Ye is in Southeastern Myanmar.
The entire southern part of Mon State was off-limits to foreigners until early 2013. Before then, foreign visitors were unable to travel south from Mawlamyine. The local economy is based primarily on latex (rubber) harvesting, betel nut (areca palm) farms, and fishing. Ye is an up-and-coming town, about half way between Mawlamyine and Dawei.
From Dawei. Buses going to Mawlamyine and Yangon will usually stop in Ye, but some will charge the full price for the final destination. AC buses leave Dawei at 5 am, 1 pm and 5 pm, 8,000 kyat (check the times from your travel agent. Dawei Panorama Tours is a good one). Ticket on non-air con bus at 3 pm costs 7,000 kyat from sellers in downtown Dawei. The ride should take less than 4 hours. The train that runs between Dawei and Yangon takes 8 to 9 hours, but is an enjoyable journey. Check seat61.com for train departure and arrival schedules.
Buses drop off either at the Andawa Highway Bus Station, or in Ye town, in front of the Shwe San Daw Pagoda, where motorbike taxis will bring you to your destination for 1,000 to 2,000 kyat per person, depending on the distance.
==Get around There are not many places to rent a motorbike. Starlight Resort rents them but only to their guests. So if you want to rent a motorbike you might want to stay there (Dec 2019).
Central Lake with small temple in a jetty. Shwe San Daw pagoda, in the center of town, is a highlight. Downtown Ye is a laid-back view into everyday life. Walk around the downtown area, wander through the market complex, and see the gold market with 94 stalls.
There is a new religious complex to the north of Ye named Oo Sin Lay (or Ko Yin Lay) containing a monastery building surrounded by four gargantuan Buddha statues and a huge reclining Buddha. It is sometimes called "Banana Hill, or Banana Mountain". An additional massive temple area is being developed. Before 12:00 noon, food is offered at the long hall where you enter the complex. Ask around, or check an online map, for the exact location. It's definitely worth it!
Please dress modestly (cover shoulders, knees etc), especially in temples and pagodas.
In addition to "Banana Hill" (the local name is Ko Yin Lay), the villages of Jaung Ywar, Duya, Andin, and to beaches at Bin Le Wa and Ka Byar Wa are well worth visiting.
ATM's. KBZ Bank has an ATM next to Sakar Taung pagoda, near Ye town hospital. CB Bank has an ATM, and AYA Bank has an ATM as well. Currency exchange is available only as KBZ Bank, as of May 2018.
The gold market in central Ye is surrounded by stalls and shops selling all kinds of things including fruits and vegetables as well as household goods.
- Rot Sar Thai Restaurant. Cheap and cheerful, with an English-language menu. No alcohol available, but the food is very good. Located on the lake with a view of the "floating" pagoda. edit
- Dream Restaurant. 11 am - 1 pm. Always an interesting experience. The Dream bar and restaurant stays open later than most places in Ye. No menu to look at, but the eager-to-please owner will help you with his limited English skills. The "nga jor"... a sweet and sour whole fish, is fabulous. The chicken dishes are also good. Cold beer and cocktails are available. $2 - $6. edit
Dream Restaurant has a bar, as does Shwe Taung Gyar (Golden Valley) Hotel. Cold beer, on draught and in bottles, are available. Liquor is sold in full bottles only, not as individual cocktails. Starlight Resort has cold beer in cans, but the staff can fetch anything else that you need from Ye town; liquor, wine, and mixers. The Ko Kyaw Restaurant has Myanmar and Kirin beers on draught, and a short selection of botted beers as well. Beer, wine, and liquor can be bought from the Kyaw Star shop (oddly, listed as a 'bistro' on Google Maps).
- Gold Market Guest House, (Next to the gold market in central Ye). checkout: 12:00. Gold Market is in central Ye. The owner is very friendly and speaks English fairly well. Assists with bus ticket purchases without charging. Room prices range from 5,000 to 25,000 kyat (May 2016: 3500 - 10000, could be low season pricing) depending on room amenities and sizes. Air conditioning is available for the higher priced rooms but costs extra at a rate of 550 kyat per unit of electricity used - about one unit per hour. Breakfast not included. The owner can also assist in renting motorbikes. edit
- Starlight Resort, (Just outside to Ye city limits.), ☎ (95)9788871590, . checkin: 10:00; checkout: 12:00. Located just outside of Ye, this new resort is run by an American expat and a Burmese local. They are able to give lots of information on southern Myanmar and can assist with planning tours in the area. Rates start at 30,000 kyat for a single room with private bathroom and AC, double AC rooms are 35,000 kyat, and a family room, with a queen-size bed and optional single bed, is 45,000 kyat per night (prices as of December 2019). Breakfast included with all rooms. Motorbikes are available to rent for guests that are staying there. Location is fairly quiet and does not have the noise of the ubiquitous Myanmar traffic. The atmosphere is very familial, and there is a swimming pool with a great view of the surrounding area. ("15°16'21.8"N","97°51'36.5"E") edit
"Shwe Taung Gyar Hotel (Golden Valley STG)" Located west of downtown, on the main road. STG is a 4-storey, 24 room hotel with double rooms and family rooms available. The staff can organize transportation, and rent motorbikes to guests staying there. </sleep>
- Mawlamyine. Buses to Mawlamyine run approximately hourly through the morning, starting at 6:00, with varying companies. The ride is about 4 hours long. All buses depart from the Andawa Highway Bus Station, which is about 4 kilometers from the city center.
The north-bound train departs from Ye at 2:00 pm, and takes about 6 hours to Mawlamyine.
- Dawei. Buses and minivans run to Dawei several times a day. Ask timetables from your Guesthouse. AC bus 8,000 kyat, less than 4 hours ride.
The slowest train in Myanmar travels between Ye and Dawei. Scheduled to depart from Ye at 10:00 am, it takes 8 to 9 hours to reach Dawei. The route is scenic, and you'll get lingering views of many villages as the train stops briefly for people to get on and off. If you're not in a hurry, it is quite an experience. Hitch-hiking is also an option. Ask your guesthouse to make a banner sign with your destination city's name written in Burmese.
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