Kyaikkami and Yele Pagoda

Kyaikkami and Yele Pagoda

Lovely spot

More on Mawlamyine

One day when there’s a souvenir shop in Mawlamyine high street selling Mon handicrafts, maps and postcards, Yele Pagoda will feature heavily among the tourist cliches. The red-roofed, gleaming white and ochre monastery jutting into the sometimes turquoise, sometimes murky brown waters of the Bay of Bengal is one of Mon State’s most iconic views.

Travelfish says:
Kyaikkami’s Yele Pagoda. Photo by: Mark Ord.
Kyaikkami’s Yele Pagoda. Photo: Mark Ord

The temple, dating to the early 19th century, perches on top of a natural rock promontory where a Buddha image washed ashore after floating on a raft all the way from Sri Lanka. The main shrine also houses some of Buddha’s hairs, so this is a site of considerable religious importance for locals — and a highly picturesque one for others. The monastery architecture in itself isn’t very exciting, but rather it’s the setting that’s amazing.

Limited to a pile of rocks just offshore, the temple complex is accordingly compact. It’s linked to the mainland by a covered walkway, along which monks’ quarters, annexes and minor shrines are squeezed. The causeway is dry in all but the highest equinox tides or bad storms, though high tide does completely fill the bay to the south. Note that at low tide, the bay turns into treacherous mudflats between the scattered mangroves, so we don’t recommend taking a short cut.

Do also be warned that women aren’t allowed access to the main shrine (this is not uncommon in Burma). Checking out the various vantage points and strolling slowly up the causeway can fill up an hour or so, but as locals will be quick to warn you, take care of the tides. A scenic beach stretches off southwards towards a small fishing village, so if you’ve got time on your hands there’s a decent and safe walk on offer, too. (It’s good for a dip at high tide but turns rather muddy and rocky when the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)

Log in to Travelfish

Please sign in to read the rest of this page. The full text is around 500 words.

Log in now
Become a Travelfish member

Choose from a free two-day pass right through to a lifetime membership.

Find out more

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 10 other sights and activities in and around Mawlamyine

Bilu Island
Bilu Island

Go visit!

Thanbyuzayat
Thanbyuzayat

Lots to see

Setse Beach
Setse Beach

Mawlamyine's top beach

Kyaik Than Lan Paya
Kyaik Than Lan Paya

The famous Kipling temple

A walking tour to Mawlamyine's places of worship
A walking tour to Mawlamyine's places of worship

Fine views along the hilltop road

River cruises
River cruises

Bargain rates for a sunset cruise

Win Sein Taw Ya Giant Buddha
Win Sein Taw Ya Giant Buddha

It's... interesting!

Markets
Markets

Vibrant and lively

Mahamuni Paya
Mahamuni Paya

The town’s largest monastery/temple

Uzina Paya
Uzina Paya

The southernmost of the hilltop pagoda string