Southern Myanmar Travel Guide

Steeped in history, southern Myanmar is a magical place to visit. With some areas that have changed little since colonial times and others where evidence from the Bagan dynasty in the 11th century still remain, this region is full of attractions for lovers of history.

The town of Kyaikto in Mon state is the home of the famous ‘Golden Rock’ pagoda. Join the pilgrimage on December 31st and you will witness the light of 9,000 lamps and smell the delights of nine thousand flowers brought by the pilgrims. On other days the pagoda is still a fascinating place to visit, seemingly suspended on the rocks.

The Mon capital of Mawlamyaing is a sleepy and leafy town and the starting point for visitors to the notorious ‘Death Railway’ and the emotional Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery. The town is also home to many fascinating pagodas, such as Uzena Pagoda and Kyail Than Lan Pagoda.

The ancient temple complex of Mahumuni Pagoda stretches over a hilly ridge, and some incredible stalagmites and stalactites can be seen among the Buddha images in the local caves of Payon and Kawgoon.

In historic Thaton, visit the Myathapeik Pagoda, the Golden Pagoda Shwe Zayan and the famous Standing Buddha. More religious icons can be found in Mudon such as Yadana Taung and Kyauktalone Taung. An impressive 525-foot reclining Buddha is a highlight of the town.

The town of Dawei is perhaps most famous for its production of longyis, a type of sarong worn by Burmese men. Lovers of dried fish are in for a treat here, as the town also makes some of the best in the region.

Travel farther south and you reach Myeik, famous for pearls, silk and that smelly Southeast Asian staple, fermented fish paste. Visit any of the beautiful islands in this archipelago when you have finished sightseeing. Tanintharyi, full of lush vegetation and tropical trees, is one of these 810 islands.

At the southernmost tip of Myanmar is Kawthaung, formerly known as Victoria Point. The town is home to many popular tourist attractions such as Lanpi Marine Biological Park, Shwe Kyun and Salone Village. Close to the Thai border, many tourists cross over from Thailand on a boat for shopping and sightseeing here.