Bago - the Ancient Mon Capital
Duration: 8 1/2 hours
Tour Code: RGN-004
Explore the beauty, history and religion of Southeast Asia during this memorable full-day orientation tour of Bago, the ancient Mon Capital.
Depart the pier via coach with your guide for the 2-hour drive from Yangon to Bago. Along the way, you will see the huge WWII Cemetery containing the graves of 27,000 Allied soldiers who died in the Burma and Assam campaigns of WWII. A visit will then be made to the morning market at Htaukkyant to observe the local way of life before continuing on to Bago, located on the eastern bank of the Bago River in Lower Myanmar. Bago was founded in 825 A.D. by Mons who migrated from China. King Binya U established his palace in Bago in the 14th century, and it became the ancient capital city of the Mon Kingdom in the 15th century, when it was known as Pegu.
Upon arrival in Bago, you will begin your orientation tour with a visit to the Kyakhatwaing Monastery, the largest monastery in Lower Myanmar, and one of the three-largest monasteries in the country. You will learn about the monks that reside there, along with their lifestyle and Buddhist studies, which often last from morning through evening. Their dedication to Buddhism and discipline can be observed during their taking the food, learning scripture and residing according to Buddhist law. Next, you will continue on for a visit to the 1,000-year-old Shwemawdaw Pagoda, where the Buddha hair relics are enshrined. Originally built to a height of 403 feet, the Shwemawdaw Pagoda is one of the most famous pagodas in Myanmar, and even taller than the Great Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.
Next, a stop will be made to enjoy a Chinese or Myanmar set-menu lunch at Hantharwaddy Restaurant before proceeding to the Hinthagone Pagoda, home of panoramic views of Bago. During your visit, you will enjoy a spirited dance presentation, if available. From there, you will drive on to the Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha Image. A masterpiece of perfection in symmetry, the Reclining Buddha measures 180 feet long, 52 feet high and rests on a 5-foot plinth made of brick.
Before heading back to Yangon, a visit is made to a typical Mon village where you can view hand weaving and cigar rolling demonstrations. On the drive back to Yangon, a brief photo stop will be made at the 15th-century Kyaikpun Pagoda, which features 4 gigantic Buddha images sitting back against a massive stone pillar. Upon arriving in Yangon, you will return to the pier and your awaiting ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 3-hours of moderate walking and a 4-hour round-trip coach drive to Bago, over roads that can be quite bumpy at times. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not recommended for those with mobility concerns. When entering religious sites, visitors may be required to remove their shoes and socks. Conservative cotton clothing that covers knees and shoulders and a light wrap for the evenings during the cool season are recommended. Flat, comfortable walking shoes that can be easily removed are suggested. Do not wear shorts, tank-tops, sleeveless blouses or revealing clothing. The use of credit cards is limited; please bring US Dollars or local currency to pay for any incidental items.