Theme Week Myanmar – Mawlamyine

Tuesday, 25 June 2019 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  9 minutes

© panoramio.com - mohigan/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – mohigan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mawlamyine (also spelled Mawlamyaing, formerly Moulmein, is the fourth largest city of Myanmar (Burma), 300 km south east of Yangon and 70 km south of Thaton, at the mouth of Thanlwin (Salween) River. The city is the capital and largest city of Mon State and the main trading center and seaport in south eastern Myanmar. Mawlamyine is in the Salween River delta, where the mouth of the Salween is sheltered by Bilugyun Island as it enters the Gulf of Martaban and the Andaman Sea. It is flanked by low hills dotted with ancient pagodas to the east and west.

Mawlamyine is the western terminus and an important part of the East-West Economic Corridor. The 1450-kilometre East-West economic corridor links the South China Sea at Da Nang to Mawlamyine through Laos and Thailand. By using the East-West Economic Corridor, the travel time between Bangkok and Yangon is just three days, compared with the two to three weeks needed for conventional marine transportation via the Straits of Malacca. Japan‘s Nippon Express started land transportation services between Thailand and Myanmar in 2016.

Mawlamyine is famous for its tropical fruits and for its cuisine as indicated in the popular Burmese expression, “Mandalay for the speaking, Yangon for the bragging, and Mawlamyine for the eating.” Among its tropical fruits, Mawlamyine pomelo, durian and rambutan are the most famous and traded countrywide. Mawlamyine had several sawmills and rice mills as teak and rice were transported down the Salween. It was once a busy shipbuilding center and remains an important port. The city had a solar-powered plant for extracting salt from seawater and a diesel electric plant. On the night of 1 December 2008, a fire that started from a floating restaurant destroyed the larger of city’s two markets called the lower bazaar.

Kyaik Soike Pagoda © Anontamon/cc-by-sa-3.0 Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda © flickr.com - Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0 Shampoo Island near Mawlamyine © Doron/cc-by-sa-3.0 Mawlamyine Market © panoramio.com - joinai/cc-by-3.0 © panoramio.com - mohigan/cc-by-sa-3.0 © panoramio.com - mohigan/cc-by-sa-3.0 Holy Family Cathedral © flickr.com - Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0
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Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda © flickr.com - Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0
Heritage buildings:

  • Kyaikthanlan Pagoda: It was built in 875 AD during the reign of Mon King Mutpi Raja, it was raised from its original height of 56 feet (17 metres) to the present 150 feet (46 metres) by successive kings including Anawrahta, founder of the Bagan Empire and Wareru, founder of the Kingdom of Hanthawaddy Pegu. In the 19th century, Magistrate of Moulmein Maung Htaw Lay restored the pagoda to prevent Moulmein’s identity from fading away. Being situated on the range of hill, the pagoda commands the stunning view of the city, nearby islands, Gulf of Martaban, surrounding rivers and the limestone mountains of Kayin State in the east. Rudyard Kipling is believed to have written his famous “Lookin’ lazy at the sea” line at this pagoda.
  • U-zina Pagoda: The pagoda is one of the principal pagodas situated on the range of hill. According to legend, the pagoda contains a hair of Buddha and was built during the reign of Ashoka, King of Kapala-vistu, the great protector of Buddhism. The U-zina pagoda was named after the sage, U-zina who restored it in 1838. Prior to this the pagoda had been known as Kyaik Pa-dhan pagoda.
  • Princess Ashin Hteik Suhpaya‘s tomb: The fourth daughter of the last King of Burma Thibaw Min (The King in Exile), Princess Ashin Hteik Suhpaya (Myat Phaya Galay) of the Royal House of Konbaung returned to Burma from exile in 1915 and died in Mawlamyine in 1936. Her tomb is located near Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda. The remains of her son, Prince Taw Phaya Nge (a.k.a. Terrance) and her daughter, Princess Hteik Su Phaya Htwe (a.k.a. Margret) were also buried in the tomb in the later years.
  • First Baptist Church: The church is Myanmar’s first Baptist church and it was initially built in 1827 by the legendary Adoniram Judson, a 19th-century American missionary who compiled the first Burmese-English dictionary. The church is regarded as a landmark for its significance to the Baptist movement worldwide.
  • St Matthew’s Church: It was the first English Church (Anglican Church) built in Myanmar. It was initially erected in 1832 and the current handsome structure was rebuilt in 1887. It was designed by the famous British architects St Aubyn & Wadling of London and the foundation stone was laid by Sir Charles Crosthwaite, Chief Commissioner of Burma. It is of red brick, the capitals of interior pillars being stone, and is said to be a model of English Church at Dresden. The church was attended by George Orwell during his days as Imperial Policeman in Moulmein in 1926. The church compound has the grave stones of George Orwell’s relatives. Though the church is still in use, it is in a state of decay and needs urgent conservation.
  • Yadanabonmyint Monastery: It is also known as Queen Seindon Monastery and famous for its fine craftsmanship.

Islands:

  • Bilu Island (Belu-kyun): The local meaning of the island’s name is Ogre Island. The island is famous for handicraft and Mon traditional culture.
  • Gaungsay Kyun Island (Shampoo Island): A tiny island lies between Mottama and the north bank of Mawlamyine is called Gaungsay Kyun island, literally: “Head Washing Island”. In ancient times, the clear pristine water obtained from a small rocky outcrop of the island was carried to the palace and used by Burmese kings at royal hair-washing ceremonies during Thingyan. In colonial days, the island was known in its European name “Crow Island” for being the home of all the crows in the city.

Others:

  • Mon State Cultural Museum (Mon Ethnic Cultural Museum)
  • Mottama (formerly Martaban): A small town located opposite to the north bank of Mawlamyine was the first capital of the Hanthawaddy Kingdom in the 13th and 14th centuries after the collapse of Pagan (Bagan) Empire in 1287. During Burmese–Siamese wars between the 16th and 18th centuries, Mottama was an important rallying spot for Burmese troops moving from Upper Burma to sack Ayutthaya.
  • Pa-Auk Forest Monastery (Pa-Auk Tawya): The original Pa-Auk Forest Monastery is located in a forest near Pa-Auk village along the Taung Nyo Mountain range 15 kilometers southeast of Mawlamyine. The monastery is famous for the practice of meditation. 500-1000 meditators from over 20 countries reside in the monastery.
  • Win Sein reclining Buddha: 29 km south of Mawlamyine is the world’s largest reclining Buddha at Mudon. It is approached by a roadway with 500 life size statues of Arahant disciples of Buddha and a hall whose chamber walls display scenes of Buddha’s lifetime, and the underworld.
  • Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery: 64 kilometers south of Mawlamyine is prisoners-of-war cemetery and the notorious death railway connected with the Bridge over the River Kwai. The cemetery contains the graves of 3,770 British, Australian, Dutch and other soldiers. It was formally opened on 10 December 1946 by General Aung San and then Governor Sir Hubert Rance.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on MyanmarTravelInformation.com – Mawlamyine, LonelyPlanet.com – Mawlamyine, Wikitravel Mawlamyine, Wikivoyage Mawlamyine and Wikipedia Mawlamyine. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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