Monywa is situated on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River, about 136 kilometres west of Mandalay. There are a number of points of interest in and around Monywa, including the spectacularly colourful Thanboddhay Pagoda, which houses over 500,000 Buddha images; the Ledi Kyaungteik monastery, in which Buddhist scriptures have been inscribed on 806 stone slabs; and Kyaukka village, known for its unique style of lacquerware.
Also nearby is Bodhi Tataung Laykyun Setkyar Standing Buddha statue; at 116 metres, it is the second tallest statue (and second tallest Buddha) in the world. It is located in large religious site with bodhi trees, a number of pagodas, and a huge reclining Buddha.
The Hpo Win Daung caves (also variously spelt as Hpowindaung, Powintaung and Po Win Taung) can be found 25 kilometers west of Monywa, on the western bank of the Chindwin River. The 947 caves that make up the complex were built between the 14th and 18th centuries, and contain ornate mural paintings and hundreds of Buddha statues. To get to the caves from Monywa, you will need to take a taxi or pick up.
The Hpo Win Daung Festival takes place here in November at the caves, and is Monywa’s biggest festival of the year. To find out more, go to festivals in Myanmar.
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Friday 13 December