Tuesday, August 25, 2015

About Burma / Myanmar

                Myanmar, formerly known as Burma until 1989, is recognized by the world as the Golden Land. The country's name was officially changed by the military government that took over in 1988. Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) is the commercial capital and largest city. Naypyidaw is the administrative capital since 2012. 

               The republic of the Union of Myanmar, located in Southeast Asia, bounded on the west by Bangladesh, on the northwest by India's Assam State, on the northeast by China's Yunnan Province, on the east by Laos and Thailand, and on the southwest by the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The longest land border is shared with China. The country covers an area of 261,228 square miles (675,577 sq km) and has a coastline measuring 1,275 miles (2,051 km).

              The terrain ranges from arid plains to cool, sprawling hills, ice-capped mountains, white-sand beaches, lush farmland, hidden valleys and thick virgin forest. Throughout history, the rivers in Myanmar have been its lifelines. The longest and most important river called Ayeyarwaddy (Once called Irrawaddy) and being long 1,240 miles is running down the centre of the country from its very tip into the sea. Other rivers are the Chindwin being navigable 492 miles, the Sittaung not being navigable due to strong currents but being used to float down teak logs and the Thanlwin being navigable 55 miles. All over the country and especially in the delta, there are natural springs, hundreds of streams and rivulets, and canals and dams constructed for farmers. The jungles in Myanmar are filled with rare animals, birds, butterflies, orchids and medicinal plants. Many places, especially in the deep jungles, have been designated as protected areas, such as Natma Taung ( Mt. Victoria) National Park, Indawgyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary, Phunganrazi and Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuaries, Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve, Hkakaborazi National Park, Maing Nung Forest Reserve, Nant Yin Forest Reserve, Nang Mung Forest Reserves, Alaungdaw Katthapa National Park, Lumpi Marine National Park in the Myeik Archipelago which has around 1,000 islands, Moe Yun Gyi Bird Sanctuary not far from Yangon and Mount Popa National Park near Bagan.

Cultural Events

             This information will bring you the interesting events (Festivals) in Myanmar month by month. You could choose which month to come and what kind of festivals you could see during your stay in Myanmar.
 Manao Festival (Myitkyina & Bahmo in Kachin State) ~ 10th January.
             The Duwas celebrate a sacrificing-cum dancing best known as Manao to propitiate or exercise numerous. Nat (spirits) the spectacular carnival held in every January is the festival to celebrate a victory or achievement where the young and old, the great and simple gather in true community spirit.
Naga New Year Festival (Hkamti in Chin State) ~ 12th - 16th January.
            Although most people have heard about Naga tribes there is some who have seen them and only a few who have been to their area. Nagas celebrate their new year 15 of January each year. In this particular day you will see the most unique Nagas gathering from the entire region with festive mode. You will be busy shaking hands with Naga warriors wearing hats made from bear fur, wild boar tusks, hornbill feathers, and tiger claws. Some also have tiger fangs hanging from their necklaces.
 Anandar Pagoda Festival (in Bagan) ~ 16th - 22nd January.
           A unique and very important Buddhists festival. Hundred of oxen cart are traveled days to get to the venue from various village of the dry plane of Myanmar. Bowls of alms filled with crops are offered to Buddhist monks who all wait in a long line. This festival gives you a great exposure of the Pilgrimage traveling style and holiday outings on country oxcarts.
 Bonfire Ceremony (in Pyay) ~ 28th -29th January.
           Plants which emit no smoke when lit are burnt at four cardinal points on the platform of the pagoda in the early morning. Worshippers then proceed to Pho U mountaintop where the Lord Buddha is said to have visited and made preordination of events.
Mahamuni Pagoda Festival (in Mandalay) ~ 17th - 18th February.
          Incense is burnt in large flame in symbolic of offering heat to the great image.
Full Moon Festival (All over the country) ~ 28th/29th February.
          Traditionally, it is held on the full moon day of this month as the harvest when people rejoice in the combined communities preparation and distribution of glutinous rice delicacy or feast of Htamane. One should not miss this opportunity to sample the delicious Myanmar delicacy consisting of glutinous rice freckle of coconut, sesames seeds, peanuts, ginger, and oil, which is specially prepared for the feast. Among the major Buddhist festival, Mahamuni Pagoda ceremony in Mandalay and Kyaikkhauk festival in Yangon.
 Kyaik khauk Pagoda Festival (Syrium, in Yangon Region) ~ 25th February - 2nd March.
           Maintaining the heritage of donating drinking water to all by descendants of first donor family is amazing.
 Nam Pan Ceremony (Inle Lake,in Shan State) ~ 24th - 27 February.
          The sight of numerous monks who come in boats to receive food offerings is striking view. March 2016 is the most colorful month of the year with Pagoda Festivals everywhere. The Shwedagon Pagoda Festival is held on the day of the full moon of Tabaung and is the month's finest event. During this festival, visitors can get to know the true religious feelings of the people of Myanmar by participating in events at pagoda fairs or by observing the rituals of the holiday.
Maha Muni Pagoda Festival ( Kyauk Taw,in Rakhine State) ~ 5th - 19th March
Zeedaw Nat Festival (Monywar) ~ 5th - 11th March.
         Spirit festival is held at Zeedaw village across Chindwin River.
 Shwemyitzu Pagoda Festival (Inn dawgyi) ~ 14th - 21st March.
         Ceremony sponsored by Kachin Buddhist. The summer, a footpath leading to the pagoda surfaces enabling pilgrims to walk to the pagoda. Usually the pagoda is surrounded by a large volume of water.
Pindaya Cave Festival (Pindaya,in Shan State) ~ 14th - 21st March.
            Typical Taung Yoe pagoda festival. Different ethnic minorities can be seen.
Shwedagone Pagoda Festival (in Yangon) ~ 14th - 27th March.
           The sight of numerous monks who come in boats to receive food offerings is striking view.
 Kekku Pagoda Festival (Taunggyi in Shan State) ~ 14th - 21st March.
           Traditional Pa O Theatrical performances and singing contests are included.
 Taung Gwe Zedi Festival (Loi Kaw in Kayah State) ~ 14th - 21st March.
          Thousand Buddhist monks are offered food on the full moon day. Long necked green, red dressed Kayan and black dressed Kayah among other minorities are seen.
Bawgyo Image Festival (Tibaw, in Shan State) ~ 16th - 19th March.
        A large volume of Shan and Bamar merchandise is traded. There are boat races on Dottawadi river.
Full Moon Day of Tabaung (All over the country) ~ 18th - 19th March.
        This is the last month of Myanmar lunar calendar. The most colorful month of the year with Pagoda Festivals everywhere. The Shwedagon Pagoda Festival is held on the day of the full moon of Tabaung and is the month's finest event. During this festival, visitors can get to know the true religious feelings of the people of Myanmar by participating in events at pagoda fairs or by observing the rituals of the holiday.
 Shwesayan Pagoda Festival (in Mandalay) ~ 19th - 27th March.
          Merchandise from northern Shan State and other part of the country are exchanged at Pagoda bazar.
 Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival (in Bago) ~ 11st - 18th April.
          Theatrical artists perform on stage with full force to show their competitive edge over their counterparts to win future performance contracts.
 Boe Min Khaung Memorial (at Mt.Popa) ~ 15th - 19th April.
           Boe Min Khaung is remembered for his higher attainment in mediation practices.
 Fullmoon day of Tagu (All over the country) ~ 17th - 18th April.
          This is the first month of Myanmar lunar calendar. The most colorful month of the year with Pagoda Festivals everywhere.
Thingyan Festival (all over the country) ~ 13th - 16th April.
           Celebrated to welcome Myanmar New Year for four days throughout the country during the second week of April. It also marks the end of the old year and beginning of the new. Young people gather together to sing and dance, and to joyfully throw water on each other. During the Thingyan Carnivals decorative floats and water throwing pandals are seen everywhere in towns and cities alike. If you do not mind getting wet, this high-spirited festival is one that you should not miss.
New Year Day (All over the country) ~ 17th April.
           Buddhists young and old alike spend the day performing meritorious deeds such as feeding and releasing animals, offering to monks, paying homage to elders etc.
Shithoung pagoda festival (Mrauk U,in  Rakhine State) ~ 11st - 18th April.
           Dummy boat race on land, real boat race and water splashing in Mrauk U canal on full moon day. Traditional wrestling competitions are held at the foot of the pagoda.
Kason Festival (all over the country) ~ 16th - 17th May.
          Pouring water the Sacred Bo Tree symbolizes the Birth, Enlightenment and Passing away of Buddha. It is an important Buddhist holiday and belles go in procession to the pagoda grounds throughout the country with post of water and thousands of oil-lamps or candles to be lit.
 Taung Yoe Festival Pindaya Cave, (in Shan State) ~ 16th - 17th May.
          Taung Yoe tribe make Torchlight procession in the early part of the night to pay homage to the numerous statues in the cave.
Pa-Oh Rocket Festival (inTaunggyi) ~ 16th - 17th May.
          Locally made rockets stuffed with powerful gunpowder are ceremoniously carried and launched in competition. Observed mostly by ethnic Pa-Oh to predict the weather and crop. Young men and women use small mirrors to tease one another.
Wat Zom Kum Rice Offering Ceremony (Kyaing Tong,in the Northern Shan State) ~ 21st - 22nd May.
           Danu Ceremony Pindaya : Single Danu youth throw roasted lablab beans at one another in a show of love. June 2016 the onset of monsoon season makes June relatively quiet in Myanmar. There are, however, various smaller Buddhist festivals can be witnessed.
 Buddhist Recitation (Kaba Aye hillock,in Yangon ) ~ 15th - 16th June.
          Recitation of five parts of Nikaya held at Kaba Aye hillock. Both monks and nuns alike hold similar recitation, throughout the country.
 Mt. Popa Nat Spirit Festival (Mt. Popa ) ~ 15th - 16th June.
          For the energetic, it is time to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the hill. Proceed to Salay (52 km, approx 1 and 1/2 hour) along the Ayeyarwaddy rivebank.
 Cane ball &Wicker ball Playing Ceremony (Mahamuni,in Mandalay) ~ 1st - 30th July.
           This is the best event to watch Myanmar traditional chin lone (cane ball) playing match. Traditional wicker ball players from all over the country participate in the month long contest that tradition has going on over 70 years.
 Waso Full Moon Festival (all over the country) ~ 14th - 15th July.
          The day Buddha preached his first sermon is commemorated. Monks are confined to the monastery by Buddhist code of conduct during the 3-month long Buddhist lent.
 Shwe Kyun Pin Nat Pwe (Mingun, in Mandalay) ~ 18th - 20th July.
          The day Buddha preached his first sermon is commemorated. Monks are confined to the monastery by Buddhist code of conduct during the 3-month long Buddhist lent.
Taung Byone Nat Pwe (Madayar,in Mandalay) ~ 8th - 14th August.
          A popular festival held in Taungpyone near Mandalay. According to tradition, the homage-paying festival is held annually to appease the spirits as it is believed that the Nats can fulfill their wishes, protect from ill-fate and danger, and bring good luck, prosperity and progress. Although Myanmar Buddhists are not particularly spirit worshippers, thousands of country folks and town people, their joyous, light-hearted and merrymaking can be found in this particular festival.
 Kyaungdawyar Pagoda Festival (Min Bu, in Magway) ~ 18th August - 17th November.
         A famous religious festival also known as "Fish Feeding Festival". People believe that thousands of big fishes, you can see only in this period, come to pay homage to the pagoda.
Yadana Gu Nat festival (Amapura,in Mandalay) ~ 22nd - 28th August.
         Known as mother of Taungbyone festival. Most enjoyable because of the rowing boat trip to the site. The festival is held annually in honor of Popa. Medaw, Mewanna(The mother of the guardian brothers frdom Popa Mountain) who came back from Taungbyone Festival, on her way back to Mt. Popa, she halted at the Yadanagu as her transit-camp.
 Manuha Pagoda Festival (in Bagan) ~ 12th September.
         Paper Dummy (Nat) Idols are made into competition. Singing & Dancing competition in commemoration of Taungbyone (Nats). Festival Start at 2 PM and ends around 4 PM.
Boe Boe Gyi Nat Festival (Taungthaman Inn,in Mandalay) ~ 15th - 27th September.
          Boe Boe Gyi is believed to have high level alchemical and to have expired to become a Nat. On the eve of ceremony pilgrims throw tealeaf packets at one another from racing exacts. It is regarded as a pledge that one who is hit must take a visit next year without fail.
 Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival (on Inle Lake) ~ 28th September - 15th October.
         The festival is held with great magnificence and pageantry. There will be full of fun fairs and dances everywhere. 4 x holiest Buddha images are ceremoniously tugged clockwise around the lake on a decorated royal barge by leg-rowing boats stopping at each village to let people pay homage. The procession of the Inle leg-rowers in full pageantry and ceremonial splendor is a sight not to be missed by anyone visiting Myanmar. The unique and most interesting event of the festival is, of course, the Shan traditional boat races participated by leg-rowers of both men and women dressed in their national costumes. Phaungdaw O Pagoda festival draws celebrant from far and near not only for the homage of Buddha statutes about also for great fun fair and for the fame of Intha's and Inthu's unique leg-rowing competitions.
Mya Tha Lun Pagoda Festival (in Magwe) ~ 8th - 12th October.
          Buddhist chanting, early morning offering to 1700 monks, and the lighting of 9000 candles are major activities. The scenic beauty of the pagoda, situated on the riverbank, is dramatic.
Thadingyut Lighting Festival (throughout Myanmar) ~ 11th - 12th October.
          To mark the end of the Buddhist Lent, and is also one of the most prominent festivals of the year. Pagodas, houses, public buildings, parks, and monuments are all illuminated and there are various kinds of activities for everyone to enjoy. Thadingyut is not only for joyous but also thanksgiving and paying homage to Buddhist monks, teachers, parents and elders, and asking pardon for whatever misdeeds might have committed during the year.
Dummy Elephant Festival (Kyauk Se,in  Mandalay Division) ~ 11th - 12th October.
          This unique and exotic elephant dance held at Kyaukse, a small town not far from Mandalay. A huge but light elephant figure is made with bamboo and paper. Men take their places inside the figure and dance around the town to the accompaniment of Dobat and Drums. The elephant dancers circle three times at the foot of the hill to pay homage to the Shwethalyaung Pagoda. It is a dance that requires precise rhythm and timing in order for the elephant dancers to maintain uniformity inside the elephant figure. Numerous life- paper dummy elephants sing and dance to the accompaniment of music.
 Kyauktawgyi Pagoda Festival (in Mandalay) ~ 11th - 14th October.
          The image was cast out of a single piece of alabaster in 1864 under the guidance of king Mindon.
Festival of Light and Fire Ball (Kyaing tong,in the Northern Shan State) ~ 11th - 12th October.
 Indein Pagoda Festival (on Inle Lake) ~ 17th - 20th October.
          Buddhist ceremony held at unique site of old shrine complex in Inle Lake.
 Poewintaung Ceremony (in Monywar, ) ~ 31st October - 05th November.
          The one and only market where leaves, fruits, roots, thorns, tubera, stems of any herbal value from the western wilderness of Chindwin river are sold on a large scale.
Shwezigon Festival (in Bagan) ~ 04th - 10th November.
          Candlelight's and fireworks are carried in procession before offering to the pagoda.
Balloons Festival (in Taunggyi,Shan State) ~ 05th - 10th November.
          Lu Ping festival commonly known as hot balloon festival celebrates by Pa O, one of the many ethnic groups in the region. The word Lu Ping generally means eliminating all evil by giving alms and offertories to Buddhist monks. On the occasion people also enjoy fun and merriment by holding firework launching competitions. The firework is in the form of rockets. There is also hot balloons competitions on the day and night occasions. Day balloons are usually in the form of Pagodas, and animals such as elephant, dragon or ducks while the night balloons usually in the shape of rugby ball, huge elongated paper balls with small lighted multicolored paper lanterns hung around their sides and balloons would sting along fireworks and fire sticks which are set off mid-air fireworks.
Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival (throughout Myanmar) ~ 09th - 10th November.
          Tazaungdaing Festival means the offering new robes to monks which celebrated on the eve of full moon day in Oct/Nov every year. Before dawn a competition on weaving the fresh robe is held at every Pagoda and several team participate in the merrymaking competitions which the fresh robe then offered to the Buddha Image early in the full moon day morning. A month earlier, every household buys some soap, washcloths and robes for the monks. Brand New note of money is folded in the shape of peacocks, pigeons or the lotus flower. The gifts are decoratively hung on "pendals" made of wood or bamboo. On this day people carry the pendals on their shoulders (or on cars nowadays). They proceed through town and gather in the city monastery. Homes and offices are colorfully lit and fireworks and hot air balloons at night. On the morning of the full moon "soons" (meal) and offering are offered to the monks.
Robe Weaving Contest (throughout Myanmar) ~ 09th - 10th November.
          On this particular full moon eve groups of young women take part of competition held on the platforms of the pagodas. The robe is to be finished flawlessly overnight and offered at dawn to the Buddha images around the pagodas.
Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival (Kyaikhtoe, in Mon State) ~ 09th - 10th November.
          The boulder, standing on the edge of a peak in the highest mountain range, is said to be freely hanging over the cliff. The place is famous as a pilgrimage and holiday outing spot. On 9th is particular full moon day number total 9999 candles are ceremoniously lit at mid night. Another festival of light held on the full moon day throughout the country. Home and streets are illuminated and Buddhists are provided robe and various requisites at Kathein (ceremony of offering robes to monks). On this particular full moon day number total 9999 candles are ceremoniously lit at mid night. Visitors are served with mixed salad of maezali buds, believed to possess powerful, magical and medicinal properties if eaten at this time.
Kakku Pagoda Festival (Lanterns and light festival in Taungyi,Shan State) ~ 09th - 11th November.
           Celebrate by Pa O tribal Buddhist at the unique pagodas complex.
Kaung Mudaw Festival (in Sagaing) ~ 09th - 10th November.
           The best spot to watch Myanmar puppet. Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country oxcarts can be seen.
 Ann Tribe Fertility Festival (Kyaing tong,in the Northern Shan State) ~ 09th - 10th November.
 Mt. Popa Nat Sprit festival (Mt. Popa ) ~ 09th - 10th November.
           Mt. Popa being considered most important Nat worshipping center, thousands of country folks and town people in their joyous, light-hearted and merrymaking in this particular festival. Thousands of animals were sacrificed to the Nats during the festival however this practice has been stopped since Bagan period. Spirit possession and overall drunken ecstasy are part of the celebration.
Thanbotdhay Pagoda Festival (Monywar,in Sagaing Division) ~ 10th - 18th November.
 Shan New Year Festival (Kyaing tong,in the Northern Shan State) ~ 24th November.
            Many different Shan tribes are celebrating with offering to the Buddha and traditional dance and feast.
Taungto Pagoda festival (around Inle lake,in Shan State) ~ 14th - 18th November.
            A Buddhist festival celebrates and old Buddha statute site.
 New Rice Harvest Festival (Kyaing tong,in the Northern Shan State) ~ 24th - 26th November.
            On this particular period Ann hill tribe celebrate fertility festival. Very interesting with traditional group dancing and drinking etc.
Kachin New Year Festival (Kyaing tong,in the Northern Shan State) ~ 25th - 31st December.
Akha New Year Festival (Kyaing tong,in the Northern Shan State) ~ 28th December - 03rd January.


   Yangon is the business capital and the gateway to Myanmar by air and sea, adorned with idyllic lakes, shady parks and green tropical vegetation. (The administrative capital of Myanmar was officially moved to Naypyidaw, beside the Yangon – Mandalay highway road and approximately 323km north of Yangon).Yangon was founded by King Alaungpaya on the site of a small settlement called Dagon when he conquered lower Myanmar in 1755.
         The name of Yangon means “End of Strife”. Later, the Yangon City was modeled and implemented by Lieutenant Fraser of the British Engineering Corps, who had also drawn the city plan of Singapore. The Shwedagon Pagoda is the most prominent landmark visible from miles around and one if the wonders of the world. Other places of interest are: Chaukhtetgyi reclining Buddha, and the colonial buildings in the city center, Bogyok (Scott) Market, The National Museum and Kaba Aye (World Peace) Pagoda is significant for the Sixth World Buddhist Synod which was held in its large compound in 1954.
Places you could visit around Yangon with us are as follow:
Around the airport
White Marble Buddha (Lawka Chanthar Abaya Larbamuni)
White elephants place
Budddha’s tooth replica Pagoda
Mahapasana cave
Kabaraye Pagoda (World peace Pagoda)
Around the City
Inya Lake (to walk and feel the breeze)
Aung Hsan Su Kyi’s House (Just for a photo shot in front of the gateway)
Chauk Htat Kyi (Reclining Buddha Image actually bigger than the one from Thailand)
General Aung San’s Museum (House)
General Aung San Park
National Museum
Kandawgyi Lake (see the reflection of Shwedagon pagoda on the lake after your visit there and go to the floating barge on this lake for dinner buffet with the traditional dance performance, elephant dance, puppet shows start at 18:30pm)
People’s Square and Cultural village in the People’s Park
Shwedagon Pagoda (about more than 2600 years old)
Maha Vijaya Pagoda (very close to Shwedagon Pagoda)
Kantaw Mingala Park (Royal Auspicioused Lake)
Around Downtown
Yangon Zoological Garden
Central Railways Station (for a circular train riding and photo stop)
Bogyoke Aung San Market (Known as Scott market Since 1926, more than 2000 shops for the best shopping)
Sule Pagoda (a famous landmark in the city, surrounded by colonial buildings)
City Hall (Designed by a local architecture. Built in 1926-36)
Immigration (Office in colonial time)
Immanuel Baptist Church
Supreme Court or High court building
Independence Monument & Mahabandula Garden
Bank Street (visit to the busy people working with typewriters and selling paper documents such as
Hiring a house, apartments, car, and contracts for wedding, buying and selling various things)
Law court
Myanmar Port Authority
Nan Thida Jetty
Strand Hotel
Australia Embassy
British Embassy
General Post Office
Bo Tahtaung Pagoda (sunset at Yangon River)
Indian Quarter
China town (19th street is famous for back packers)
Nightlife in Yangon
        (Local Beer in Beer pubs, Feel the Music in Disco clubs, Bars, Karaoke, Fashion Shows, Traditional dance performances)
Activities in Yangon
        Swimming pools, Spas & Massage, Health clubs, Tennis club, Gyms, Saunas, Jacuzzis and other exercise facilities for your health.
Most visited places in Yangon
Sule Pagoda and Downtown areas walking tour
Botahtaung Pagoda and Yangon River view at sunset
Shwedagon Pagoda around the sunset time and feel the night there
Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda (reclining Buddha Image)
Ngar Htat Kyi Buddha Image
Kabar Aye Pagoda (World Peace Pagoda)to see the different Buddha structures for Buddhist countries around Asia.
Koe Htat Kyi Pagoda (literally means 9 storeys Pagoda)
Mae Lamu Pagoda
Other Cities around Yangon
          Bago Located only 80km from Yangon, Bago was an ancient capital of Mon Kingdom in 15th century. Shwe-tha-lyaung Reclining Buddha ( 55 meter long), Shwe-maw-daw Pagoda, Kalyani Sima (Ordination Hall), 28 meter high huge Four sided Buddha Images of Kyaikpun Pagoda and the Palace of King Bayinnaung are some of the places of interest.

            Pyay is located about 285 km (6 hours drive) north of Yangon, on the eastern banks of the Ayeyarwaddy river. Visitors can stop in Pyay and then travel on to Bagan and Mandalay. A few kilometers north-east of the town is Thayekhittya (Sir Kestra), an archaeological site of the ancient Pyu capital (5th to 9th Century). Shwesandaw Pagoda, Hsehtakyi Pagoda, Shwe Phone Pwint Museum, Bawbawgyi Pagoda, Bebegyi Pagoda, Payagyi and Payama Stupas are other Places of interest in and around Pyay. “Ahakauktaung” which was the customs port in ancient times, is known for its caving on the cliff along the river. 
            Mawlamyaing is the capital city of Mon state, lies on the mount of Thanlwin River. It’s colonial buildings still remain along the quiet streets. A beautiful river trip from Pa-An to Bi-Lu Island can be done. There are many ancient Pagodas on the slopes of hill range in the city. One is Kawgoon and Phayon, famous for its countless Buddha images, stalagmites and stalactites are near the city.
            Taungoo Located 282 km from Yangon and is the only place for the tourists where you can get good accommodation on Yangon – Mandalay road. Taungoo (Kaytumadi City) was founded by King Myingyinyo in 1510 A.D and later innovated by King Minye Kyawhtin.It is one of the main gateways to Bago Yoma and its teak forests in which you can see how elephants work. But the working site is not stable as it is moving around, so need to follow where they are. Taungoo is only good as a stop over to avoid tedious (14 hours) drive between Yangon and Mandalay. However, if ones wish to visit Elephant camp call “Thargara”, one night stay in Taungoo is recommended.
         Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock) 160 km drive from Yangon, and an invigorating 12km trek uphill along a meandering trail from the base camp at Kin-pun …an overwhelming sight will meet your eye-a golden boulder, shaped like a hermit’s head and capped with a 6- meter high gilded pagoda perched precariously on the edge of a precipice, 1100 meter above sea level is the holy rock of Kyaiktiyo, Myanmar’s most popular pilgrimage centre. Legend has it that the Buddha’s sacred hair is enshrined in this golden rock.
            Pathein Situated in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta about 190 km west of Yangon is the capital of the Ayeyarwaddy Division (the delta region) and the gate way to Chaungtha and Ngwe Saung beach which are 40km and 48km away from Pathein. It is reached easily by road or by cruise through the complex Ayeyarwaddy river. As Ayeyarwaddy Division is known as the rice bowl of the country the landscapes are predominately rice fields with other colorful crops. Pathein is well known for its production of unique parasols locally called “Pathein Hti (Umbrella)” and “Pathein Halawar.