Win Sein Taw Ya


If you thought you’d seen some big old buddhas, just wait till you get a load of this one. Draped across a couple of green hillsides at Yadana Taung, around 15 miles southwest of Mawlamyine, and surrounded by a forest of other pagodas and shrines, is this 560ft-long reclining buddha. It’s easily one of the largest such images in the world.

Many other stupas and standing buddhas dot the area, including 500 statues lining the road to the Win Sein Taw Ya. Aside from inflated buddhas, the area affords some gentle walks with wonderful panoramas.

Every year around the first couple of days of February, a festival takes place here to celebrate the birthday of the monk who constructed the buddha. As well as a host of itinerant traders, monks and nuns, magic men and the odd hermit or two, the festival sometimes hosts a major kickboxing tournament, which leads to the slightly surreal sight of hundreds of cheering monks baying for blood in the ring!

At research time, another huge reclining buddha was under construction.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mawlamyine attractions

1. Kyauktalon Taung

1.29 MILES

Kyauktalon Taung is a strangely shaped, sheer-sided crag rising out of the surrounding agricultural land and crowned with stupas. It’s a sticky 20-minute…

2. Kyaikmaraw Paya

3.83 MILES

The small town of Kyaikmaraw (က်ိဳက္မေရာ), 15 miles southeast of Mawlamyine, is the site of Kyaikmaraw Paya, a temple of serene, white-faced buddhas built…

3. Pa-Auk-Taw-Ya Monastery

3.85 MILES

Only 8.5 miles south of Mawlamyine, the monastery teaches satipatthana vipassana (insight-awareness meditation) and, at 500 acres, is one of the largest…

4. Kandawgyi

4.17 MILES

This lake formed by Azin Dam (a water storage and flood-control facility that’s also used to irrigate local rubber plantations) also boasts a tidy…

5. First Baptist Church

12.7 MILES

Founded by American Adoniram Judson in 1827, this was the country's first Baptist church. In addition to this place of worship, Judson's legacy also…

6. U Zina Paya

12.78 MILES

On the southern spur of the ridge overlooking Mawlamyine, this pagoda was named after a former monk who dreamed of finding gems here, then dug them up and…

7. Mon Cultural Museum

12.8 MILES

Unlike most of Myanmar's regional museums, Mawlamyine's is actually worth a visit, even if the collection isn't huge. It's dedicated to the Mon history of…

8. U Khanti Paya

12.97 MILES

This temple was built to commemorate U Khanti, the hermit architect of Mandalay Hill fame. U Khanti supposedly spent some time on this hill as well. It’s…