Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock)
The Golden Rock of Kyaikhtiyo is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites for Myanmar Buddhists. The gold-covered boulder is said to maintain its balance thanks to a single hair of the Buddha enshrined inside the pagoda. To reach the top of the mountain, one can either make a 13-kilometre climb (allow about seven hours) or take an open truck with other pilgrims along a steep and winding road to a so-called middle camp. From there, all visitors have to walk up the remaining 4 kilometres (500 metres in altitude) on a steep track. An easy alternative for those who can't manage the way on foot is to rent a sedan chair, which is carried by four porters to the top. Once arrived at the pagoda expect spectacular views, particularly at sunrise or sunset. The whole site has a magic charisma and is a famous site for meditation.
Mawlamyine (or Moulmein ) is the charming capital of the Mon State in the Union of Myanmar. It has a population of about 240,000. Mawlamyine is an ancient Mon town and , it is the third largest city in Myamar, after Yangon and Mandalay. It is situated at the mouth of the Thanlwin River and after you cross river, you can arrive to Bilu Gyun ( Orge Island ) and you can see traditional home-made industries. Visitors to Mawlamyine are usually enchanted at the scenic beauty and the palpable atmosphere of post-colonial decay. Mawlamyine is about 300 kilometres from Yangon and reachable via a 10-hour drive or 18-hour train trip. Places of sightseeing are the Mahamyat Muni Buddha Image, Kyaikthalan Pagoda, built in 875 AD, Uzina Pagoda, Shwesandaw Pagoda, Queen Sein Done Monastery, and sunset from U khan Ti pagoda Hill. It can be visited as an extension of the Kyaikhtiyo trip and Kyaikkhami mid-water pagoda and Setse Beach. If time permits or you get a chance, you should visit ThanbyuzayatTown (about 34 km), famous for the Allied War Memorial Cemetery where the allied prisoners who died while building the famous “Death Railway” are buried. Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, Sein Taung Queen monastery.
About 34 km south of Mawlamyine, Thanbyuzayat was the starting point of the "Death Railway" connecting Myanmar and Thailand with the Bridge on the River Kwai, constructed by the Japanese during World War II. There is a well-kept Allied War Memorial Cemetery for prisoners-of-war who died while building the "Death Railway" during World War II; the Railway Museum and a Japanese-built pagoda in memory of the perished Japanese engineers and prisoners-of-war.Their cemetry is immaculately maintained by the Common wealth War Graves Commission.
Hpa-an/ Pa-An/ Pah-Ann
Hpa-An is the capital city of Kayin State and is an area of outstanding natural beauty of golden land, Myanmar. Hpa An is encircled by dramatic karst mountain scenery which juts from the surrounding plains, and many of these mountains contain large and religiously significant caves. The most beautiful, scared and monolithic mountain is Mount Zwegabin, which can be found 16 kilometres south east of Hpa An. On the way to Zwegabin, is the Kyauk Kalap – a truly unique pagoda, set on top of an unusual rock formation in the middle of a (man-made) lake. It is a beautiful spot and another that offers great photo opportunity of Mount Zwegabin.
Despite signs that indicate otherwise, women are allowed access. At the base of Mount ZweKabin, you can enjoy the relaxing Lumbini Garden, which offers even more statues of the Buddha.
On the journey to Mount ZweKabin, don’t forget to visit Kawgun Cave. Kawgun cave is located near Kawgun village, which is two miles distance from Hpa An. It is a natural lime stone cave and measures 200 fts height and 300 fts length. The rock surfaces is profusely decorated with different kinds of clay Buddha images and votive tablets. It is a rare cave in the lower Myanmar. Here you’ll find many terracotta images of the Buddha and engraved brick work. Nearby to Hpa An, Sadan Cave, Kaw Ka Taung Cave are also attracted to tourists. The Shweyinmyew Pagoda is the best place to finish your day in Hpa-An; its tranquil grounds by the river make for the perfect spot to watch the sun set over the river.