Experience southern Myanmar in Mawlamyine & Hpa An

As the capital of Mon State and one of the largest cities in Myanmar, you would expect Mawlamyine to be rich in history and culture, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint, with its fascinating blend of traditional and contemporary culture and architecture. Explore by foot and by boat, with a cruise up the Thanylin River to Hpa An making an outstanding finale as you sit back, relax and admire the views of the impressive rural landscape to either side.

What to expect in Mawlamyine and Hpa An...

Although comparatively large, with a population of over 300,000, Mawlamyine is relatively off the beaten track in terms of tourism, and retains a quiet small-town charm. You’ll find it easy to explore on foot and there are plenty of options for eating and drinking including the authentic food sellers that pop up along the main streets. 

Established by the British as the original capital of Colonial Burma, Mawlamyine’s links to the sea once made it a very influential city, and this heritage is still visible in much of the architecture, with faded colonial buildings sitting alongside gleaming Buddhist stupas and monasteries.

Nick, whose love for Myanmar goes a long way back, is especially fond of the area, and says 'if you have the time, an extra day in this region is time well spent. This is the real Myanmar!' 

A guided walking tour of the city is a great way to learn more about Mawlamyine’s fascinating history and diverse culture. Our expert local guides will make sure you pay a visit to the weekday market to taste freshly grown pomelo and durian - the region is famous for its delicious tropical fruit.

Take the time to travel outside the city and you’ll discover even more intriguing sights:head north to Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, also known as Golden Rock, due to its precarious position atop a golden granite boulder; or south to Pa Auk Taw Ya Monastery, where you can take part in a morning meal with the monks. Also to the south, marking the end of the Burma-Siam 'Death' Railway, lies sombre Thanbyuzayat Cemetery, where over 3,500 WWII POWs are laid to rest.

To experience current local culture, take a trip by boat to Bilu Kyun - otherwise known as Ogre Island. The island is actually home not to ogres, but to 64 individual villages, many of which are famous for their artisan crafts. 

Round off your experience of southern Myanmar by taking to the water for one of the most glorious river cruises in the country. The four to five hours it takes you to travel by boat to Hpa An will evaporate as you slide past ever changing landscapes, absorbing the tranquility of life on the water.

Location: Mon State, Myanmar

Duration: 2 nights

Accommodation: Keinnara Hpa An, or your choice of Mawlamyine hotel

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Our client said...

'Myanmar has so many different sides, but this corner was especially lovely - had it virtually to ourselves, and the food was fantastic.'