Photo: A stunning setting.

Lumbini Gardens

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Named after the mythical Nepalese birthplace of Buddha, though commonly known as Buddha Park, Lumbini Gardens are not really gardens as such, but are rather home to several hundred neatly aligned, seated Buddha images.

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Photo of Lumbini Gardens

Set close to Kyauk Kalat Pagoda at the foot of Zwegabin and its sheer limestone cliffs, the park is spectacular. This is also the starting point for the ascent of the 725-metre Zwegabin, though whether you attempt the climb or not Lumbini is an essential stop.

For those attempting the steep climb, allow a minimum of two hours if you’re reasonably fit. If you’re not, then perhaps it’s best to admire the view from down below since there’s no help if you run out of steam halfway up or down. In any case start early and take plenty of water! Near the start of the staircase you’ll see a small exhibition hall laying out the plans for a projected cable car. This is still in a planning stage only -- we won’t hold our breath, but you never know.

Otherwise there are still plenty of scenic views from down below. A couple of souvenir stalls and snack and drink stands are around, and usually there will be a few friendly monks here too. The visit, unless you do attempt an ascent, only takes a few minutes really, but it is conveniently located close to Kyauk Kalat Pagoda so is worth the slight detour.

There’s no entrance fee and the location is further down the same road as Kyauk Kalat at the foot of Zwegabin.

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