Bago is a town little visited by tourists located about 90 kilometers North East of Yangon. The town has a long and rich history. It is believed to have been founded by the Mon people in the 6th century during which days the city was known as Pegu.
Bago was the capital of the Mon Kingdom Hanthawaddy until halfway the 16th century, after which it became the capital of the Taungoo Kingdom until 1599.
When the Mon revolted against the Burmese in 1757, the city was completely destroyed by the armies of King Alaungpaya of the Konbaung dynasty. The city was rebuilt, but did not regain its importance.
Attractions in Bago
- Kanbawzathadi Palace and Museum
The original site of Hanthawady, which surrounded a former Mon place, was excavated just south of the huge shwemawdaw Paya in Myanmar Bago. Walled in the Mon style, the square city measured 1.8 km along each side and has 20 gates. The palace compound in the centre, known as Kanbawzathadi, housed Myanmar King Bayinnaung from 1553 to 1599 and covered 82 hectares. About 26 hectares of this area have been excavated. The small, well stocked, octagon shaped museum displays Mon, Siamese and Myanmar Bagan style buddhas; clay tobacco pipes; glazed tiles and pots; bronze weights and scales; pieces of the original teak stockade; and weaponry
2. Kyaik Pun Paya
There’s something uncannily impressive about these four seated Myanmar Buddhas with regal gazes that seem to see all, about 1.5 km out of bago just off the Yangon road. Built in 1476 by Myanmar King Dhammazedi, it consists of four 30 m high sitting Myanmar Buddhas placed back to back around a huge, square pillar. According to Myanmar legend, four Mon sisters were connected with the construction of the Myanmar buddhas; it was said that if any of them should marry, one of the Myanmar buddhas would collapse. One of the four buddhas disintegrated in the 1930 earthquake, leaving only a brick outline. It has since been fully restored in Myanmar
3. Shwe Mawdaw Pagoda
The Shwe Mawdaw Pagoda is also known as the Golden God Temple and stands at a height of 375 feet. As such this makes it the tallest pagoda in Myanmar rather than the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon which often incorrectly steals the title. The entrance fee is USD 10 and is valid for three days and also includes entry to three of the surrounding temples. As this is the tallest pagoda in Myanmar is it certainly an impressive sight and not to be missed if you are in town and don’t have time to see everything.
4. Shwethar Iyaung Pagoda
This pagoda is close to the main railway station and is famous for their Buddha statue which is 55 meters long and 16 meters high. This means that it is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world and it is said to date from 994 which means it would have been built during the time King Migadepa. Again, this is a rather unexpected sight in Bago and is a good choice if you can’t decide which attractions you want to visit first.
Wingabaw Elephant Conservation Camp
for families, friends and lovers looking for a rural escape becoming of a city once deemed the “Garden City of the East”, look no further than Bago’s Winga Baw Elephant Conservation camp. Located at the 39-mile rest-stop about an hour and a half outside Yangon, the 84-acre park offers a chance to learn about one of Myanmar’s most treasured native species.
Moe Yun Gyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary
Moeyungyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary, not very far away from the center of the Bago town, is an ideal place for picnickers, naturalists, botanists, and bird-watchers or those who want peace, silence and tranquility, and dream of city escape.
Moeyungyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1896, used to be a reservoir which changed naturally into a wetland with the extent of 40 square miles.
How to get to Bago
Train – there is a direct train departing from Yangon Central Station station and arriving at Bago. Services depart five times a day, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 1h 45m.
Bus – Bus is not the practical ways to go to Bago which are non-air coned bus. Even local hardly ride buses to get to Bago.
How to get around in town
The fast and easiest way to getting around Bago is to grab a car and explore the city.