Pathein (Bassein) is a scenic town nestled in the beautiful Ayeyarwady River Delta in southern Myanmar.
After the First Anglo-Burmese war in 1826, Pathein fell under the control of the British who built a fort, garrison, and the numerous colonial buildings that can be seen in town today.
The Shwemokhtaw Pagoda is Pathein’s star attraction. The Buddhist shrine’s 132 feet high central stupa is a comprised of solid gold, silver, and bronze tiers all wrapped in hammered gold. Thousands of diamond fragments, rubies, and other precious stones are embedded in the stupa.
Visit the city of Pathein between the November to May dry season for the best sightseeing weather. Myanmar’s weather is warmer June to October, and the higher temperatures come with increased chances of rain that help revive the countryside’s lush vegetation after the dry first half of the year.
With beautiful and resplendent Buddhist iconography, charming British colonial architecture, and the gorgeous scenery of the Ayeyarwady River Delta, Pathein has become a favored destination for travelers on luxury tours of Myanmar.
The city of Pathein is located approximately 100 miles from Myanmar’s former capital of Yangon. The small town is best reached by a private vehicle.
It’s important to wear modest clothing when visiting Buddhist sanctuaries in Myanmar. Visitors to religious compounds should dress conservatively by covering their shoulders, arms, and knees, and be prepared to remove their shoes to enter inner areas of religious compounds.