Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Myanmar : Northern Myanmar : Monywa
Monywa is a city in Sagaing Division, Northern Myanmar.
Non air-con bus is available from Mandalay (26th st, near 90th st). Trip takes about 3 hours including one break (20-30 mins) for 3500 Kyats. It is probably safer to get the bus from bus station and have your seat booked. Bus appears to be quite frequent.
Local non air-con bus from Bagan starts at 9:00am, then 10:30 and 12h30, and takes about 3-4 hours including several stops. Can be booked at the bus new station, located 7km from the city center (pay not more than 3500 K, which is the locals price, haggle!), hotels charge about 5000 K.
Lots of tuk tuk available to take you around. From the bus station to the city center shoudn't be more than 1000 K.
Located about 12 km southeast of Monywa, or about 30-45 mins in tuktuk. Built between 1939 and 1952, the unique feature of this pagoda is its plenty small sculptures of Buddha (said to be more than 500,000). There is a little tower just opposite the pagoda which can be climbed. Entrance fee for foreigners: 3$.
8 km from Thanboddhay Pagoda, stand 3 big statues of Buddha and a golden pagoda which makes a pretty amazing sight. One Buddha is standing, another is lying on its side and also a smaller one (sitting with a cobra snake in the back). You can enter the inside of the standing Buddha which consists of quite a few stories. The images on the walls are mostly depicting hell. Another big sitting Buddha is in construction (2016).
The complex is 20km west of Monywa and contains 947 small and large richly decorated caves. It is carved into a sandstone outcrop and contains numerous carved Buddha statues and mural paintings of geometric patterns and Jataka stories. The statues and paintings have been dated to between the 14th and 18th centuries. It is accessible from Monywa either by direct road over the new bridge or by a ferry across the Chindwin and then taking a jeep at the scenic Nyaungbin village. The locals pay 200Kyat one-way for the ferry, but they tried to charge the "foreigner-price" of 5000kyat and we could not bargain that down, so we didn't took the ferry. More Information on the Wikipedia article
Located near the riverside is a pretty big Pagoda with Tempel and even a mini rollercoaster (probably not useable for visitor). It features a Library with Books, Casettes and CDs all in Burmese language. There are also figures of famous monks which looks very authentic (remains a bit to the madame toussand's Waxfigures)
Next to the clock tower In the hear of the city is the Phayagyi Pagoda. It appears to be very new so it's supershiny and clean. Some parts are still in constructiong (March 2016) but most of the buildings are finished. They have impressive woodcarving as decoration everywhere.
It's maybe not the nicest sights you ever seen, but the area is very lively. A lot of boats charters here, people washing their bodies and clothes, families living in Shipwracks and its a good spot to relax a bit and see the daily life going on.
Train to Mandalay leaves at 6:00 am. Bus to Mandalay is departing every hour. However, best to get the hotel to book your ticket. Although no aircon and old bus, their booking system is fairly organized with designated seats number.