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Like its neighbour Mandalay, a visit to Monywa is not really about the town itself, but a series of interesting attractions in the surrounding countryside. Pronounced in two syllables (mon-ywa), Monywa is an engaging trade town that makes a sensible stopping point when looping north between Bagan and Mandalay. The town itself is big, hot and flat, with relatively little to see beyond the markets and the pleasant Chindwin riverside setting, though two large, central pagoda complexes, Shwezigon Paya and Su Taung Pye Zedi, are well worth a wander. It is also an embarkation point for the adventurous few who boat-hop the Chindwin to little-visited villages to the north.

Best time to visit

Generally, it is best to visit Myanmar, and by extension Monywa, from November to February. This period sees the best weather in the country as it falls directly after the monsoon season and the weather is not too hot and usually dry.

From February onwards temperatures rise and it can be uncomfortable if you are not used to the heat. You should keep in mind that June to October is the wet season when the dust turns to mud and flooding is common in rural areas. As Monywa doesn’t see as many tourists compared to other parts of the country, there is no real high season that you need to avoid.

Check the below table for the general idea of Monywa weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 30.1 22.9 14.4
Feb 33.5 25.5 15.8
Mar 37.6 29.7 19.6
Apr 38.8 31.9 23.2
May 38.1 32.3 25.4
Jun 36.7 31.9 26.2
Jul 36.7 31.9 26.2
Aug 35.1 30.7 25.7
Sep 34.4 30.1 25.2
Oct 33.1 28.8 23.6
Nov 31.9 26.6 19.8
Dec 29.3 23.3 15.4

Monywa's current weather and 7-day forecast


Monywa boasts a number of attractions of interest such as the second tallest Buddha statue in the world and there is also a scenic monastery here which is famous for have a collection of more than 500,000 images of the Buddha.You will also find a clutch of ornate traditional temples here, some of which are located inside spectacular limestone caves.

Here are the best things to do in Monywa:

1. Explore Thanboddhay Paya

Thanboddhay Paya is one of the most colorful temples in Monywa and also one of the newest.

It is known for having a massive number of Buddha images and the roof is covered in small stupas which are decorated in sparkling gold leaf.

As if that wasn’t enough, you will also find intricate obelisks here which are etched with Buddha images and rise to a height of some 30 feet.

It is said that there are some half a million Buddha images here of all different sizes and in different positions, which makes it worth the trip alone.

2. Take a boat trip

Monywa, like many Burmese towns, is located on the river and this is also a hive of activity in the city.

One of the best ways to take in the scenery of the river is to charter a boat and take a trip along this pretty waterway.

Along the way you will be able to see the homes of local families who live on the banks of the river and this is a good spot to see how Burmese live and work in Myanmar.

3. Walk around Hpo Win Daung Complex

If you want to check out a bit of the local culture then head to this amazing complex which is said to have almost 500 Buddha chambers which are carved into the surrounding hillside which is made of soft limestone.

The Buddha chambers dates from the 14th to the 18th centuries and although the caves are shallow, they are also quite a sight if you have never seen anything like this before.

As well as the Buddha images in the caves, some of the larger ones are also painted with fabulous colorful murals telling local Buddhist legends.

4. Check out Payagyi

The Payagyi stupa is mainly known for having a large chinthe which is a deity that is modeled to resemble half lion and half dragon.

The stupa sits looking over a hill and this is a good spot to take in some of the famous countryside around Monywa.

You will also find a prayer hall here which is said to have teak pillars that date back some 170 years.

It also has pretty stone tiles on the floor which depict famous legends such as the Ramayana.

5. Explore Shwe Ba Taung

Shwe Ba Taung is located close to Hpo Win Village as is known for its 46 different caves.

To get to the caves you will have to walk along rustic pathways cut into the side of a hill and some of these have a vertical drop of around 25 feet, so don’t attempt the journey here if you are scared of heights.

Inside the cave chambers you will find a number of Buddha images which are less grand than in some other spots in Myanmar but the effect of the steps cut into the rock and the caves themselves is stunning.

6. Eat at the local Night Market

Anyone looking for cheap bites in Monywa should head to the Night Market which is located close to the local clock tower.

You won’t find a very elegant set up here, as most of the stalls just feature little plastic chairs and tables, but you can get some delicious snacks such as juicy skewers of barbecued meats.

This is also a good place to come to check out how locals dine in Myanmar and there is also beer for sale.

7. Visit Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda

Around 29 miles outside of the center of Monywa lies the Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda which is said to have been built in the 14th century.

The pagoda is primarily famous for its Buddha statue which stands at a height of 33 meters.

It is also covered in gold leaf foils as it is a custom for pilgrims to come here and attach the gold leaf to the Buddha as a sign of reverence.

This is why, if you look closely, the gold leaf is several inches thick in parts and almost covers the face of the Buddha.

8. Explore Kyaukka Village

Kyaukka Village is a serene village around 12 miles outside of Monywa so if you are looking for a day trip then this is a good choice.

The village is known for its lacquer products, so it is also a prime spot to pick up some souvenirs if you want a memento of your trip.

The lacquer ware here is known for being thicker than others kinds found in different parts of the country and is usually painted with black and gold designs.

9. Check out Laykyun Setkyar Standing Buddha

Laykyun Setkyar Standing Buddha was built by the monk Bodhi Tahtaung Sayadaw and is famous for being the second tallest Buddha statue in the world.

It stands at a height of some 116 meters and sits behind another famous statue in Po Khaung Taung which is a reclining Buddha.

To check out Laykyun Setkyar Standing Buddha you can walk up a set of stairs inside the body of the Buddha which is actually hollow and take in the ornate interior.

This is actually one of the most famous statues in all of Myanmar and it took an impressive 11 years to complete which is a testament to the stunning craftsmanship.

10. Travel to A Myint

If you have a few days to spend in Monywa then think about heading out for an afternoon to the nearby village of A Myint.

The village is known for having 300 scenic stupas and although no one is quite sure, they are said to probably date from the 11th century.

As you wander around the village, you will find stupas dotted all over the countryside and there is also an equally picturesque pagoda in the center of town which is made of shiny teak.

11. Travel to Twin Taung

Twin Taung is another scenic village close to Monywa and makes a nice place to visit if you want to travel in the local area.

Twin Taung is known for its lake which also has a rare supply of spirulina which is harvested and then used to make cosmetics and health products.

One of the best things to do here is to go for a walk around the lake and take in all the lush beauty of this village on foot.

12. Visit Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya is widely said to be the most beautiful temple in Monywa.

Whether you agree or not, it is certainly the grandest and you will find that the temple is covered in gild work which means that it shimmers in the fierce Burmese sun.

It is also conveniently located in the center of town close to the local clock tower so you can’t miss it when you walk around.

13. Dine at Pleasant Island

The name might be slightly kitschy but Pleasant Island is actually a delightful spot in Monywa that is located on the central lake.

The island is tiny and also the location of a little restaurant which is the only real reason to come here.

It is more than worth it however as you get to cross a rustic little bridge made of wooden planks.

The restaurant serves a range of dishes such as Burmese, Chinese, Thai and Indian plates and you can soak in the atmosphere of the lake as you dine in the little waterside pavilions.

14. Visit Su Taung Pye Zedi

Anyone who likes temples should make sure not to miss Su Taung Pye Zedi which is a pretty pagoda that is located next to the central clock tower.

The temple is one of the most colorful and vibrant in the town and makes a nice change of pace to others in the region thanks to its eye-catching design features.

15. Eat your way around the city

Monywa is not particularly well known on the tourist trail in Myanmar, so it may be slightly surprising to visitors to know that there is a wide and varied food scene here with plenty of choice.

Some of the best places to dine include the charming Burmese teashops that can be found all over the city and where you can get local snacks like tea leaf salad and fried treats.

You can also dine on delicious curries in Monywa, or you can get a wide variety of international fare like burgers and pastries as there are a few bakeries in town that cater to those looking for bread-based bites.

Glorious Monywa Hotel 

Add: Lai Ti Street, New General Aung San Road, Daw Na Chan Ward, Monywa, Myanmar

Glorious Monywa Hotel is located in Monywa. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi. Free private parking is available and the hotel also provides car hire for guests who want to explore the surrounding area.

Guest rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a wardrobe. At the hotel, each room comes with a seating area.

Glorious Monywa Hotel offers a buffet or à la carte breakfast.

The accommodation also provides a business centre and guests can check the newspapers at Glorious Monywa Hotel.

Shwe Taung Tan Hotel - Lake View 

Add: Kanpat Street Aungchanthar Quarter ,Monywa, 11101 Monywa, Myanmar

Shwe Taung Tan Hotel - Lake View has a restaurant, fitness centre, a bar and garden in Monywa. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.

All guest rooms come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a hot tub, a hairdryer and a desk. Featuring a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries, rooms at the hotel also feature a lake view. At Shwe Taung Tan Hotel - Lake View, the rooms are equipped with a seating area.

A buffet breakfast is available every morning at the accommodation.

At Shwe Taung Tan Hotel - Lake View guests are welcome to take advantage of a hot tub. You can play billiards at the hotel.

There is a tour desk and car rentals are available, while the business centre has newspapers and a fax machine and photocopier.

King & Queen Hotel 

Add: Kyauk Kar Road, new Kyauk Kar Traffic LiIght, Yan Kin Community, Monywa, 11101 Monywa, Myanmar

Boasting free bikes and free WiFi throughout the property, King & Queen Hotel is set in Monywa. Featuring mountain views, this 3-star hotel houses a restaurant. The property also offers free pick-up services by Tuk Tuk for all guests.

At the hotel, each room has a desk and a flat-screen TV. Rooms are complete with a private bathroom equipped with a bath and free toiletries, while some rooms also boast a seating area. Guest rooms at King & Queen Hotel include air conditioning and a wardrobe.

A continental breakfast is available daily at the accommodation.

Staff at King & Queen Hotel are available to provide advice at the 24-hour front desk.

Hotel Ba Thaung Monywa 

Add: Tharzi Road ,Near Tharzi Market Yadanarbon Quarter, 11101 Monywa, Myanmar

Hotel Ba Thaung Monywa has a restaurant, free bikes, a bar and shared lounge in Monywa. All rooms boast a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.

At the hotel, the rooms include a seating area.

Hotel Ba Thaung Monywa offers a buffet or à la carte breakfast.

The area is popular for cycling, and car hire is available at the accommodation.

Hotel Chindwin 

Add: Bogyoke road, Yonegyi Quarter, Monywa, 11101 Monywa, Myanmar

Hotel Chindwin in Monywa has 3-star accommodation with a bar. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Free private parking is available and the hotel also offers bike hire for guests who want to explore the surrounding area.

All rooms include a private bathroom. All guest rooms at the hotel come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels.

Hotel Chindwin offers a continental or buffet breakfast.

The area is popular for cycling, and car hire is available at the accommodation.

Somewhat surprisingly considering the fact that it doesn’t see huge numbers of visitors, Monywa has a good range of eateries.

Some of the best of these include the traditional little Burmese teashops where you can get tea, coffee, and freshly pressed juices, usually served with an array of local snacks.

If you are looking for something a little more upscale, then there are plenty of restaurants in town and you will find some great Burmese food including traditional curries and tealeaf salads. Western food is also available in quite a few restaurants dotted around Monywa and you can expect the usual plates like burgers and baguettes. One of the best places to eat if you like street food is the local night market where you can snack on delicious bites like spring rolls and Indian style pancakes.

Get in

Non air-con bus is available from Mandalay (26th St, near 90th St). Trip takes about 3 hours including one break (20-30 min) for 2,000 kyat. It is probably safer to get the bus from bus station and have your seat booked. Bus appears to be quite frequent.

A local non air-con bus from Bagan leaves at 07:30 and takes about 3-4 hours including several stops. Can be booked at the bus station, and haggling can get the locals' price of 3,000 kyat compared to that 5,000 kyat charged by hotels. The bus can pick you up along the main road.

We recommend you check the latest bus schedule and price via

Get around

Tuk-tuks are widely available. A tuk-tuk from the bus station to the city centre shouldn't cost more than 1,000 kyat.

Contact us to get more information


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