Photo: The world's largest freestanding reclining Buddha.

Win Sein Taw Ya Giant Buddha

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Win Sein Taw Ya is not just any giant reclining Buddha image, but apparently the world’s largest freestanding one. The awe-inspiring 180-metre Buddha statue is situated some 20 kilometres south of Mawlamyine amid a sprawling complex of shrines, statues, stupas and monastic buildings.

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Reflecting the country in general, this is very much a work in progress. Having visited several times, every trip reveals a startling new construction and additional elements scattered across the surrounding hillsides. A mirror image Buddha lies half built on the facing hillside — and it’s not the only half built thing about. The main reclining Buddha itself is far from finished, yet some of the older sections seem already to be well on the way to disrepair. It’s an infinity building site and while you may question the use of temple donations, local builders with jobs for life must be ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)


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