Information about Monywa
Monywa is situated on the banks of the Chindwin River 136 kilometres west of Mandalay. Because of the industry that surrounds the town, it has a more dynamic feel than other regional centres in Myanmar: its riverfront is enjoyable to amble down; it has some lively markets; and its main street) comes alive after dark, with a vibrant atmosphere and numerous food stalls and beer stations. Bear in mind, however, that this is small-town Myanmar, and places close early
Shwe Gu Ni PagodaAbout 20 miles east of Monywa, there is a famous Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda dating from the 14th century. The 33 meters high Buddha Image is sticked by gold foils and the original face of Buddha Image is hardly to see because of a thick quote of gold. The pagoda festival is held in May (Myanmar month Kason) each year when the whole compound is crowded with locals.
If you are traveling to Monywa by car you should stop about 20 kilometres before you reach the town to visit this most unusual Buddhist temple complex on 37 acres of land which is part of the Mohnyin Forest Monastery retreat. The pagoda was started on 20th June 1939 and completed on 2nd March 1952.It was the brain-child of the famous Mohnyin Sayadaw whose life-like effigy can be seen nearby.
Thanboddhay is the only pagoda with this unique shape in the whole country. The square temple base (each side about 166 feet) which worshippers can enter is topped by receding terraces with myriads of small stupas (864 in number) surrounding the central golden chedi.
Kyaukka village is only 12 miles from Monywa just beyond the Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda. It is a big village and well known for the crafting of black lacquerware called Kyaukka ware. Kyaukka lacquerwares are heavier and more refined and artistic than Bagan lacquerwares. Typical black and gold lacquerwares from Kyaukka village is the pagoda festival’s speciality in Upper Myanmar. The whole Kyaukka village was crowded when celebrates the Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda Festival in May.
Pho Win Hill
Pho Win Hill is located on the west bank of Chindwin River and 25 kilometers west of Monywa. It is about 20 minutes- walk up the hill. There are about 900 sandstone caves which contain many carved Buddha images and well preserved mural paintings. Some caves have beautiful exterior decorations. Some caves have large collections of ancient Buddha images some of which have been covered in gold leaf by local pilgrims. There are wonderful mural paintings in vivid colours representing Burmese life and Jataka stories. Pho Win Hill’s unique Buddha Images and precious paintings have been dated to between the 14th and 18th centuries. This hill is thought to be South East Asia’s richest collection of Buddhist mural paintings and images.
Shwe Ba Hill
Shwe Ba Hill is located on the west bank of Chindwin river just beyond the Pho Win Hill. Many caves and temples are carved out from the surrounding volcanic rocks and filled with ancient Buddha Images. 13th century mural paintings can be seen in some of the caves inside walls. Those caves and temples are between the walk through narrow cliffs which is lead down by stone stairs.
Laykyun Setkyar Standing Buddha
Laykyun Setkyar Standing Buddha Image was built by Bodhi Tahtaung Sayadaw (venerable monk). It is the second tallest Buddha Image in the world at 116 meters. It is also located on Po Khaung Taung just behind the reclining Buddha image. It was built the hollow type. We can climb by stairs inside the structure to see the panoramic view. It took 11 years to finish. Since its completing in 2008, the image has become one of the main tourist attractions in Myanmar.
It is one of the most famous pagodas in the region, located in the center of the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park. Hundreds and thousands of pilgrims pay homage to the Pagoda annually during the dry season.
Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park
It is located in Minkin township of Sagaing Region. Established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1941 and opened as a National Park in 1984, it is the largest National Park in Myanmar.
Nyaunggan is located in Budalin Township, Monywa District, Sagaing Region. A cemetery, near Nyaunggan Village, was excavated in 1998 and 1999. The excavation involved five pits. Most of the skeletons with bones in site were extended and supine primary burials, although there was one secondary burial, consisting of a skull in a large pot.
Twin Taung is about 6 miles east west of Budalin Township. It is about 200 meters above the surrounding area. There is a natural lake where very rare Spirulina is found. Spirulina is used in cosemtic and medical products. There is a Spirulina production factory at the base of the hill. The scenery around this beautiful lake is also breathtaking and worth the visit.
Htan Ta Loke Stream
Htan Ta Loke Chaung (Chaung means stream) is a famous picnic spots in Kyaukka village, Monywa. There is a waterfall and cold stream that comes from an underground spring. It is surrounded by big boulders and shady trees. The place is also good for bathing in the stream and trekking walk.
How to get to Monywa
Bus is the most practical way to get to Yangon. There are daily departure buses from Mandalay and from Bagan. Monywa has its own airport (code – NYW). However, there is no scheduled flight at all.
Boat is one of the ways to get to Yangon but only from Mawleik, Kalewa and Homalin. However, it also depends on weather conditions.
How to get around Monywa
Tuk Tuks are widely available at Monywa and fares are quite reasonable to get around.