Mon State & Surrounding
“Mon State stands along the upper part of the Tanintharyi coastal strip. The total area is 4,747 square miles. There are islands, hills, equatorial forests, crop land and plantations. Mawlamyine, the third largest city in Myanmar, is the capital of Mon State. The famous Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda is located north of Kyaikhto. Thaton is the capital of ancient Mon Kingdom, much earlier than Bagan. There are many beautiful sea resorts such as Kyaikkami and Setse. There is a War Memorial in Thanbyuzayat, connected with the Bridge on the River Kwai.”
The famous legendary Pagoda on the Golden Rock about 160 Km from Yangon and 11 km of hiking from the base camp at Kyaikhto. This pagoda is situated on a rocky mountain 3615 ft above sea level. The Kyaikhtiyo pagoda is one of the most ancient and celebrated of all pagodas in Myanmar. It is situated in the vicinity of Kyaikhto township, Thaton district. The pagoda is said to have been built during the life-time of the Buddha over 2400 years ago.
Before, it was a rare place which was very hard to reach. Nowadays, there are many more convenient transportations and Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda can be accessible easily. There are also convenient accommodations for visitors.
In the early centuries of the Christian era the Mons were settled in the region between the Sittaung and Salween (Thanlwin) rivers which was known as the Mon kingdom of Ramanyadesa. Thaton, the seat of this kingdom was also known as Suvannabhumi or the Golden Land, which also applies to the whole region of continental south-east Asia around the Bay of Bengal. Doubtless Thaton was flourishing port in ancient and there was constant intercourse between Southern India and the region around Thaton and Pegu (Bago). The old city of Thaton appears to have built on a quadrangular plan like the more modern cities of Amarapura and Mandalay. There are two ramparts in a rectangular shape and the moat lies between the two walls, which are faced with laterite stones. As the present town is developed within the old city the remains of the inner city are no more visible. The chief pagodas are situated between the palace site and the south wall.
Mawlamyine (or Moulmein) is the capital of the Mon State. It is also the third largest city in the country, after Yangon and Mandalay. It has a population of about 240,000. Mawlamyine is an ancient Mon town. The name according to the legend comes from Mot-Mua-Lum, meaning “one eye destroyed”. In this legend an ancient king had three eyes, the third eye in the centre of the fore-head having the power of seeing what was going on in surrounding kingdoms. The King of a neighbouring country gave his daughter in marriage to the three-eyed king, and this queen was eventually able to destroy the all-seeing third eye.
The atmosphere of post colonial decay is still palpable here. It’s also an attractive and tropical town with a ride of stupa-capped hills on one side and the sea on the other side. Mawlamyine was the capital of British Burmese from 1827 to 1852, during which time it was a major teak port.
A beautiful town of Kayain State, which has beautiful wide lakes, lush islands, limestone cliffs and soaring peaks, with mountain ranges receding into the distance can be visited en route either to and from Mawlamyine.