Nestled on the Chindwin River’s banks, Monywa is known as a dynamic region of central Myanmar with numerous industries surrounding the town. Monywa shares some similarities with its neighbor Mandalay in the way that there are myriad of amazing surrounding attractions.
Monywa Overview
Monywa is a city in central Myanmar and situated on the eastern bank of the Chindwin Rive. Mandalay Division. It lies 136 km north-west of Mandalay along the Mandalay-Budalin branch railway line. Monywa serves as a major trade center for India and Burma through Kalay Myo road and Chindwin river.
Monywa History
The name Monywa comes from "Mon" meaning "cake or snack food" and "Ywa" which is the Myanmar word for village. There is a legend which says that in the old days a Myanmar king fell in love with a seller of cakes from this town and made her his queen. The original name some say. is Mon - thema- ywa or " Village of the woman cake seller". There has been a big village at Monywa from the Bagan Period. The classical name for Monywa is Thalawadi. The chronicles mention that Monywa was one of the places where King Alaungphayar encamped for the night on his campaign to Manipur in 1758. During the Myanmar kings' time Monywa remained just a big village as the administrative centre for the region was at Ahlon. It was only a year after the Annexation of 1886 that Monywa became the Headquarters of the Lower Chindwin District. In the last few years with the legalizing of the border trade with India. Monywa has grown into a bustling trading.
Monywa climate and best time to visit

Generally it is best to visit Myanmar, and by extension Monywa, from November to February. This period sees the best weather in the country as it falls directly after the monsoon season and the weather is not too hot and usually dry.

From February onwards temperatures rise and it can be uncomfortable if you are not used to the heat. You should keep in mind that June to October is the wet season when the dust turns to mud and flooding is common in rural areas. As Monywa doesn’t see as many tourists compared to other parts of the country, there is no real high season that you need to avoid.

Monywa Transportation

How to get Monywa:

By Air:
There is 3 directly flights from Yangon, Mandalay, Homanlin to Monywa, serves from October to March only

By Bus:
Many buses commute from Mandalay to Monywa. From 6.30 AM to 4 PM, there’s a bus that heads off to Monywa every hour. It’s a 3-hour trip and the ticket costs around $2/pax and $8/pax (for AC bus)


Getting around Monywa:

Tuk tuk fares are approximately:

Downtown to train station, Win Unity, Monywa Hotel, boat jetties: 1,000 kyat
Downtown to bus station: 1,000 to 1,500
Town to Po Win Taung Cave Temples or A Myint: 20,000 to 25,000 return
Town to Bodhi Tataung and Thanboddhay Paya: Around 15,000 return
Opposite bank of the river to Po Win Taung Cave Temples: 15,000

For moto-taxis, fares can vary considerably:
Town to Po Win Taung Cave Temples or A Myint: Around 15,000 return
Town to Bodhi Tataung and Thanboddhay Paya: Around 12,000 return

For taxis, ask your hotel to call and negotiate your fare. Expect approximately:
Town to Po Win Taung Cave Temples or A Myint: 40,000 return
Town to Bodhi Tataung and Thanboddhay Paya: 35,000 return
Opposite bank of the river to Po Win Taung Cave Temples: 25,000 return
Monywa to Mandalay: $50-60 one-way

Boat fares from Monywa to the opposite bank should be 5,000 per foreigner, each way.

Things to do and see in Monywa

Thanboddhay Pagoda

Thanboddhay is the only pagoda with this unique shape in the whole country. The square temple base (each side about 166 feet) which worshippers can enter is topped by receding terraces. with myriads of small stupas (864 in number) surrounding the central golden chedi. 132 feet in height.

Tourists can study and take photos of the twenty tagundaing. huge decorated pillars. and also big masonary fruits in the shape of bunches of bananas and coconuts. water melon. mangos. jackfruits. papaya and so on . These fruits are also objects of veneration for the local farmers.

Bodhi Tahtaung And Po Khaung Taung

Just beyond Bodhi Tahtaung. a short stroll towards the east will bring you to the Po Khaung Taung. a range of hills where you can see one of the largest reclining Buddha images in the world. Measuring 300 ft in length it is even bigger than the colossal Shwethalyaung reclining Buddha image in Bago (Pegu) which has a length of 180 ft. only. The head is 60 ft. in height. It was only built in 1991 and up to now there is still no roof or shelter to protect it from the elements.

Aung Sakkya Pagoda

Near the reclining Buddha image. also on Po Khaung Taung range is the Aung Sakkya Pagoda . 441.75 ft in height (including the base of 216.75 ft).

This pagoda is a landmark for the area around Monywa as it can be seen from afar. It is surrounded by 1.060 smaller satellite pagodas which shelter over a thousand sacred images of the Buddha.

Shwe Ba Hill

Shwe Ba Hill. just beyond Pho Win Hill. features unique pavilions cut from the surrounding sandstone and filled with plain Buddha images.

Shweba Taung is on the West Bank of Chindwin river.

There. temples and caves are curved out of volcanic rocks and inside walls of some caves are decorated with 13 century / 18 century mural paintings.

Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda

The Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda is about 20 miles east of Monywa. The Buddha image in the pagoda is offered (stick) by gold foils and the face of the Buddha image could not be make out very easily. Typical black and gold lacquer ware from nearby Kyaukka is the festival's speciality. Held from the 5th to the 8th waning day of Kason. Shweguni Pagoda is famous for its magnificent architecture.

Monywa Travel Tips
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