Updated: March 2013
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A refreshingly cool setting alongside the Than Lwin river, this former British capital has an interesting selection of temples along the ridge. Day trips from here include Ogre Island and on to Thanbyuzayat home of the Burmese end of the Thai-Burma death railway.

There’s something for every budget here, just not a lot of any of it! A few budget places, three or four mid-range and then a few more expensive.

Aurora Guest House
Address: 277 Lower Main Rd
Prices from: single $5-10, twin $14-18
Includes: breakfast
Tel: 057 227 85 Email: Web:
Another of the popular budget guest houses in the area with small rooms at the lower end, with shared bathrooms. The better rooms have a little more space and have en-suite bathrooms with a TV and a fridge.

Breeze Guest House
Address: 6 Strand Rd
Prices from: Twin $12-18, Triple $27
Includes: breakfast
Tel: 057 214 50 Email: Web:
The low end budget rooms are really that – a wooden box with a shared bathroom. And the upper tier rooms aren’t massively better, though do have a lot more space and are situated at the back. Not allrooms have en-suite. You may be able to get a $2 discount if you take a room as a single (one breakfast removed). Although they have an email address, it’s not one that they appear to use. Room reservations are taken, though it did still seem as though it is “arrive and we will see”. Breakfast on the balcony is the highlight. SIM cards available.

Cinderella Hotel
Address: 21 Baho Rd
Prices from: Twin $30
Includes: Breakfast, en-suite, fridge, AC and more.
Tel: 057 244 11 Email: Web:
Four star hotel at two star prices? Facilities superb and service excellent? Free toiletries and a great breakfast? Welcome to Cinderella hotel. If booking in the high-season, ensure you tell them how many nights you wish to stay as they honour their advance bookings and you may be looking for somewhere else if you haven’t let them know.

Ngwe Moe Hotel
Address: Strand Rd
Prices from: single $35, twin $45
Includes: En-suite, breakfast, AC, satellite TV, ridge, kettle
Tel: 057 247 03 Email: Web:
You’re paying ore, but you’re getting more. Still not as good as Cinderella but it is a nice location and their restaurant bar downstairs is nice. Add an extra bed for $15 and depending on the age of your child, they may get an extra bed for free!

Sandalwood Hotel
Address: 278 Myoma Thadar St
Prices from: single $25, twin $35, triple $45
Includes: breakfast, en-suite, Wi-Fi
Tel: 057 272 53 Email: Web:
The better rooms have AC and televisions. The hotel is relatively new and most of the reviews we’ve read are positive. The best place in town? Probably not, but a good second for sure.

Eating and drinking
A lot of places offer BBQ food and in fact there is a small area alongside the river that has street stalls with tables and chairs offering the same fare as the restaurants. Just be warned – we sat there for a beer and saw more than enough to put us off even though our normal diet is street-street-street-food! The places we’ve listed are all on the Strand Road.

Beer Garden 2 
A popular place with those that have one of the more established travel guides ;-) Though the “school playground” is pleasant enough to sit in and enjoy freshly barbequed food, their prices are more than elsewhere.

More of a small bar than a diner. They do offer BBQ food here.

Golden View
A few people have told us how good the BBQ food was here. 

Grandfather and Mother Restaurant
Reasonable Chinese style food with a friendly service. 

Mya Than Lwin Restaurant
Cold beer is the biggest draw. The staff speak very little English – try asking for chilli or garlic to add to the blend fare and you’ll be in for 10 minutes entertainment.

Ngwe Moe Hotel
At first glance you’d think this is going to be expensive but you’d be wrong. They don’t employ children to run around, they have adults that have clearly been working in the service trade for several years. Easy reclining chairs and when the sun has set, they project the Discovery Channel onto their neighbours’ wall. Give it a try.

You can pick up a really good and accurate map of the sites of Mawlamyine from the Cinderella Hotel or Mya Thin Lwin restaurant.
The pagodas are all situated along a ridge that runs like a spine through the centre of Mawlamyine and can be visited by starting north and walking south so they are listed in that order. 

Mahamuni Paya
This temple houses a replica of the Mahamuni Buddha in Mandalay but without the gold sheets. It is a very quiet but welcoming temple with some excellent art work around the inner shrine. The walls are typically covered in pieces of mirror giving it a real sparkle and the staff are more than happy to show you around or leave you to your own devices as you wish. There is an impressive view to the west of the Than Lwin River.

Kyaik Than Lan Paya
Connected via a covered walk way to the Mahamuni Paya is Mawlamyine’s tallest stupa. The complex has many different styles of temples and shrines and the lack of neon lights make it less gaudy than some of Myanmar’s temples. There is a great view over the city from the temple’s eastern entrance.

Bamboo Thread Buddha
South of the Kyaik Than Lan is a smaller temple complex that is home to a Buddha statue made out of threads of bamboo – hence the name! It is quite different to anything else I’ve come across in Myanmar and although there are no English language signs there are plenty of photographs showing how the Buddha came to be.

View Point
Back out on to the main road you will pass a number of smaller stupas that in themselves are nothing new but they offer fantastic views of the tops of the Mahamuni and Kyaik Than Lan Payas. On the opposite side of the road are a few drink and barbecue food stalls along with some benches in an area known as the view point. Just look out for the large arrow! The view is impressive as you can spot some of the many churches on the streets below and it is very popular for watching the sun set beyond the Than Lwin River.

U Khanti Paya
If you haven’t had enough of pagodas yet, there are two more south of the view point. U Khanti is centred around a large Buddha image and is dedicated to the architect of Mandalay hill.

U Zina Paya
This is the southernmost stupa and is named after the monk who built it. It houses a reclining Buddha as well as statues depicting events in the life of Buddha.

Around Mawlamyine.
Mawlamyine isn’t just about temples. There are a number of places that can be visited as a day trip.

Bilu Kyun (Ogre Island)
The Mon-populated ogre island has 64 villages; most of the houses are on stilts and made of ironwood. There are a number of interesting crafts exercised on the island including working with wood, coconut fiber, and rubber; as one visitor said “I now know how rubber bands are made."  
A tour of Ogre Island costs $10 per person from Breeze Guest House. You can take a ferry yourself for $1 (one way) and hire a horse and cart to show you around.  Tourists can't stay overnight so you have to be back at the pier to catch the last ferry at 3pm.

Gaungse Kyun (Shampoo Island)
Shampoo Island can be reached by ferry from the north of Mawlamyine, under the Than Lwin Bridge. However as you can see from the banks of the river it is a very tiny island with only a few more pagodas on it and not really worth the 2000 kyats return trip.

Situated 40 miles south of Mawlamyine Thanbyuzayat was the Burmese terminus for the infamous Burmese-Thai railway line or ‘death railway.’ Sadly there is no longer a WWII museum as there is in Thailand but there is an immaculately maintained war cemetery which contains the remains of Australian, Dutch and British military personnel who were prisoners of war and Asian labourers that had all worked and died under the Japanese during the construction of the Burma Thailand railway form 1942 – 1945.  
Hundreds of thousands of Asians (including many from Myanmar) and POW toiled for 13 months in appalling conditions building the infamous railway by hand. The railway which once ran from Thanbyuzayat 415 km to Nam Pladuk (Thailand) was operational for only 21 months. The plaque there records that over 80,000 Asians, 6,500 British, 2,830 Dutch, 2,710 Australian and 356 Americans died during the railways construction. It also commemorates the suffering and fortitude of all who worked on the railway. 

The cemetery is about half a mile west of Thanbyuzayat’s clock tower on the road to Kyaikkami. A mile south of the clock tower is a locomotive and piece of track commemorating the railway. Buses from Mawlamyine to Thanbyuzayat, 1000 kyats one way, run on the hour until noon and take two hours. Buses leave from the market and tickets can be purchased from the blue wooden booth at the south east corner of the central market building in Mawlamyine.  In Thanbyuzayat get off at the clock tower, this is also where you will get a return bus, the last bus is at 3pm and will stop at the bus station in Mawlamyine not at the market.

There are now two daily boat services that run to Mawlamyine. Breeze Guest House offer a service for 6,000Ks (+ 500Ks charge to the ferry port) for a 10 seater boat (5x2 seats) which takes 5 hours leaving at 0800hrs. HI FI Snooker Hall also offers a service for 4,000Ks (+ 500Ks charge to the ferry port) for a 5 seater boat (5x1 seats) which takes 3 hours also leaving at 0800hrs. Quite a few people do this as a day trip up to Hpa-An, returning by bus at around 1600 though that really doesn’t leave you enough time to see much in the area. The boat journey though is a pleasant one.

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    Posted 3 Jul 2013, 03:14 by Elli Murr
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  • Myanmar Sidebar
    Free Shuttle Bus at Mandalay Airport
    A free shuttle bus has been introduced for AirAsia customers in Mandalay. This service provides a free bus transfer between Mandalay Airport to Mandalay Downtown and vice versa. 

    1. How much is the fare for the transfer bus? 
    It’s free for all AirAsia guest. 
    2. How do I get the free transfer? Who are entitled to the free service? 
    AirAsia guest can present their inbound boarding pass, flight itinerary and their passport. 
    Service is only available on actual date of the flight as specified on boarding pass 
    3. Where do I find the service? 
    At Mandalay Airport: Exit gate of Arrival hall 
    In Mandalay City: Street 79 near Mandalay Palace (between 26&27) 
    4. How long is the shuttle bus ride between Mandalay airport to downtown Mandalay? 
    Approximately 1 hour depending on traffic conditions.

    Posted 16 Jul 2013, 19:24 by Elli Murr
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  • Travel Guides
    Over 1,000 downloads of "A travellers Guide to Myanmar"

    We've had over 27,000 hits in just 7 months! For some, that's nothing, for the charities we support, approx. 2% of our visitors visit on.Which means all of our hard work is worth it. 

    Looks like we'll be publishing an update to "A Travellers Guide to Myanmar" in September ready for the new season. And already we have Peter and Anne from Balmain, Sydney Australia on board to give us updates for their pending trip in October.

    So we have "
    Fish out of Water" and "Powered by Noodles" and now "Cool for Cats" set to update us in Myanmar. Can you get any more up-to-date?

    Free guides and downloads.
    Posted 24 Jul 2013, 21:12 by Elli Murr
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Definition of Charity: 
"Generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy and suffering"

This is all about giving something back to the people of the countries that we've visited, to thank them for the wonderful experiences that we've had. There are no charges for receiving information on this site, because this is about sharing the latest information and not making money. You'll also note, there are no pop-ups or sponsored links to businesses. So, please take the time to look at some of the charities that we've highlighted on our charities page, and if you want to "pay" for the information you've received, then look into some of these worthy causes. Otherwise we'd gladly accept any support to help keep this site alive.

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  • Myanmar: The true land of smiles?

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    Posted 23 Jul 2013, 18:21 by Elli Murr
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  • Myanmar Charities: The Leaping Lemur Group
    There are no charges for receiving information on this site, because this is about sharing the latest information and not making money. That said, please take the time to look at some of the charities that we've highlighted beneath, and if you want to "pay" for the information you've downloaded, then look into some of these worthy causes.
    Elli xx

    The Burma Children’s Fund supports orphanages and pre-schools in various parts of Burma in order to provide shelter, health care and education for orphans and children. We will only support orphanages, clinics and pre-schools for infants and younger children where we know that the staff are dedicated and that the money they receive is spent on the children and for the direct benefit of the children. Children in Burma cannot control their own destiny and this is why our goal is “To Support their Future". [more] 

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     works for human rights, democracy and development in Burma.Burma Campaign UK is one of the leading Burma campaign organisations in the world. We play a leading role in raising awareness about the situation in Burma, and pressuring the international community to take action in support of the people of Burma. Founded in 1991, Burma Campaign UK is one of the leading Burma campaign organisations in the world. We play a leading role in raising awareness about the situation in Burma,  and pressuring the international community to take action in support of the people of Burma. [more]

     works with marginalised urban children and youth, their families and communities to become productive, independent citizens of their country. We do this by listening to and being guided by those who matter the most to us - the children and youth we work with everyday. Friends-International has been assisting marginalized urban children and youth across the world since 1994. We now run and support projects for these children and their families in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Honduras, Mexico, Egypt and Myanmar. Friends-International and its partners reach out to over 50,000 marginalised young people -particularly street children and youth – each year. We offer a range of comprehensive services as part of our holistic approach to assisting children and their families to improve their lives. [more]
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    Posted 27 Jun 2013, 20:17 by Elli Murr
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    Solitude and silent reflection seems to be moving with the times

    Almost Famous,
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    Toilet humour, bar humour and a great quiz.
    Posted 26 Jun 2013, 21:11 by Elli Murr
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