Breakfast at the hotel and you will be picked up around 08:00 am to visit the Seindon Mibaya Monastery.
The last king of Myanmar, at the palace in Mandalay, came to power by killing many of the rival heirs to the throne at the end of the 19th century. Queen Seindon escaped and moved to what was called Moulmein in that period and became a Buddhist nun till her death (her tomb is in the compound in one of the nunneries). She built the Seindon Mibaya Monastery in Mawlamyine which is very fine example of architecture in the original Mandalay palace and has magnificent woodcarvings and other decorations. It’s a monastery so beautiful that one could actually call it a museum.
Continue to the Ni Paya to have a view over the city and river before heading to the jetty and board a private motor boat that will bring you to Hpa An. Around 10:00 you will take a private boat for a cruise over the Thanlwin (Salween) River – one of the longest rivers in Myanmar ending in Mon State. After about an hour you will arrive at a small jetty in U Na Auk village from where you will get on a tuk-tuk to visit the amazing carvings and decorations or the temples and ordination hall donated to the village by Mr Na Auk.
Mr Na Auk was a Mon trader, living in this area in the British period and he was famous for his intelligence to trade and win from the big British companies and has been a symbol of being patriotic, have a good trading sense and be kind to his fellow country man. In modern school books his story is taught and everybody in the country knows his name and stories how he offered free transportation for the local people in his area, offered food and managed to compete with the British traders.
You continue the boat trip over the Thanlwin River with spectacular sights on Zwekabin and other limestone mountains rising from the rice fields. Lunch is served on board the boat (total boat trip about 4-5 hours). Arrive around 16:00 in Hpa An and transfer by car to the hotel which is situated at the bottom of one of the limestone mountains. Overnight at Hpa An.
Overnight in Hotel Zwekabin, Hpa An
Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch
Hpa An is the small but bustling capital of Kayin state, located close to the border with Thailand and is rarely visited by western travellers. Hpa An is surrounded by limestone mountains with the tallest being Mt. Zwekabin where close by you can visit impressive Kawgun Cave. Hidden away in the hills the caves were discovered in 1975 and contains thousands of 7th century tiny clay Buddhas and carvings, hidden precariously over the walls and roof of the main cave.
Mr Na Auk was a Mon trader, living in this area in the British period and he was famous for his intelligence to trade and win from the big British companies and has been a symbol of being patriotic, having good trading sense and being kind to his fellow countrymen.In modern schoolbooks his story is taught and everybody in the country knows his name and stories how he offered free transportation for the local people in his area, offered food and managed to compete with the British traders.
Mawlamyine is one of the Orient’s most picturesque ports. In the heart of Lower Myanmar, it is famous for being the site of Kipling’s Pagoda. Not far from here is the Thanbyuzayat Cemetery, a memorial to the Allied troops lost in World War Two. Accessible only by road and a full day’s drive from Yangon, this town sees few visitors but the journey itself is worthwhile, passing through Mon and Karen villages and stopping at various interesting cave temples en route. The city features in the opening lines of Kipling’s poem ‘Mandalay’ and as the setting for George Orwell’s 1936 memoir ‘Shooting an Elephant’.