The fourth largest city in Myanmar, Mawlamyine, or Moulmein as it was once known, is located 300km southeast of Yangon. Not only was Mawlamyine the first British colonial capital (1826-1852), but it also features in the opening lines of Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem, Mandalay. It reads, “By the old Moulmein, pagoda lookin’ lazy at the sea, there’s a Burma girl a-settin’ and I know she thinks o’ me”. Colonial history aside, there is a wide variety of interesting spots in and about town such as the abandoned St Matthew’s Church, Pa Auk Tawya Monastery and Kyaik Tan Lan Pagoda. 30km away is the small town of Thanbuzayat, the terminus for the infamous Burma-Siam railway linking Thailand and Myanmar during the Japanese occupation. Dubbed the “Death Railway” by those who were forced to build it, many allied prisoners of war lost their lives here – whilst emotional, a trip to the 3,771 graves at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery is well-worthwhile.
To get a better feel of what Mawlamyine has to offer, please feel free to check out the following video.