Ko Yin Lay

Mon State

Known to the locals as 'Banana Mountain', there's no hill to climb here. Instead, it's an ever-expanding Buddhist complex of shrines and an attractive monastery, all dominated by four vast sitting buddhas grouped around a tower. You can climb the nine-storey tower for great views. The monastery offers a free and tasty vegetarian lunch (a donation to the monastery is appreciated). Ko Yin Lay is around 5 miles north of Ye.

The complex came into being 20 years ago, after villagers noted how a devout novice monk spent weeks alone meditating here. At that time, the area was jungle and the locals swear the now-landscaped site did look like a 'banana mountain' back then.

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