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Monywa (Myanmar)

Practical information on Monywa

  • Caves
  • Place or Religious Monument
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
3hrs by bus from Mandalay
When to go
From October to March
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Monywa

Damien Eschbach Seasoned Traveller
7 written opinions

Situated between Bagan and Mandalay, make sure you stop at Monywa on your way to either of these towns.

My suggestion:
Monywa has three main attractions - the Po Win Daung Caves, the Thanboddhay Pagoda and the sleeping Buddha at Bodhi Tataung. The best option is to arrive early, spend the night and leave the next day.
My review

The caves at Po Win Daung are incredible. A host of little caves, carved into the hillside. And inside you'll find hundreds of Buddhas. Beware of the monkeys, as they can sometimes be a bit aggressive.

The Thanboddhay Pagoda is also worth a tour. Brightly coloured with reds and yellows, it doesn't resemble other pagodas in the country. Some people find it tacky. Whatever you think, it's an unusual place.

Bodhi Tataung is where you'll find two giant Buddhas. The upright one is 142m high and the sleeping Buddha 111m high/ They're not particularly stunning but are impressive, nonetheless. If you like all things bigs, you love these!

Sleeping Buddha, upright Buddha
Virginie Bigeni Seasoned Traveller
49 written opinions

Situated in the Sagaing region, Monywa is a town built on a human scale at 130km north of Mandalay. It's famous for its neighbouring caves, home to hundreds of statues of Buddha. An unusual attraction!

My suggestion:
The town itself isn't particularly interesting, so there's no need to hang around. Two days is time enough to see the area, including the return trip from Mandalay. 4hrs by bus.
My review

Monywa is off the beaten track. Even, so it's not that hard to reach. It's the perfect place if you want to get off the tourist trail for a couple of days during a holiday in Burma.

It has two main selling points, the first being the size of the Buddhas that sit on the surrounding hills. The sleeping Buddha measures 90m and the Buddha is more than 150m high... Impressive, to say the least! The second is the sight of hundreds of Buddhas in the Hpo Win Caves. Monywa perfectly epitomises the religious devotion of the local population. The words to sum up the place are 'the highest, biggest, most beautiful, most impressive and most numerous'.

The statues in the Hpo Win Caves were discovered underground and are not only identical but in huge numbers! It's a stunning sight!

A monk in Monywa