Monywa is a pleasant riverside town that serves as an important trading hub for the fertile Chindwin Valley.
Monyway lies on the east bank of the Chindwin River. The town’s location makes it one of the busiest ports of trade in the upper reaches of modern Myanmar with several bustling markets open daily that deal in almost every good the country has to offer. Fresh produced culled from the fertile Chindwin Valley is a common sight, and a number of handcrafted wares including the locally produced rough cotton blankets that are famous throughout Myanmar.
The Thanboddhay Pagoda lies just outside of town. The Buddhist temple dates back to the 14th century, and contains more than 500,000 images of Buddha. The temple’s central golden stupa sits atop the temple, a unique architectural design in Myanmar, and is surrounded by hundreds of smaller stupa shrines that line the roof of the temple.
Maha Bodhi Ta Htaung is a famous Buddhist monastery near the edge of Monyway. Some 9,000 Bodhi trees have been planted around the monastery since 1960, and the monastery has become one of the most important retreats for Buddhist clergy and laymen hoping to hone their meditative skills. A pair of massive Buddha images, one reclining and one standing, overlooks the monastery from a tree lined hill.
For the best weather, plan your trip to Monywa during the temperate season that runs between November and May. The temperatures begin to climb steadily in June, and the warmer weather continues into October alongside higher chances of precipitation that restore the fields, mountains, and forests of Myanmar after the dry season.
Though not far from Mandalay, Monywa is rarely visited by travelers. The charming city’s lazy pace of life leaves a lasting impression on visitors, and the otherworldly Thanboddhay Pagoda is one of the most stunning and unique works of religious architecture in Myanmar. The town is a favorite for our guests on luxury tours of Myanmar looking to head a little further off the beaten path.
Monywa is located in Myanmar’s northwest Sagaing Region. The city can be reached overland in a private vehicle departing from Mandalay roughly 70 miles to the south.
As the majority of the attractions in and around town are Buddhist pilgrimage sites, it’s important for visitors to dress in modest attire that covers shoulders to knees while exploring the area.