Photo: Mawlamyine is home to mosques, temples and churches.

A walking tour to Mawlamyine's places of worship

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Starting from Mahamuni, a winding and up and down road links all the major, plus several minor, hilltop pagodas together, making for a great late afternoon stroll.


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

A short walk separates the most northerly temple of Mahamunifrom Kyaik Than Lan, immediately south of which is the elaborate Yadanar Bon Myint monastery. This complex was built in the mid-19th century and funded by Queen Sein Don, who also had her own villa constructed on the site.

Crossing Taung Yoe Dan Street, which links the west and seaward sides of the range of hills, next up is a small pagoda housing a famous bamboo thread Buddha. This image is made, as the name suggests, out of bamboo twine and photos on the wall illustrate how it was done. From here, a gentle climb continues southwards to U Khanti Pagoda and another awesome viewpoint. This pagoda, named after the architect responsible for designing Mandalay Hill, houses another spectacular seated Buddha image.

Another 10 minutes or so of leafy road with fine views to the east and west leads you to Uzina Paya, from where you can cut downhill along Theik Pan Street to meet Strand Road for a return walk along the waterfront back to the town centre. This is a delightful early morning or late afternoon walk; allow at least a couple of hours, obviously depending upon how long you linger in each pagoda.

If you’ve had your fill of Buddhist monuments you could then check out the spectacular early 19th century mosques -- icing sugar-style Kaladan and the turquoise Sulati -- both near the central market on Lower Main Road. These are a real pair of architectural stunners.

Have a look too at some of the numerous old churches -- Mawlamyine has at least seven that we counted. The most stunning perhaps are the Holy Family Cathedral and the 1829-built St Patrick’s Church, both on Upper Main Road, or the crumbling 1827-built First Baptist Church, just up from the museum on Dawei Jetty Street.


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