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mawlamyaingMawlamyine (Moulmein) is the capital of Mon State in the southeastern Myanmar. It is the second largest port after Yangon. It is the third largest city of Myanmar. Mawlamyine is situated 300 km (186 ml) east of Yangon. The most prominent super structure in this area is the longest road rail bridge in Myanmar called Thanlwin Bridge which crosses over the Thanlwin River by stretching up to 3,353 meters (11,000 feet). The average annual rainfall is 305 cm (120 in). During the British time, it was the most important port. The British lived in Mawlamyine.  Mawlamyine was the capital of Burma (Myanmar) during British time from 1827 to 1852. Famous British writer George O.Well (author of Burmese Days) who was stationed in Mawlamyine was working for the Indian Imperial Police in 1920.  He wrote about Mawlamyine in his famous Memoir from 1930, “Shooting an Elephant”, and his predecessor the British Poet Rudyard Kipling wrote in his famous poem “Road to Mandalay”; a line starts, “By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea…”that is referring to the KyaikThanlan Pagoda, which as he was sitting at -it is also known as Kipling pagoda- located on the top of the hillock. Many colonial buildings from the British time can still be seen along Strand Road.

To the south from Mawlamyaine, one can visit the little town called Kyaikmaraw that is twenty-four kilometers south-east of Mawlamyaine. The town has the Kyaikmaraw Pagoda frequented by the local and foreign visitors for its unique Mon style Buddha Statues. There, another place farther south fourteen kilometers from Mawlamyine, is called Pa Auk TawYa Monastery and Meditation Center. The meditation center has a big compound with peaceful and tranquil atmosphere with wonderful hospitality. At eleven o’clock, hundreds of monks are lined up and walk to the refectory for lunch. Just Before the town, Mudon of the twenty-nine kilometers (eighteen miles) south of Mawlamyine,  Win Sein Tawya Monastery has the biggest reclining Buddha in the world. The statue of Buddha has three stories with many rooms for meditation, and 170 meters long. This largest reclining statue of Buddha is built by the Mon monk Sayadaw Badanda U kaythaya. One can go 60 km (37 ml) farther south of Mawlamyaine to another historic town called Thanbyuzayat. It has allied war cemetery with 3771 graves administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The allied soldiers died building the railroad starting from that town and crossing the Myanmar-Thai border and the River Kwai, and ending up in the town called Kanchanaburi on Thailand side. The railroad construction is the cause of the death of hundreds of allied soldiers, Myanmar soldiers, and even Japanese soldiers in that area.

At the fork road of Thanbyuzayat, turn right to the West and drive for half an hour to get to the Setse long sandy beach. In parallel to Setse stands another beach in a short distance was Kyaikkami another small coastal resort which, in the British time, was known as Amherst, the seaside resort for the British. The American missionary to this area, Father Adoniram Judson (1788-1850) died in Upper Myanmar, but his wife Anne Judson died and buried in Kyaikkami. There is the famous Kyaikkami Pagoda, where local people made the pilgrimage trips. The lower level of the Pagoda is in the water, during the high tied, it is separated from the main land as it was built right on the seashore.



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