Introduction

With a ridge of stupa-capped hills on one side, the Thanlwin River on the other and a centre 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.

But it’s not all about history; the area around Mawlamyine has enough attractions, ranging from beaches to caves, to keep a visitor happy for several days.