Katha, Myanmar

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Katha, Myanmar

Region: Sagaing Region

Geographic Coordinates: 24.182200, 96.330600
Population: 167700
Language: Burmese

Katha is a small town located in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. It is situated on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River, About 50 miles north of Mandalay. The town has a rich history and was once an important center for trade and commerce during the British colonial era. The main attraction in Katha is undoubtedly its colonial architecture. Many buildings in the town date back to the early 1900s and are excellent examples of British colonial architecture.

The most famous building in Katha is undoubtedly the old British Club, Which was featured prominently in George Orwell’s novel Burmese Days. Other notable buildings include St. Mary’s Cathedral, Which was built by Italian missionaries, And several old government buildings that have now been converted into hotels. In addition to its colonial architecture, Katha also has several interesting temples that are worth visiting. The most famous temple in Katha is Wat Kyauk Taung Pagoda, Which sits atop a hill overlooking the town. This temple dates back to ancient times and features beautiful carvings and murals depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology.

Another popular attraction near Katha is Shwegu Township Elephant Camp where visitors can see elephants being trained for logging work or take an elephant ride through nearby forests. Katha also serves as a gateway to some of Myanmar’s most remote regions such as Putao, Kachin State where you can explore untouched nature including snow-capped mountains with trekking opportunities along with rafting on Nam Lang River or visit Indawgyi Lake – one of Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lakes surrounded by wetlands teeming with birdlife.

Overall while it may be small compared to other cities in Myanmar like Yangon or Mandalay there are plenty of things to do and see when visiting this charming little town full of history and culture that will leave you with unforgettable memories!

Important Landmarks

  1. Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda
  2. Ayadawbon Pagoda
  3. Katha Market
  4. Ayeyarwady River Cruise
  5. Kyauk Myaung Pottery Village
  6. Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
  7. Kyaing Tong Hill Tribes Trekking Tour
  8. Bagan Archaeological Zone (located about 200km from Katha)

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Katha is renowned for its fertile land, which enables it to produce crops like rice, beans, pulses, sesame, cotton, and tobacco.
  2. Fishing: The Irrawaddy River flows through Katha and provides ample opportunities for fishing.
  3. Handicrafts: Katha boasts a rich history of traditional handicrafts such as weaving and pottery.
  4. Tourism: Katha’s claim to fame is being the setting of George Orwell’s novel Burmese Days; this attracts tourists interested in literary tourism.
  5. Small-scale businesses: There are many small shops selling groceries, clothing, and other daily necessities located in the town center.
  6. Transportation services: Boats and ferries provide transportation along the Irrawaddy River to nearby towns and cities.
  7. Government services: As a regional capital city of Sagaing Region local government offices are located here providing employment opportunities for people living there.

Noteable History

  1. British colonial rule: Katha was an essential trading center for teak wood and other goods during the British colonial period.
  2. George Orwell: The famous author George Orwell served as a police officer in Katha during the 1920s, which inspired his novel Burmese Days.
  3. Japanese occupation: From 1942 to 1945, Katha was occupied by Japanese forces during World War II.
  4. Aung San Suu Kyi: General Aung San, the father of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, visited Katha while campaigning for Burmese independence.
  5. U Nu: U Nu was a prominent politician and leader of Burma who visited Katha several times during his political career.
  6. Irrawaddy Flotilla Company: The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company used to operate steamboats on the Irrawaddy River that passed through Katha.
  7. Teak plantations: There are many teak plantations around Katha that were established during British colonial rule and continue to be an important source of income for local communities today.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda
  2. Nyaung-U Market
  3. Kyauk Ka Latt Pagoda
  4. Bagan Archaeological Museum
  5. Ananda Temple
  6. Mount Popa Monastery
  7. Lawkananda Pagoda
  8. That Byin Nyu Temple
  9. Sulamani Temple
  10. Dhammayangyi Temple

Cultural Events

  1. Thingyan Water Festival – A traditional New Year festival celebrated in April with water throwing and cleansing rituals.
  2. Shwe Kyun Pin Pagoda Festival – A three-day festival held in February at the Shwe Kyun Pin Pagoda featuring music, dance performances, and food stalls.
  3. Katha Boat Racing Festival – A boat racing competition held annually during the monsoon season (July to September) on the Ayeyarwady River.
  4. Thadingyut Festival – A Buddhist festival celebrated in October or November to mark the end of Buddhist Lent with light displays and offerings to monks.
  5. Tazaungdaing Festival – Another Buddhist festival celebrated in November with hot air balloon competitions, firework displays, and food fairs.
  6. Chinlone Tournament – An annual tournament showcasing traditional Myanmar sport of chinlone (cane ball) played by teams from different regions of Myanmar including Katha.
  7. Htamane Making Ceremony – An annual ceremony where locals gather to prepare htamane (sticky rice cake) for charity during the full moon day of Tabodwe month (February).


  • Mohinga – a traditional Burmese breakfast dish made with fish broth and rice noodles.
  • Shan-style noodles – a dish made with rice noodles and served with a variety of toppings such as chicken or pork.
  • Kyay-Oh – a noodle soup dish made with pork or chicken broth and topped with fried garlic, onions, and vegetables.
  • Tea leaf salad – a salad made from fermented tea leaves mixed with various ingredients such as tomatoes, peanuts, sesame seeds, and dried shrimp.
  • Nga-Phe-Kyaw (fish curry) – a spicy curry made with local river fish.

Some popular restaurants in Katha to try these dishes include:

  1. San Pya Daw Kyi Restaurant
  2. Shwe Pyi Thar Restaurant
  3. Thiri Mingalar Shan Noodle Shop
  4. Hnin Si Gone Seafood Restaurant
  5. Moe Htet Kyaw Traditional Food Shop

Parks and Recreation

  1. Shwe Settaw Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Ayeyarwady River Cruise
  3. U Bein Bridge Sunset Tour
  4. Mandalay Hill Hiking Trail
  5. Phowintaung Caves Exploration
  6. Pyin Oo Lwin Botanical Garden
  7. Maha Myat Muni Pagoda
  8. Irrawaddy Dolphin Watching Tours


Go Where The Road Takes You.

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