Monywa, Myanmar

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Monywa, Myanmar

Region: Sagaing Region

Geographic Coordinates: 22.108300, 95.141700
Temperature Range: 15.0°C to 40.0°C (59°F to 104°F)
Climate: Dry and hot from February to May, rainy from June to September, and cool from October to January.
Population: 207489
Language: Burmese

Monywa, A bustling city located in the Sagaing Region of Myanmar, Sits on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River. This city is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and historical landmarks that attract tourists from all corners of the globe. Thanboddhay Pagoda is one of Monywa’s most popular tourist attractions, Featuring over 500, 000 Buddha images and intricate murals depicting Buddhist teachings. The pagoda’s unique architecture blends Burmese, Thai, And Indian styles to create a distinctive religious site. Bodhi Tataung Pagoda is another must-visit location in Monywa.

It houses two towering Buddha statues that are 424 feet and 381 feet tall respectively. Visitors can climb up to the top for breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Phowintaung Cave Complex provides an opportunity to explore stunning natural landscapes with hundreds of ancient sandstone carvings dating back to sixth century AD. Additionally, There are several hot springs located around Monywa that are believed to have therapeutic properties. Monywa’s vibrant markets offer a glimpse into local life with vendors selling fresh produce, Traditional handicrafts and delicious street food such as mohinga (rice noodle soup) and samosas (deep-fried savory pastries).

For those interested in learning more about Myanmar’s history, Hpo Win Daung Caves provide an insight into ancient Burmese civilization with their intricate carvings dating back over 700 years. Overall, Monywa offers visitors an authentic experience by blending culture, History, Nature, And culinary delights making it an ideal destination for travelers looking for something unique in Myanmar.’

Important Landmarks

  1. Thanboddhay Pagoda is a massive temple complex that boasts over 500,000 Buddha images.
  2. Bodhi Tahtaung features a giant standing Buddha statue that stands over 130 meters tall.
  3. Po Win Taung Caves are an ancient cave complex that is filled with murals and carvings dating back to the 14th century.
  4. Kyaukka Village is famous for its intricate lacquerware handicrafts, which are made by local artisans.
  5. Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda is a beautiful golden pagoda located on the banks of the Chindwin River.
  6. Monywa Hill offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and nearby temples from its scenic hilltop location.
  7. Maha Bodhi Ta Htaung Monastery is one of Myanmar’s largest monasteries, featuring thousands of Buddha statues and shrines.
  8. Chin Swe Haw Pagoda houses relics believed to be from Gautama Buddha himself and is a stunning pagoda to visit.
  9. Kyaukka Lakkhana Museum showcases traditional lacquerware and pottery from Kyaukka village in an informative manner.
  10. Thambuddhei Paya Festival takes place annually in November or December at Thanboddhay Pagoda, featuring traditional music, dance performances, food stalls, and other cultural activities for visitors to enjoy!

Primary Industries

  • Agriculture (especially rice cultivation)
  • Mining (copper, gold, silver)
  • Textile manufacturing
  • Food processing (sugar cane production and processing)
  • Tourism
  • Small-scale industries such as:
    • Pottery making
    • Weaving of traditional textiles
    • Handcrafts

    Noteable History

    1. The Monywa Uprising of 1930 was a rebellion against British colonial rule led by Saya San, a Buddhist monk and nationalist leader.
    2. The Chindwin River Bridge is a railway bridge built by the British in 1934 that spans the Chindwin River near Monywa.
    3. Thanboddhay Pagoda is a massive temple complex located near Monywa that contains over 500,000 Buddha images.
    4. Bodhi Tahtaung Pagoda is another large temple complex located near Monywa that features a giant reclining Buddha statue that is over 300 feet long.
    5. U Wisara was a Burmese Buddhist monk who died in prison after staging a hunger strike to protest British colonial rule in Myanmar.
    6. Min Ko Naing is a prominent student activist and political prisoner who was born in Monywa and played a key role in the pro-democracy movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
    7. Htin Kyaw was the first civilian president of Myanmar, who was born in nearby Rangoon but spent much of his childhood in Monywa.
    8. Letpadan protests of 2015 were student-led protests against proposed changes to Myanmar’s education system that began in Mandalay but spread to other cities including Monywa.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Thanboddhay Pagoda is a colorful temple that boasts over 500,000 Buddha images.
    2. Bodhi Tahtaung Pagoda features a massive standing Buddha statue that stands over 130 meters tall.
    3. Po Win Taung Caves are an ancient complex of Buddhist caves that boast intricate carvings and murals.
    4. Shwe Ba Hill provides scenic views of the surrounding countryside from its hilltop location.
    5. Monywa Clock Tower is a historic landmark in the town center dating back to the British colonial era.
    6. Monywa Cultural Museum showcases the history and culture of Monywa and its neighboring regions.
    7. Kyaukka Village is renowned for its traditional lacquerware crafts, which can be observed at local workshops and markets.
    8. Phowintaung Cave Temple Complex is another impressive complex of Buddhist caves with stunning rock carvings and sculptures.
    9. Chindwin River Cruise offers a leisurely boat ride down the Chindwin River to explore rural villages, temples, and natural scenery along the way.
    10. Hpo Win Daung Cave Temples are situated in beautiful surroundings adorned by murals created during different periods from as far back as 14th century AD to early 18th century AD.

    Cultural Events

    1. Shwezigon Pagoda Festival is a yearly Buddhist celebration that happens in Monywa during March’s full moon day of Tabaung. The festival honors the revered Shwezigon Pagoda, one of Monywa’s most sacred pagodas.
    2. Chin National Day is a significant cultural event that commemorates the traditions and customs of Myanmar’s Chin people, who belong to an ethnic minority group. The festival takes place annually on February 20th and features traditional dance performances, cultural exhibits, and food stalls.
    3. Thingyan Water Festival is Myanmar’s most well-known celebration that occurs throughout the country, including Monywa. This festival marks Burmese New Year and involves splashing water on one another as a symbol of washing away bad luck from the previous year.
    4. Pho Win Taung Cave Festival occurs every November or December at Pho Win Taung Caves near Monywa and includes religious ceremonies held inside caves, local delicacies sold at food stalls, and traditional dance performances.
    5. Htamane Festival celebrates Burmese cuisine with cooking competitions featuring glutinous rice mixed with peanuts and sesame seeds cooked over an open fire for hours until it becomes sticky and chewy during February or March each year across town in Monywa.
    6. Kachin Manaw Festival showcases Kachin culture with men performing traditional dances wearing colorful costumes decorated with beads representing their clans’ animals or birds during January or February each year in Myitkyina City Hall Grounds near Monywa city.
    7. Taungdwingyi Thadingyut Lighting Ceremony is celebrated in October or November each year to mark the end of Buddhist lent season by lighting candles and lanterns as a symbol for Buddha’s return from heaven after preaching to his mother.


    • Shan-style noodles: This is a popular dish made with rice noodles served with chicken or pork broth, vegetables, and herbs.
    • Mohinga: A traditional Burmese breakfast dish made of rice noodles in fish soup.
    • Kyay-Oh: A noodle soup that is a staple food for many Burmese people, usually served with meat or seafood.
    • Tea salad: A unique salad made from tea leaves mixed with peanuts, sesame seeds, fried garlic, and other ingredients.
    • Kachin-style BBQ: Grilled meat skewers marinated in a spicy sauce.
    • Golden Bowl Restaurant: One of the most popular restaurants in Monywa serving traditional Burmese cuisine including Mohinga and Shan-style noodles.
    • Shwe Taung Tan Restaurant: Known for their delicious Kachin-style BBQ and other local dishes like Kyay-Oh and tea salad.
    • Myo Myint Hlaing Restaurant: Famous for their authentic Burmese cuisine including Mohinga, curry dishes, and stir-fried vegetables.
    • Ma Pu Su Noodle Shop: A small shop serving some of the best Shan-style noodles in town at an affordable price.
    • Nan Htike Myat Shin Restaurant & Cafe: They serve a variety of local dishes such as Mohinga, Kachin Style BBQ, Rice Noodles Soup etc along with coffee, milkshakes etc.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Thanboddhay Pagoda is a famous tourist spot in Monywa, featuring stunning gardens and an extensive collection of Buddha statues.
      2. Po Win Taung Caves comprise over 400 caves that contain ancient Buddhist murals and carvings.
      3. Kyaukka Village is known for its traditional pottery-making techniques, where visitors can witness artisans creating intricate designs using locally sourced clay.
      4. Monywa Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course situated on the outskirts of the city.
      5. Chaung U Hot Springs are natural hot springs located approximately an hour’s drive from Monywa, renowned for their therapeutic properties.
      6. Kan Thar Yar Lake Park is a picturesque park encircling a vast lake with walking paths, picnic areas, and playgrounds for children to enjoy.
      7. Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda Hill is a hilltop pagoda that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
      8. Chindwin River Cruise allows visitors to take a scenic boat ride along the Chindwin River to explore remote villages and see wildlife such as dolphins and crocodiles in their natural habitats.


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