Visit Mawlamyine, Myanmar
Mawlamyine is the fourth largest city in Myanmar situated 180 kilometers east of the nation’s capital across the Gulf of Mottama at the mouth of the Thanlwin river. It is the capital of Mon State with a population of about 400,000 people. Formerly known as Moulmein, it was once a major port and the administrative capital of British Lower Burma. The town’s signature landmark is Kyaikthanlan pagoda built in 875 AD and thought to be the site from where Rudyard Kipling wrote his famous poem, ‘The Road to Mandalay’.
The Thanlwin bridge, the longest road and rail bridge in Myanmar is the most prominent landmark in the area. It stretches a distance of 11,000 feet over the Thanlwin river connecting the country’s south eastern region with Yangon.The city is connected to Pa-an in Kayin State and Dawei and Myeik in Tanintharyi Division by road.It was the rail head to Ye, linked to Yangon by rail only from Mottama (Martaban) across the river by ferry, but today connected by the Thanlwin Bridge (Mawlamyine) opened in April 2006.
Mawlamyine Airport has regular flights to Yangon.
Mawlamyine is generally considered to be off the main tourist trail for most travellers to Myanmar but the town does have a charm of its own with its rich history, buildings with colonial style architecture, World War II era wooden buses, and its close proximity to the infamous Siam-Burma “death railway”, making it a fascinating place to visit!
Mawlamyine is key to communications in Tanintharyi and, being a busy seaport and transport center, it provides a multicultural dimension despite a Buddhist Mon majority. Buddhist cultural dominance is as old as Mawlamyine, but the British annexation in the 19th century introduced Christianity. St Patrick’s School, Mawlamyine (now BEHS-5, Mawlamyine) was opened by the De La Salle Brothers in 1860. Moreover, expansion of trade and commerce in the early 20th century established in Mawlamyine a Hindu culture of India (so-called Galakhar).
Today, the Mon State Cultural Museum is in the city.