Dawei is the capital of Tanintharyi Region, the southern part of Myanmar. It is a coastal region covering an area of over 4184 sq km. Historically, it has been an important trading port. It features some interesting colonial architecture, with many old wooden, thatch-roofed bungalows and some brick and stucco mansions. Dawei is dotted with islands and famous historical pagodas.
Dawei is a city with a rich history which dates back to the 11th Century when it was a part of the Pagan Empire. It was a part of the Sukhothai Kingdom and its successor the Ayutthaya Kingdom (Siam) from the 13th to the 16th century. Since then, the city was taken over by Siam and Burma time and again till the British took it over around 1824-1826. Under British rule, Dawei was known as Tavoy. After independence in 1948, Tavoy became a part of the Tenasserim Division which also included the current Mon State. In 1974, the Mon State became an independent state and Tavoy became the capital of Tenasserim. In 1989, the city’s name was changed to Dawei from Tavoy and the state’s name changed to Tanintharyi. Old parts of Dawei still host buildings which stand evidence to this rich history, something which every traveller to Dawei needs to explore.
Dawei is home to some of the most beautiful pagodas of the region. The most notable among them is the Shin Motehti Pagoda located to the south of the town, the Shin Datweh Pagoda located to the north and the Shin Maw Pagoda located on the promontory. The Lawka Tharaphu Pagoda featuring a 74-metre long statue of the reclining Buddha remains one of the most popular tourist destinations of the city. Each of these pagodas is unique in their own way and are not only a place for worship but of immense cultural and historical importance. The Myaw Yit Paya located near the Maung Magan Beach is another popular tourist destination. This pagoda is located in the centre of the island and has been built by assembling huge rocks – a must visit place for any tourist.
AMAZING BEACHES & ISLANDS
Being a beach town, Dawei is home to breathtakingly beautiful beaches which are also popular tourist destinations. One of the most popular places is Maungmakan Beach, a clean and serene place to relax and unwind. One can gorge on fresh seafood at the various restaurants and cafes located at this beach. Sat Sar Aww, Phoe-Phoe Kyauk and Sin tauk are other beaches which are worth a visit. Dawei also has amazing islands close by. Loung lone boke island and Pae Zin island on the Andaman sea remain the most visited islands around Dawei. Tourists can engage in activities such as snorkelling, fishing and boat trip in these islands. The picturesque sunset from these islands is something that one will remember a lifetime.
Shin Mokhti Pagoda: A revered pagoda of Dawei, Shin Mokhti Pagoda is a must visit place for tourists. This pagoda is believed to have been build 600 years ago. Local people still pay homage here. It is located few kilometres south of Dawei.
Shwe Tha Lyaung Daw Mu Buddha statue is situated at the edge of Dawei, around 5 kilometres from the central Strand Road Market. Built in 1931, the statue is 74 metres long and 21 metres high. It is one of the popular tourist attractions of Dawei.
Muang Ma Kan beach is located 19 kilometres from the city, in between hills on one side and the sea on the other. A half an hour walk down the beach takes visitors to a lovely fishing village with small boats nestled in its harbour.