Other Interesting Places
This pagoda is located in Mon state and famous for the balancing of the stone. Originally it was called Kyaik-I-thi-Yo in Mon language. It means the pagoda carried by a hermit's head. With the passage of time, it came to be known as Kyaik Hti Yo. This Pagoda is located on the edge of the Paunglaung mountain range, part of the eastern Yoma in Kyaikhto township in Mon State, 3600ft (1090m) above the sea level.
It is said to be enshrined with the Buddha's hair relic and resting on top of a huge boulder that balances on the edge of a cliff.
The gold -covered rock is roughly in the shape of a man's head, and it is believed to represent the head of a hermit who had carried the Buddha's hair wrapped in his own topknot before he died. He had left instructions that such a boulder was to be found and the precious hair enshrined in a pagoda on its crest after his death.
According to the legend, there were six hermits living on six separate hills. One day, during the visit of the Buddha to Thahtom, Mon state, each hermit received Hair relic of the Buddha and instead of enshrining the sacred Hair they kept themselves. One of the hermits called Tissa became worried about the sacred Hair when he grow old and he thought of keeping the sacred Hair in safety. With the help of Sakka, king of the celestial beings, he found a boulder in the shape of his head and then a hole was made to enshrine the sacred Hair in it.
The girth of the boulder is 50ft (15m) and the pagoda on top of the boulder is 15ft (4.5m). A test can be made by passing a thread from one side to the other side of the boulder that the boulder doesn't touch the rock below it. Its seems the boulder will fall at a slight push, but it has been like this since over two thousands years ago.
Mawlamyine is the fourth largest city in Myanmar. It is situated 187 miles away from Yangon. It lies across the Gulf of Mottama at the mouth of the Thanlwin river. It is the capital of Mon state with a population of almost 300000 people. It was formerly known as Moulmein which is the administrative capital of British of lower Myanmar. The town has a charm of its own with its rich history, buildings and colonial style architecture. Siam-Burma "death railway" which is 1 ½ hour drive from Mawlamyaing, make it a fascinating place to visit.
Hpa An is the capital of Kayin state. It is located ... km away from Yangon and just one hour drive from Mawlamyine. It is a quite charming city with many natural lime-stone caves, pagodas and temple. We can get there by car from Yangon or Mawlamyine. One can enjoy the sunset on the country-side and can visit Buddhist caves.
Mrauk U (Ancient City of Rakhine)
Visitors must come through Sittwe, a bust seaport that has traditional houses along the waterfront. There are monasteries with a mix of European and traditional architecture, and the fish market is a lively place full of men hauling nets and women selling the catch of the day and fresh vegetables.
The ruined city of Mrauk Oo, dating back to the 15th century, is reached by a five hour boat ride from Sittwe along the Kakadan River.
The river meanders through farmland, passing fishing villages and sailing junks, and sometimes through flocks of migratory wild birds.
Myanmar's second most famous archaeological site, Mrauk U, is a centuries-old city of hundreds of temple around which villages life thrives. The Kings of Rakhine set up different cities around the lower reaches of the lemyo and the Kaladan Rivers. Mrauk U was founded in 1433 A.D by King Min Saw Mun. It was later known as Mrohaung, meaning the "Old Capital". It lies on the rocky plain between the lemyo and Kaladon rivers. The hills around the town stood as the natural defence line. In some places, there are the remains of the fort, built of hewn-stone and motor. There were many temples and solid stupas, built mostly of stones. Inscriptions, coins and stone sculptures have been unearthed from the various sites.
Kyaing Tong, a capital city in the Eastern Shan State, is known for its scenic beauty and colourful hill tribes. The road from Tachileik to Kyaing Tong wind 160km over the mountains, forests, streams and tribal villages. Palaces of interest in Kyaing Tong include Maha-Myat-Muni Pagoda, Naung-Tong Lake, Sunn-Taung Monastery, Hot spring and One Tree Pagoda, Loi-mwe, meaning misty mountain over 1600 meters above the sea level is located 33km away from Kyaing Tong. It commands a magnificent view of the surrounding place and it enjoys a temperate climate. Once an outpost of the British, there remains many colonial style buildings and an old catholic church.
Hsipaw is a quite charming town which is situated on the bank of Dotthawaddy River. It is about 1500ft above the sea level in the Northern Shan State. In the olden day, it was ruled by Shan Saobwa (sky-lord). The rain trees provide a shade along the street framed by family owned shops, markets and restaurant. The population is about 30,000 with the remaining minorities in Myanmar such as Palaung, Lisu, Kachin, Kayin, Hindu and Chinese. The surrounding countryside grows seasonal crops such as oranges, peaches, pineapple and watermelon, cauliflower, mustard, broad beans, carrots, etc. One can explore to the Jungle and enjoy the authentic nature with giant trees, bamboo forest, mountain range, splendid lake.
Kayah state is another one of those uniquely Myanmar destinations that's open to foreign tourists. It is situated between Shan State to the north and Kayin State to the west and south and Thailand to the east, Kayah State is home to a disproportionate number of tribal group, including the Padaung, Yinbaw, Bre, Kayin and Karenni.