Southern Myanmar


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Southern Myanmar


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It is a pity that it is only possible to visit a small part of Southern Myanmar. A pity because it has so many interesting destinations and many dream islands with beaches. Other favorite tourist destinations in Thailand and Malaysia are becoming more and more overcrowded, especially in the December-January peak season.

Because few foreign tourists are visiting Southern Myanmar, the advantage is of course that it has kept a lot of its old charm. So many popular tourist destinations elsewhere are ‘damaged’ by the tourist boom and have lost all of their natural charm and relaxed atmosphere. But if you like shopping, crowds, bars, loud music, parties or the sex industry then Southern Myanmar is of course not the place to go. I loved it!

Regrettably also that I could stay only thirty days on my visa, else I would have loved to explore Southern Myanmar further.



From Yagon it has been a comfortable train journey to Mawlamyine. The landscape and the people on the stations were fascinating. There is such a natural and relaxed atmosphere everywhere. Strolling to the streets of Mawlamyine, visiting some of the beautiful pagodas, watching the people, seeing the lively markets, has been a beautiful experience.

Another important advantage is that there is almost no motorized traffic. This is for me the greatest disadvantage of Thailand, where I have been many times. It looks that a Thai don't want to walk or ride a bicycle. They travel only in cars or on motorbikes. There are (almost?) no streets for only pedestrians in Thailand, as is so relaxing in other countries.



Around Mawlamyine, also on the road to Hpa-An, are magnificent Karst (limestone) mountains with many caves and Buddha statues. I love this kind of landscape and have visited several limestone rock formations all over Asia. It is really a magical landscape. It feels timeless and connected to something much greater then our small self. People through all ages has felt this and expressed it with many Buddha statues, which you can see everywhere. They were also building the greatest reclining Buddha statue in the world.

I love to see that in 2011 Buddhism is so alive  in Myanmar. The Burmese people have a great resilience and devotion and it looks Buddhism has only grown after the brutal suppression and killing of the monks in 2007. Now in 2011 it looks that slowly some form of democracy is coming to Myanmar. In their hearts the Burmese people will always be free and that give them their kindness, strength and resilience.

Hpa-An is halfway between Mawlamyine and Kyaiktiyo the famous Golden Rock.

Home Mawlamyne & around Hpa-an & around Kyaiktiyo