Hlawga Wildlife Park
Why Hlawga Wildlife Park is special ?
The Hlawga Wildlife Park makes a nice day or half-day trip from Yangon. It consists of a ‘mini-zoo’ with monkeys, bears, birds, cats, crocodiles, snakes and deer in enclosures; as well as a larger safari-type park.
In the safari park are free-roaming monkeys and deer along with captive elephants and hippopotamus. Five-minute elephant rides are possible for 1000 kyat. There are also plenty of places to buy food to feed the animals, several picnic sites and a restaurant and coffee shop on the grounds.
Hlawga Wildlife Park also features a number of huts (5000 kyat) and chalets (20000 kyat) that can be rented for day use only (overnight stays are not possible). The idea being to relax among the lake-dotted natural scenery for a day, possibly with a keg of beer.
What to explore at Hlawga Wildlife Park?
Hlawga Park is about 45 minutes drive from downtown. The park covers 1,650 acres of land including the Hlawga Lake , which is a home for over 70 kinds of herbivorous animals and 90 species of birds. It has a museum of the replica of Myanmar traditional buildings and a small zoo with rock garden. Flocks of migratory birds frequently visit the park. It is an ideal place for picnickers, naturalists, botanists and bird-watchers. Visitor can also enjoy elephant rides, boating and fishing in the park.
The area of Hlawga Wildlife Park is (1540) acres, comprising a wildlife park (818 acres), a buffer zone (660 area), and a mini-zoo (62 acres) including other various recreation centres.
There are (4) recreation centers around Kanthayar Lake with the area of (30) acres in it, and (245) plant species and over (100) herbal plants.
One can, enjoy adventurous waling into the forest foot paths, birds lovers can observe over (160) species of migratory birds and water-flows / water birds. One can feel happy while one can be watching the birds as well as the beauty of natural park from the watch house on the bi-joint of the trees as a aerial or bird-eyes view. Hlawga Wildlife Park is one of the good recreation centers for all visitors.
How to get to Hlawga Wildlife Park?
The park is best explored in a car, via the 5-kilometre-long (3-mile-long) driveway that cuts through it. The setting is a great place to draw, paint or observe animals up close.
Zinkyaik Mountain is located in Mon State in the northern part of the Tenasserim coast. It can be driven up to by truck due to road construction complete by the late Kyaikhtisaung Sayadaw. The range is part of the or Eastern Arakan Yoma Mountains. It is at a distance of 266 kilometres (165 mi) from Yangon and 45 kilometers north of Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon State. The summit is above 3,000 ft. Near the foot of the mountain and located near the main road and rail line of Yangon-Dawei, near by Zinkyaik Village, is Zinkyaik Waterfall. The waterfall is frequented by locals, especially during the Fullmoon Day of Waso and rainy season. During dry season there is no water to supply the falls and it dries up.
Before the Buddha attained enlightenment, there was a kingdom situated near Gisa Gi Yi, now known as Zinkyaik Mountain. The king of this region was Tissa Dama Gyaik and his queen was Thi Yi Kappar Dawi. They ruled the kingdom well, therefore it was calm, rich, and well-developed. The pair had two sons, who had been mentioned before in prophecy by wise men. The oldest son resembled his father in build and appearance. A Brahman had prophesied to King Tissa Dama Yaza that the prince would "have the traits of a moral principles, good character, politeness, cleverness, and great skill." When the king heard this, he was pleased and gave the prince the name Tissa Kumaya, after himself. When the youngest son was born, he was a beautiful child. On both of the soles of his feet, he had markings that looked like lions. So, the king named him Thiha Kumaya.
The two princes loved each other very much. They were raised with access to every kind of sensual pleasure and luxury. The king and queen guarded them against unpleasant dangers such as gnats, mosquitoes, houseflies, and insects. When they reached the ages of 23 and 21 years old, the eldest brother, Tissa Kumaya, who had strong moral principles, had mastered the skill in meditation of remorse. He realized that no being was free from suffering old age, pain, and death. He decided to retire to the forest and become a recluse. He met with his younger brother and discussed his plans for abdicating the throne. He asked his brother to assume the position of king instead of himself and to take care of their parents. The youngest brother decided instead to follow his brother into the forest and also live as a hermit. They agreed to wait for a suitable time to retire to the forest.
When King Tissa Dama Yaza and Queen Thiyi Kappar Dawi reached old age, they decided to retire into meditation and give the throne to their eldest son and the royal title of Crown Prince to their youngest son. They gathered their lawmakers and made legal arrangements for their sons to assume their new positions. The princes denied their inheritances and asked permission to retreat to the jungle as hermits. They requested their parents' blessing many times. The king and queen did not think that their sons were suitable for forest life, since they had been raised in a palace. The two sons became depressed and would not eat. They became very thin. Finally, the king and queen relented and agreed to allow them to go into the forest.
The princes were pleased and began to eat again. After a week, they went to the jungle in a grand procession followed by the king, queen, and public. A monastery was built where there was fresh water and natural food sources for them. This monastery was at the bottom of Zinkyaik Mountain. The two brothers stayed there and were then referred to as "Tissa Hermit" and "Thiha Hermit". Tissa and Thiha were not satisfied to stay together, since there was temptation to waste meditation time in conversing with each other. Therefore, Tissa decide to stay at Zinkyaik while Thiha decided to transfer to Mount Zwegabin, which could be seen from Zinkyaik Mountain.
Local legend has it that two twin brothers, the children of a weizza from the Himalayas and a naga (dragon) princess were abandoned by their mother as eggs on the western base of Zinkyaik Mountain, where there was an island not far from the beach. Tissa, while walking and meditating, found the eggs and carried them back to his monastery at Zinkyaik Mountain. That night, Tissa saw a signal light from Mount Zwegabin from his brother, Thiha. Thiha met Tissa and Tissa gave him one of the eggs. Thiha took one egg to Mount Zwegabin, and one remained with Tissa. Tissa's egg hatched first on top of Zinkyaik Mountain, and later, Thiha's egg on Mount Zwegabin. Tissa named the baby under his care Thuriaya Kumaya because he was born at sunrise. The youngest brother died at the age of ten due to smallpox. Thiha came to raise Thuriaya Kumaya together with Tissa at Zinkyaik Mountain. The hermits became well-known and the area surrounding the mountain became crowded. Therefore, Tissa moved away from Zinkyaik to Kyaikhtiyo Mountain. Thuriaya Kumaya, who was taught meditation and the art of ruling from Tissa, eventually became the first king of Thaton.
Zinkyaik Waterfall is between Mawlamyine and Thaton. Zin Kyaik Waterfall is about 40 minutes by motorbike from Mawlamyine. That is about 20 minutes from Thaton. This Zin Kyaik Waterfall also has a pool created by blocking the river, of course, you can swim. You can also enter the river, so if you want to swim, please change your clothes. (The pool does NOT have to wear a swimsuit. T-shirts and shorts are fine.)
However, there is no water in the dry season, so please go in the rainy season. Of course, the pool is only rainy season.