Temples and elephants
It had some ongoing renovation when we visited but that didn’t overly detract from the scene. Back at ground level, on the northern edge of the enclose are a couple of very dilapidated buildings that are worth a look.
To the south of Shwesandaw you’ll find Myazigon Paya which, while a modern temple, has a photogenic glass tile finish on the interior supports. Both temples are located more or less in the centre of Taungoo town and the spire of Shwesandaw can be seen from across town.
To the west of the two temples is a large lake that appears to have been fenced in by the sprawling Royal Kaytumadi Hotel on the west edge of the lake -- you can ride around the perimeter of the lake but only with a wire fence between you and the waters. What a shame!
Further afield lies Than Daung Gyi Hill Station in Kayin State -- a hangover from the British period in Burma. While this is in theory open to travellers without a permit, we were turned back by a checkpoint not all that far out of Taungoo town. We had agreed to pay 12,000 kyat for the return trip by motorbike but in practice didn’t get close. See how you go and let us know!
Taungoo is also known as a launching point for day- and overnight-trips to working elephant camps to the east of Taungoo. Rates are very high -- too high for us! We were quoted $210 for a full one-day trip for one person and $520 for an overnight trip for two people. Prices drop somewhat if you get a bigger group and both Mother’s House and Myanmar Beauty Hotel can help with arranging theses trips should you have the budget for them.
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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