Mawlamyine (Moulmein/Moulmien) is the capital of Mon State in Southeastern Myanmar. Mawlamyine is the fourth largest city in Myanmar with a population of 326,000. It was captured by the British in 1826 during the First Anglo-Burmese War and served as their capital from 1827 to 1852. Even though the population is quite large the city itself looks and feels like only a small town, making it pleasant to walk around. Mawlamyine is pronounced "more-la-mine".
- Yangon - Several Buses a day, tickets available from most Yangon hotel reception desks, the trip takes about 6h with 1/2 hr meal stop 10,000 0r 15,000 for VIP (2+1) bus, VIP buses are modern and comfortable (seat back display with movies. WiFi etc)
Modern AC VIP bus for 15000 kyat, it took 6 hours, leaves from bus station north of center, taxi to there cost 10000 kyat.
Mandalar Winn Express has 8-10/day starting from 8.30am until 9 or 10 at night. Bought ticket for 6000 kyat from ticketing agent across street from Yangon Main Railway Station. Took 6hrs including 30min meal break. As above leaves from Aun Mingular Bus Station north of city past airport. Recommended to allow plenty of time as traffic can be horrendous. Most people allow up to 2 hrs prior to departure time. Bus company asks you to be there 30mins prior. Seem to run pretty much to schedule.
Train runs twice daily, in the morning 7:15 from Yangon, and evening (6 pm) but inquire locally for exact schedule. 6/14 USD ordinary/Upper Class. Bumpy but scenic 9hour ride. From Bago is 7 hrs - 3150 MMK with two overnight trains (8.15pm, 9.40pm, no sleeper carriage). Excellent possibility to combine with a overnight visit to Golden Rock halfway (11:45) and continuing on same train next day.
Train to Yangon in afternoon leaves at 7.45pm and 8.55pm. The lowet class is 2.150 Kyat. Okt.2015
Train from Yangon leave at 6.30pm and 9.00pm, 5.500Ks upper class. Okt.2015
Train to Dawei leave at 6am and you can buy ticket from train station. From Yangon you can't buy, only from Dawei. Okt.2015
- Dawei - Buses run at 5 am, 1 pm, 2pm, 4pm. 8-10 hour ride. 12000Ky
- Ye - Buses run at 6:30 am, 9:15 am, 11:45 am, 3:30pm. About 4 hours drive. Prices may vary by company, the one running at 9:15 and 11:45 is 3,000 kyat for a non-AC seat. Minibus 4000 kyat.
- Hpa-an almost hourly morning departure bus takes 2 hours, 1,000 kyat local bus to 7,500 Kyat AC Van. Tourist boat also leaves daily (book thru your guesthouse).
- Myawaddy to Mae Sot, Thailand. Several departures in the morning, 4-5. You may find a shared taxi (10,000k) or hire a car (about 30,000kyat). The new road between Myawaddy and Kawkareik, which officially opened in July 2015, now allows circulation in both directions every day and also dramatically shortens the trip as it takes 45min to pass over the mountain instead of 3h on the old road. The overall trip in a car will take around 4h (car taking the new road and not stopping forever for lunch). Currently, they are building a new road that will hopefully cut the travel time down to 2h (as of April 2018)
The downtown is walkable but if you want to see sights around town, nearby islands, or further pagodas, motorbikes or tuk tuks are very useful.
A motorbike taxi to anywhere in town including the bus station should cost no more than 1000 kyat. Asking 1500 kyat at highway bus station. (Nov 15)
The train station and the highway bus station are behind the hill with the pagodas, no shared transport to town center, Tuktuk drivers asking up to 3000 ky for the 2km ride.
- Thailand - It is possible to make it to Chiang Mai or Bangkok within a day, i.e. you do not have to stay at the border for a night. Get a shared taxi (10,000-15,000 ky) to Myawaddy as early as possible, like 6am or 7am. (Earliest bus is around 9am, from what we had heard.) Trip takes around 4-5h. Crossing the border might be another 30min-1h. Take a mototaxi to Mae Sot bus station. They will tell you that buses to Chiang Mai and Bangkok run only the next morning or at night, respectively. But you should get a bus ticket to Tak (80 THB). (Buses leave like every 30min.) As Tak is along the main highway connecting Chiang Mai and Bangkok, there will be plenty of buses running in either direction (around 250 THB). Eventually, you should get in around 8-10pm.
- Go to Hpa-An. There is a minibus that leaves daily at 18:30 near Ngwe Setkyar hotel. Price is 13,000 ky per person. The journey takes around 4h. To get there from the border crossing you can take a taxi or motorbike taxi (4 min drive and costs 2000 ky).
- Nwa Le Bo Pagoda, (12 miles north of town). Pick ups (700 one way) leaving from roundabout near bridge drop you at the foot of the hill, then 2 hours hike up or truck (1000 one way) leaving when full. edit
- Pa Auk Taw Ya Monastery, (9 miles south of town). Take local pickup south. Enormous, tranquil meditation centre with friendly people. Arrive by 10am to walk to the eating hall for an 11am meal with hundreds of monks (and a few foreigners studying meditation). edit
- St Matthews. Built in 1887, this is a nice old church which is unfortunely now abandoned and locked up. edit
- Kyaik Tan Lan Pagoda. Up on the hill, this is one of the best vantage points in town to see the sunset. edit
- Colonial Prison - a colonial prison built in 1908 that is still in use as a prison today. Walking alongside it you can see a few signs that say no pictures, but a great view of inside the prison (where you can see the daily life of prisoners if zooming in on your camera - playing football, growing vegetables, etc) can be attained from atop Kyaik Tan Lan pagoda.
- Yadarbon Myint Monastery - donated by Queen Sein Don, one of King Mindon's (ruled 1853-1878) consorts. Her mansion incorporated many features of the Mandalay Palace, including a replica in scale of the Lion Throne which is still on view.
- Mon Cultural Museum - a small museum about the Mon state that apparently doesn't turn on the lights, making it difficult to see many of the artifacts and exhibits. Ticket for 5000 kyat.
- Clock Tower - constructed in 1912, its inscription reads: "This Clock Tower was erected to the memory of the King Emperor Edward VII by the citizens of Moulmein".
- First Baptist Church - founded in 1827 by Reverend Adoniram Judson, an American Baptist missionary who translated the Bible into Burmese and compiled an English-Burmese dictionary.
- Ebenezer Baptist Church - another of one of the many churches in Mawlamyine, it was built in 1829.
- St. Patrick's Church - the church was built in 1829 while the clock tower in the church was built by the French around 1854.
- Walk Along the Hilltop. Good at any time of the day but much cooler in the morning or late afternoon. Follow the road along the hill top visiting the Pagodas along the way. edit
- Win Sein Taw Ya Pagoda. Win Sein Taw Ya is the biggest leaning back Buddha on the planet, and at 30 meters high and 180 meters long can be seen for a significant distance. Situated inverse of the Buddhist holy place of Kyauktalon Taung, the leaning back Buddha is occupied with rooms that grandstand dioramas of the lessons of Buddha and a hallowed place. When visiting the goliath Buddha, it ought to be recollected that notwithstanding the odd oddity of strolling into a monster head, it is as yet a position of love, and shoes ought to be evacuated before entering the altar. After very nearly 15 years of development, the leaning back Buddha is as yet not finish. In 2012, development began a second leaning back Buddha inverse the first, with the point of being worked to stand the trial of time. The poor solid development of the first has left the first with a dubious future. The passageway to the leaning back Buddha picture is situated around 100 meters south of the Hindu sanctuary on Yadana Taung on the left hand side of the Mawlamyine-Mudon street as you head towards Mudon. You can take a cruiser taxi from the passageway on the fundamental street up to the Buddha, or take a 15 brief walk. Cruiser costs 1,000 Kyat for each individual. edit
Please dress modestly (cover shoulders, knees etc) especially in temples and pagodas.
Rent a motorbike. You can get motorbikes from you guesthouse most of the time. Some nice trips you can do are:
- Drive around Bilugyun Island. Cross the bridge onto the island, where you can choose to go either right or left at the roundabout. The road is nice, and you won't be sharing it with busses and trucks. There's a circuit you can go around, just need to make one turn in Chaungzone. It takes a couple of hours to do on a motorbike, a couple more if you do it on bicycle.
- Drive south out of Mawlamyine, and you'll find Win Sein reclining Buddha. Make sure you look at the second story of the smaller yellow house on the grounds! Across the road from the reclining Buddha is a small hill that takes about an hour to climb up and down (depending on how long you admire the view at the top). There are NO monkeys to worry about!
- Further south you can reach Thanphyuzayat town which has quite a few gems. In the town you can check out the Death Railway museum and the War cemetery. It will take you an extra hour driving time to go see the Kyaikkhami Pagoda, which sits IN the sea. Just south of Thanphyuzayat is a village called Panga and you'll find A LOT of salt flats which make for a great photo.
- Drive north across the bridge towards Yangon for waterfalls. Both Zin Kyaik and Zin Ywar waterfalls are within driving distance and make a nice day trip. Between Mawlamyine and Thaton there are also many hiking options. When you see a pagoda in the hill, there must be a pathway somewhere to climb up!
- Drive towards Hpa An, but not all the way! It's a nice and easy drive to Kha Yone Cave and Pagoda. Driving across this bridge is an experience all in itself, make sure to go slow and steady. Advise you not to go to caves in the rainy season!
Try some do-it-yourself walking tours. Most of the time you'll want to get going early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
Watch a sunset. Mawlamyine sunsets are some of the best you'll ever see (most years, not the rainy season). You've got multiple and great options.
- From the top of Taungwine Mountain. You can find the stairs to climb up here 16.4423, 97.6643. If you start heading back down the mountain right after the sun is out of sight you'll make it to the bottom before it gets too dark.
- The Viewpoint on hill road. This is easy to find, all the taxi drivers know it, and you can walk, cycle or drive there.
- Nadi Hline bar. A very basic looking establishment that has a nice patio right on the river.
- Cargo Bar and Restaurant. Grab a table on the rooftop patio and enjoy the colors
- Crown Souvenir Shop, Yamanya Riverside Centre (On Strand Road at U Zina Road). At the back of the convenience store in the Riverside Centre is a lovely little souvenir shop filled with locally produced goods at VERY reasonable prices compared to other parts of Myanmar. edit
- Bamboo Hut Food Center (clean, fresh, delicious chinese menu), Meelaungpyin St. (on the way to Shampoo island, a few walk from lower market headed to the bridge, near Attaran Hotel), ☎ 09255857025, . 10 a.m to 10 p.m.. Unique restaurant build up with bamboo. Eco natture restaurant. Chinese Menu. Vegetarian menu available. edit
- Yuu Nan Pan Tay Restaurant, Strand Road (a few houses south of Breeze Guesthouse). New Restaurant (2014) with Thai food, good Chicken w basil leaves, clean and friendly, no alcohol. Great avocado shakes with no/low sugar options. edit
- Peking Restaurant, Lower Main Road (across road from Ruby). Chinese food edit
- Chan Thar, (next to Sandalwood Hotel). Extensive menu edit
- Help Grandfather and mother restaurant, Strand Road (one block north of Breeze Guesthouse). Apparently the money goes to a charity to help the town’s elderly. Mostly Chinese menu with vegetarian choice. Very popular for locals and foreigners because of good riverside location and cheap price on food and drinks. Open for breakfast and till late for dinner. Several reports of food poisoning on trip advisor edit
- Shwe Nanda, Lower Main Road (north of Aurora Guesthouse, towards the market). Very lively local tea shop with freshly baked chinese pastries (including vegan options) & friendly owner, nice for breakfast before heading to the market edit
- Pao Mon Located in Myinetharyar about a 15 minute drive from the city center. This is one of the only social enterprises in Mawlamyine and also one of the few shops that showcase Mon food and handicrafts. This shop also buys some of the freshest ingredients for their food. Open from 11-9 PM. However, call ahead 09 42532 9170 to ensure they have the dishes and ingredients you want.
- My City Located close to Ocean Supercenter on Yone Kyi road near the Municipality office. This shop hosts some of the only quality Western food in Mawlamyine. They serve delicious burgers, salads, homemade juices, pizza, and a variety of other foods. They recently re-opened as a social enterprise to benefit two strong organizations in town: National Enlightenment Institute (NEI) and Local Resource Center (LRC). Now you can dine for a good cause and even pick up some Mon handicrafts.
- Bone Kyi Restaurant Located on Strand Road. This shop has a wide range of food with excellent English speaking staff. Their portions are larger hence the more expensive prices.
- South India Food Located on Strand Road near Bone Kyi restaurant. Bright green shop. This shop serves lunch and dinner. Massive portions. Not the friendlist service but it is worth it. Make sure you go for a walk after you eat or you may fall asleep after the meal.
- OK hotel, Strand and Thaton Tadar St (one block from the market), . Food are bit pricier than other places but drinks are decent price. One of the rare spots for the Free WiFi. edit
- Mya Nan Thida, Lower Main Street (5 doors north of Aurora Guest House). Home made milkshakes, ice cream, kulfi & falooda (1000), perfect for a break during the hottest hours edit
- Strand View Restaurant, Mawlamyine Strand (North End of Strand Road). Outdoor garden area. Bottles of hard liquor starting at 25000 and cocktails 3000 to 4000. Get messy at the classiest place in Myalamyine. edit
- Breeze Guesthouse (Lay Hnyin Tha), 6. Strand Road, ☎ 057-21450, 09 870 1180. well-known guest house with friendly staff. Mr. Anthony is an old man and full of stories and useful advice. Likes to talk in a quiet minute. Rooms are very basic, thin, hard and extremely cramped mattress. There is a gorgeous bedroom for $40 per night replete with colonial era cast iron bed and furniture. Note that the rooms for 16$ are musty, barely big enough to fit the bed, and they also have bed bugs, so check your bed! from $8 single, $16 double. edit
- Sandalwood Hotel, 278. Myopia Rridge Street, ☎ 098702511. checkin: anytime; checkout: noon. New hotel, fully tiled and rooms very clean and spotless, same applies for kitchen where they prepare breakfast, very friendly and helpful staff with good english, price includes breakfast, tv in room, pretty slow wifi in the lobby,standard rooms with fan and private bathroom, superior with aircon, probably the best value for money in the city: they provide you with towels, toothpaste+ brush, soap, shampoo, water; they have drying rack for your clothes and umbrellas can be borrowed. Only two standard rooms. Fan room (standard, private bathroom): 1 person $15 [June 2015= low season], 2 people 18,400 MMK [Nov 2017] Air Con room with mini fridge (superior): 1 person $30, 2 people 26,250 MMK [Nov 2017], 3 people $?? and 4 people $??. edit
- Cinderella Hotel, 21 Baho road, ☎ 05724411. hotel, beautifully decorated and clean, price includes large breakfast, tv in room, wifi, aircon. Dorm rooms are $15. There is a restaurant in the back. The staff is very accommodating and helpful. They give a high quality walking map of the city and its attractions. $30 single, $35 - 45 double. edit
- Aurora, 277 Lower Main Road, ☎ 057-22785. One street back from Breeze, around the corner from Sandalwood. Rooms are not more expensive than at Breeze and are a lot nicer. WiFi. No breakfast. Owner seems grumpy at first, but actually very sweet & helpful if you take the time to talk to him. Fan room with shared bathroom single/double 7/14 USD, AC room with en suite bathroom 15/25 USD. If you're on your own but only double rooms are available you will most likely be charged as if you stayed in a single room. edit
- Pann Su Wai, 333/A lower main road, ☎ (09)252524837 or (09)252524838. New guesthouse,good value! Located downtown, Main Lower road, 5 min walking from Aurora GH. Location: 16.4811944, 97.6194886 room : (AC,single bed; bathroom inside, fridge, TV): 10$ / (air-con, double bed, shower inside): 20$ WiFi, breakfast included. Laundry service available . edit
- OK Hotel, Strand Road. Has the restaurant but also rooms available. Friendly staff. Free wifi. Rooms small and utilitarian but new, clean, bed is ok. Breeze is probably better for hangout with other backpackers, but its facilities show age. $12 single (mid 2015, could negotiate $10 if staying longer than one night). edit
- Hpa-an 2 hours away by bus, 5 hours by boat (sign up the day before at Breeze GH for the daily boat leaving at 8:15AM, 10000 per person).
- Dawei / Maungmagan beach 8-10 hours by bus departs at Noon and 1am, cost 10,000kyat. 6am and 6:30pm, 13 hours, 13000 2016.02.
- Bago roughly 4 to 5 hours away. Most bus companies ask 10,000 but you should be able to find at least one for 5000.
- Mae Sot, Thai Border, 4 to 9 hours (depending on car vs. bus and on whether your car takes the new road), many departures in early morning. You can arrange a shared taxi for about 8000-10000 per person. As of March 2015 the road seems to be going in both directions every day (see get in section).
- Golden Rock: buses leave from 7.30 am (hourly?), take ~4 hours and cost 7000 all the way to Kinpun bus station. Trains leave from 8am, cost a little bit less than the bus, but take you only to Kyaiktiyo.
- Mandalay - night sleeper bus that leaves at 6PM and arrives in Mandalay around 5:30AM. Ticket cost 15,500 kyat.