Busis on Maung Rd which bypass the city to the east. Most buses will stop (and start from) here, such as:
- Hpa-An – From the clock tower the bus takes 2 h for 1,000 kyat.
- Myawaddy – The bus is about 5,000 kyat and takes 3-5 h.
- Yangon – From Aung Mingular Bus Station northwest of Yangon several buses a day leave between 07:30 and 21:00, taking about 5:30-7 h, for about 6,000-8,000 kyat.
- Naypyidaw – A Scania bus leaves from the Bawgathiri Highway Station east of Naypyidaw at 19:00 and arrives at 05:00 for about 11,000 kyat.
- Mandalay – A quite luxurious (Swedish) overnight bus (company: Shwe Mandalar) leaves at 18:00 from the Highway Bus Station south of Mandalay. It includes a towel, pillow, blanket toothbrushes and water, and arrives in Mawlamyine at 05:00, with at least two stops on the way. It does most of its way on the new highway between Mandalay and Yangon. Up to 15,000 kyat.
Pick-upMost non-bus transportation into Mawlamyine coming from the northeastern main road will drop off their passengers at from where also most traffic travels further south.
The trip from Myawaddy is about 10,000 kyat (shared taxi) and a very bumpy ride, taking somewhere between 3-5 h. A big part of the distance is gravel road.
TrainThe has up to three (bumpy) trains a day coming in from Yangon, Bago and Kyaikto, arriving at 04:00, 06:00 and 16:30. and starting in Yangon and Bago about 9 h or 7 h earlier, respectively. The price for upper class is only 4,250 kyat for the full distance of 281 km from Yangon. Tickets go on sale 3 days before departure at the downtown ticket office.
FerryThere are boats travelling between Hpa-An and Mawlamyine, but their price is beyond that of the bus and train: 70,000 kyat (private charter) or 10,000 kyat per person (shared, still this price as of Feb 2019). Nevertheless, they provide a scenic trip up/down the river. Elegant Myanmar sell tickets on their 08:30 sailing from their office next to Ykko, south of the night market. Alternatively ask at your own guest house, or at Breeze Inn Guesthouse who may still operate a boat. Journey times are listed as 4 hours, but a recent trip in the dry season took just a little over 2 hours (journey took 5 hours in Feb 2019 including a mandatory stop at a small village to visit a monastery + temple).
Walking around can be an option in the centre, but Mawlamyine stretches over 5.5 km along the river.
Motorbike-taxis, trishaws, pick-ups are available all over town, especially at the central market. Just "appear" to be lost and someone will offer you a ride, which should cost no more than 350 kyat in town.
Do not pay more than 700 kyat for the transport from the bus station, train station or the main junction to the city centre (motorbike/trishaw). Tuk-tuk drivers might ask up to 3,000 kyat for the two mile ride, which is too much.
Kyaik Tan Lan PagodaUp on the hill and famous for its nice views and a great sunset point is this pagoda on the hill in the north(east)ern part of the city.
Mahamuni PayaPagoda which contains a century-old replica of the Buddha in Mahamuni Paya in Mandalay (famous for the early morning face washing). Here you can get a nicer view of the Buddha, woman are allowed to get closer and way less tourists compared to Mandalay but without the washing ceremony. However, the gold cover of the Buddha is not nearly as thick as in Mandalay.
Ogre IslandAn island across the river from Mawlamyine, known for cottage industries such as weaving, chalkboards, pipes, hats and rubber bands. A guide is necessary as the island is spread out over an area the size of Singapore. You can arrange a tour from Breeze Inn Guesthouse (18,000 kyat per person) or simply arrive on shore and ask around for an English speaking moto driver. High tide in the mornings means disembarking into watery mud, so it is best to wear sandals.
Gaung Say Kyun / Shampoo Island with the Sandawshin PagodaSmall island with its own pagoda and nice river view.
Than Phyu Zayat / Death Railway Museum
Than Phyu Zayat / War Cemetery
- Churches: St Patrick's (1829); St Matthew's (1887), abandoned & locked; First Baptist (1827); Holy Family (1954)
Nwa-La-Boh PagodaThe main attraction of this pagoda is a golden rock formation, similar to Kyaiktiyo, but on a smaller scale. However, due its shape and balance (3 stones on top of each other) this golden rock is equally impressive. If you go in low season and on a work day, there is a fair chance that you will be the only person there.
To go there you can get pick-ups from the roundabout south of the bridge. Locals pay about 500 kyat one-way, but tourist may be charged 1,000 kyat. Taxis offer you the same trip for 8,000 kyat return, but you can get them down to 5,000 kyat. Near Kyaun Ka Village exactly 19.7 km north from the roundabout take the to the right up and by the temple. The distance to the pagoda is 6.7 km not accounting for the elevation. You hike up and down, at least 1.5-2.5 hr each way, but bring enough water, good shoes and sun block as the heat and humidity are high. Alternatively or you can try to get a work truck (2,000 kyat per person return) but higher in the low season if they available at all. Going back from the main road is easy, just hail for a pick-up or any car that passes by.
SouthThe best way to explore the surrounding and especially southern area and sights is by scooter or motorbike. In the order of distance from Mawlamyine are these destinations:
Shwe Nat Taung PagodaOn top of a hill offering picturesque views ideal for pictures.
Pa-Auk Tawya MonasteryAn enormous, tranquil meditation centre with friendly people. Arrive by 10:00 to walk to the eating hall for an 11:00 meal with hundreds of monks and a few foreigners studying meditation.
Kyauk Ta ToneThis hill offers a great view of the surrounding area and even a sneak peak of the famous Buddha. It is great for sunsets. There are two tops, only one is allowed for women. There is an old, open shed on top where you can even stay overnight, although a mosquito net, mattress and sleeping bag are recommended. It takes about 20-30 min to climb.
The worlds largest reclining BuddhaBesides the golden rock in Kyaiktiyo this is probably the most famous sight in the Mon State. Whilst no longer the largest in the world, it is still the largest reclining Buddha in Myanmar. Dozens of monk statues escort the track from the main road towards the reclining Buddha. Arriving at the sight the sheer size of the Buddha (more than 100 m) is quite impressive. Opposite lies another but older one. Due to its size you will have to walk around to find a good spot for taking pictures.
A one-way pick-up to the Buddha should be around 500 kyat, at least for locals. A taxi is about 4000 kyat one way or 7000 kyat return.
Kan Gyi Lake & PagodaA rumour is that nobody knows how deep this lake is, but don't feel tempted to find out. Women are not allowed to swim as otherwise, it is believed, something terrible will happen. The lake can be easily circumnavigated by foot.
- Rent a scooter or motorbike and explore the surrounding area, especially south.
- Take a boat up or down the river.
Night market & food stallsaddress: Strand RdThis place offers a great opportunity to mix with the locals. You can choose from several food stalls, some of which have English menus. However, it is best to watch and choose from the dishes they prepare. Sometimes they will not even be on the menu.p. It offers barbecue (100-200 kyat per piece), cheap seafood, vegetarian, rice and soup dishes.
Chan TharChinese restaurant with extensive menu in English. More an amusement arcade/gambling hall than restaurant.
Yunnan / Yuu Nan Pan Tay Restaurantaddress: Strand RdThai food. Friendly and clean.
Myo Ma River View Restaurantaddress: Strand RdSituated in a mall-like building and may look expensive, but is not. Large menu, attentive and friendly staff. Restaurant doubles as a small art gallery.
YKKO RestaurantChinese and Thai dishes in a professional setup.
Shwe Nandawaddress: Lower Main RdNice local teashop with terrace, fresh bakery, including vegan/vegetarian options, Chinese specialities (fried & steamed), spicy milk tea, friendly shop owner.
Daw Yiaddress: Uze Na Pagoda Street, corner of Strand RdLocal restaurant that serves a wide variety of Mon curries. Inclusive tea, soup and salad.
Deli France Bakeryaddress: Strand RdWestern cuisine, nice decor, air-con. Popular with local couples.
Help Grandmother and GrandfatherChinese and vegetarian standard food with good sized portions. New building, big English sign, notably more expensive than in its former incarnation. Nonetheless, a popular spot for locals due to the riverside location and prices. They say the profits help the elderly in Mawlamyine.
Ruby RestaurantChinese restaurant with menu in English.
OK HotelFamous with foreigners.
Strand View Restaurantaddress: Strand Rd,Outdoor garden in a cosy surrounding.
Mya Nan ThidaMilk shakes, ice cream, faluda and kulfi.
Aye Chan Mya Guest Housephone: +95 9253433643address: No. 680, Lower Main Road, Maungngan QuarterBrand new guesthouse, a little far from the centre but is good value.
Aurora Guesthousephone: +95 57-22785address: 277 Lower Main RoadWiFi. No breakfast. Same prices as Breeze Inn Guesthouse but much nicer rooms. Owner seems grumpy at first, but is sweet and helpful if you take the time to talk to him. If you're on your own and only double rooms are available he will most likely charge you as if you stayed in a single room.
Pann Su Wai Guest Housephone: +95 9 2525(2) 4837, +95 9 2525(2) 4838address: No. 333/A, Lower Main RoadNew guesthouse with fan and air-con rooms, hot water, WiFi. En-suite showers. Not particularly luxurious but decent.
Breeze Inn Guesthousephone: +95 57 21450, +855 98 701180address: 6 Strand RdWell-known guesthouse with friendly staff. Mr Anthony is an old man and full of stories including useful advice, and he likes to talk. The place is run down and a little unkempt. Rooms are smelly even if you have a window. Sleep in short beds with rock hard, old and lain through mattresses (really no elasticity left) in rooms with thin walls. Rooms in the back seem to be much better value for little extra cost, especially the beautiful colonial era style room for about $40. Breakfast is included (coffee or tea, toast, butter and jam, boiled egg, banana) and served at the terrace with river view. WiFi in the common.
OK Hoteladdress: Strand RdSmall but clean. Friendly. WiFi.
phone: +95-57-24411, +95-57-24860, +95-9-8703610, +95-9-8703611address: 21 Baho RoadBeautifully decorated and clean, price includes a large breakfast, TV in room, Wi-Fi, air-con. Has a couple of dorm rooms alongside the large guest rooms. The restaurant serves delicious meals. The staff are very accommodating and helpful. Receive very good online ratings. If you cannot afford to stay you can still enjoy a delicious breakfast for 3,500 kyat. They also have a bunkbed room for backpackers.
phone: +95572030526address: 127, Yarzadiriz Road, Myine TharyarModern (opened in 2016). Located in a quiet area. All rooms feature a private bathroom with hot water, satellite TV, fridge/minibar, kettle, hardwood floors... Free Asian buffet breakfast 7AM-9AM (especially focussing on Mon state specialties). On-site dining optional. Garden. Free Wifi. Free shuttle service to/from the airport. Friendly family run business. Transportation booking facilities (without extra fee on top on the actual ticket price). Bicycles & motorbikes rental.
Mawlamyine Strand Hotelphone: +95 32-22560address: Strand Rd, Phat Tan Quarter24 rooms including AC and bathroom.
Sandalwood Hotelphone: +95 57 27253, +95 57 21185, +95 98 702511address: 278 Myoma Bridge StRelatively new hotel as of 2018, fully tiled and clean, incredibly friendly staff, price includes breakfast, TV in the room and WiFi in the lobby. Drying rack and umbrella can be borrowed. Only two standard rooms are available, which are hard to get, so call ahead.
phone: +95 9 43116366address: 22B,Myoshoung Rg.,Near to bus high way stationVery nice and quiet location.very fast wifi in town and 24hrs ATM. Very helpful staffs. Transportation is not run by Motel. Taxi is very expensive but tok tok is recommendable. Tidy rooms with nice breakfast and Sue's Kitchen
- Hpa-An – Famous for its caves and green landscape. Old, no air-con bus, several a day, 1,000 kyat, 2 h. There is also a boat available (70,000 kyat private or 8,000 kyat shared per person, 5 h)
- Myawaddy – For Mae Sot (Thailand), bus (5,000 kyat) or shared taxi (10,000 kyat), 3-5 h. Most departures are in the morning.
- Kyaiktiyo – Famous for the golden rock, the most famous sight of the Mon State. 07:30 & 09:30, 7,000 kyat, 3-4 h. There are direct buses to Kinpun, the "base camp".
- Bago – Famous for the highest pagoda in the world, the Shwemawdaw Pagoda. Bus 07:00/08:00/09:00 and 12:30, 5-10,000 kyat.
- Mandalay – Famous for the U Bein Bridge, the Buddha face washing, as well as the nearby mountains and train. Quite luxurious (Swedish) overnight bus (company: Shwe Mandalar). Up to 15,000 kyat. Includes a towel, pillow, blanket, toothbrushes and water.
- Yangon – Famous for the Shwedagon Pagoda and the city itself. Several buses a day.
- Ye – Bus 06:30/09:15/11:45 & 15:30, 4-5 h, 6,000 kyat. Minibus 4,000 kyat.
- Dawei – Famous for its authentic and underdeveloped experience, large Buddha and remote beaches (Maungmagan). Bus 05:00 13:00/14:00/16:00, 8-10 h, 12,000 kyat.
The train for Yangon leaves at 08:00, 19:30 and 20:55. passing by Kyaikto near Kyaiktiyo and Bago, arriving 9 h later. The trip to Yangon is 2,150/5,500 kyat (ordinary/upper class). For more details see Seat61.com, or book at the train station.
The train for Dawei Port leaves at 04:00 and arrives 15 h later.