung


More on Monywa

The amazing Bodhi Tataung standing Buddha image, Laykyun Sethyar, towers 130 metres above the surrounding countryside. There’s some debate, but the consensus seems to have China’s Spring Temple statue -- also a standing Buddha -- as the world’s tallest statue, with Monywa’s effort weighing in second. Not bad for little Monywa!

Travelfish says:
Oh, just the view from the car park. Photo by: Mark Ord.
Oh, just the view from the car park. Photo: Mark Ord

The main entrance to the site, indicated by a pair of huge white elephants, has one of the Burmese special seated Buddha gardens (see also Hpa-an’s Lumbini), with row upon row of perfectly aligned and approximately life-sized images set in an expansive grove of trees.

You’ll then arrive in a main carpark area with tea shops and souvenir/Buddhist paraphernalia stands.

The viewing decks. Photo by: Stuart McDonald.
The viewing decks. Photo: Stuart McDonald

In front of you, with the standing image to the rear, is another large statue -- this time a reclining Buddha -- plus giant lions guarding the entrance to a huge gold-coloured stupa. You can then either walk the short distance up the hill to the main images or take a moto-taxi for 1,000 kyat, bearing in mind that the multi-storey Buddha has no lifts. Otherwise there’s no entrance fee.

The Buddha garden at the entrance to the complex. Photo by: Mark Ord.
The Buddha garden at the entrance to the complex. Photo: Mark Ord

Each floor has mural-covered walls depicting dire warnings of what happens if you go astray. Burning in the fires of hell, crows pecking out your liver, what looks like spontaneous combustion or demons throwing you off clifftops – the usual kind of thing. Unlike other hollow Buddhas we’ve been to, this one is clean and tidy and images fresh -- it was only opened in 2008.

It’s reasonably well lit though windows are set high in the walls, so you don’t have views as you go higher than the three base-floor terraces. We calculated at least 26 floors but at present only the lower 16 (up to the midriff) are open to visitors. Note that the doors ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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Reviewed by

Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.

Tours in Burma Myanmar

Our top 3 other sights and activities in and around Monywa

Thanboddhay Paya
Thanboddhay Paya

Home to more than half a million Buddha images

No pic at the moment — Sorry!
A Myint

Delightful village