A novice monk praying at Mohnyin Thambuddhei Pagoda


Located 100km northwest of Mandalay on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River, Monywa is a small, yet prosperous township, which serves as a major agricultural trade route. You can expect to find an abundance of fruit, beans and palm sugar, most of which is driven in from the surrounding villages of the Chindwin Valley. In addition to this, Monywa also boasts a prosperous local industry, with mills yielding a range of produce ranging from cotton to edible oils. As you can imagine, the town’s market scene is thriving, especially if you are able to time your visit early morning. For most visitors however, the main attraction is the gaudy looking Mohnyin Thambuddhei Pagoda, a Buddhist temple with a huge stupa resembling Indonesia’s Borobudur. Arguably the most impressive attraction however is Hpo Win Daung, a cave complex that can be found 25km west of Monywa. These rarely visited tunnels house rare and impressive Buddhist artwork, some of which date back to the 14th, 15th and 18th centuries.


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