Bago is a region in Myanmar located close to Yangon region. Bago City, formerly known as Hanthawaddy is the capital of Bago region. it is located 80 kilometres north-east of Yangon. It is a popular trip destination for tourists visiting Yangon due to proximity. Bago offers a perfect milieu of nature and culture to tourists. It is renowned for handicrafts as well as a vast wildlife sanctuary. Tourists can enjoy a wide range of experiences in Bago ranging from visiting an elephant camp to experiencing the urban life of Bago City.
Bago is home to some of the best forests of Myanmar and as such is heaven to someone who wants to explore the wildlife of Myanmar. The Pho Kyar Elephant Camp is located in the Yedashe Township where tourists can enjoy various activities involving elephants. It is a reserve forest area on the bank of Thaing creek. The Moe Yun Gyi Wildlife sanctuary is located only 29 km from Bago. It is an ideal place to view some exotic species of birds.
Bago has some of the most beautiful pagodas of the country. Among the several pagodas, the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, the huge reclining Buddha image of Shwe Tha Lyaung and the four giant Buddha Images of Kyaikpun Pagoda deserve special mention. A notable pagoda in Bago is the Shwesandaw Pagoda located on the eastern bank of Ayeyarwady river. The Shwe Myat Mhan Pagoda housing Buddha with golden spectacles is also an important shrine and worth a visit. Tourists can also visit the Kanbawsathadi palace, built by King Bayinnaung in 1556. The original palace consisted of 76 apartments and halls which were burned down in 1599. The palace has been restored in 1992. Tourists should also visit Akauk Taung and see the famous Buddha images curved on cliffs.
An array of cultural experiences awaits tourists at Bago. Tourists can visit Pyu Ancient Cities of Halin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra located in the dry zone of the Ayeyarwady River Basin. They have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014. Some of the best artisans of Myanmar live in Bago. Hence, tourists looking forward to shopping for some authentic handicrafts can visit the innumerable handicrafts workshops located here. Tourists looking to escape the warm temperature can head to Than-Daung, a hill station established during the British era. The town provides lots of opportunities to enjoy the cool weather as well as bond with the local people.
Pho Kyar Elephant Camp Pho Kyar forest resort is located in Thargara of Yedashe Township and is about 295 km from Yangon. Located in the Swa forest reserve area, on the bank of Thaing Creek, this camp has 14 elephants.
Moeyungyi This famous bird sanctuary is located near Pyinbonegyi village, about 29 km northeast of Bago across an area of 103 sq.km. It houses 65 species of waterbirds and 60 species of hibernating birds. It is an ideal place to view some exotic birds, especially from November to March.
Pyu Ancient Cities includes the remains of three brick walled and moated cities of Halin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra located in the vast irrigated landscape in the dry zone of the Ayeyarwady River basin. Pyu Ancient Cities has been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014.
Than-Daung is a well-developed hill resort from Victorian times developed by the British. The weather of Than-Daung is nice and cool. It is a romantic place which offers tourists a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It is inhabited by the lovable and simple Bwe Ka Yin people of Kayin State.
Kanbawzathadi Palace is the palace of Bago built by King Bayinnaung in 1556. It originally consisted of 76 apartments and halls but was burned down in 1599. It was reconstructed in 1992. It is an ornate golden palace showcasing the splendour of the Burmese empire during the 16th century. The palace houses several reproductions on display such as a replica of King’s golden coach.
Shwesandaw Pagoda is well known in Pyay. Shwesandaw means the Golden Hair Relics of Buddha. It is situated on the eastern bank of Ayeyarwady River is considered to be Myanmar’s most venerated structure. It has a height of 39 metres from the base and the plinth is 88 metres.
Akauk Taung This is famous for Buddha images carved in the steep cliff-side of Ayeyarwady Riverbank. it is located about 30 km downstream from Pyay. The journey to Akauk Taung takes someone through attractive rural scenery. With an interesting history behind it, this place is mesmerizing, to say the least.
Shwe Myat Mhan Pagoda means the Buddha with the golden spectacles. It is one of the most unique pagodas of Myanmar. Every year in March the Shwe Myat Mhan Pagoda Festival is held here which is attended by thousands of Buddhist all over the world. The pagoda is located on a hill presenting a nice view of the town and the Ayeyarwady river.
Bago formerly known as Hanthawaddy of Mon Kingdom in the 15th century is located around 80 km from Yangon. The city has several places of cultural importance such as the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, the huge reclining Buddha Image called Shwe Tha Lyaung, the four giant Buddha images of Kyaikpin Pagoda and the Kanbawzathadi palace.
Shwe Myat Mhan Pagoda Festival: This festival is celebrated every year in March for 3 days. Buddhists all over the world come and pay respect to the golden spectacled Buddha image in the pagoda. Products of Pyay and its surroundings such as the traditional handicrafts from various places of Myanmar are available during the festival.
Shwesandaw (Pyay) Pagoda Festival: Shwesandaw Pagoda is one of Myanmar’s biggest Buddhist pilgrimage sites and the festival of this pagoda is one of the most visited festivals for pilgrims all over the country. Held on the full moon day of Tazaungmone, the sacred tooth hall which contains a Buddha tooth relic is opened for devotees during this festival.
Tazaungmon Full Moon Festival: This festival is celebrated throughout the country on a full moon day after the rains. Since the monks need new robes after the rains, on the full moon day, new robes are offered to the mons along with other offerings which include slippers, umbrellas, alms bowls, food, towels, soap and other necessities.