Hundreds of statues of Buddhist monks collecting alms surround the massive Win Sein Taw Ya Buddha, the largest Reclining Buddha image in the world, near Mawlamyine, Myanmar. ; Shutterstock ID 207498457; Your name (First / Last): Laura Crawford; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Myanmar website highlights images BiT

Shutterstock / R.M. Nunes


With a ridge of stupa-capped hills on one side, the Thanlwin River on the other and a center filled with crumbling colonial-era buildings, churches and mosques, Mawlamyine (ေမာ္လႃမိုင္) is a unique combination of landscape, beauty and melancholy. The setting inspired both George Orwell and Rudyard Kipling, two of the English-language writers most associated with Myanmar. Kipling penned his famous poem “Mandalay” after visiting, while Orwell, whose mother was born here, used Mawlamyine as the backdrop for the stories Shooting an Elephant and A Hanging. Not that much has changed since the days when Orwell and Kipling were around, and if you've ever wondered what life was like during the Raj, Mawlamyine is a pretty good time capsule.


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