TaungooBago Division, Myanmar.
- By train Taungoo is halfway to Mandalay from southern destinations, including Bago. The track is rough in places, but it is far from the most uncomfortable rail journey in the country. The meals are unexceptional (try the pork noodles), but getting to the meal car can be an interesting experience.
Thandaung GyiOld colonial hill station which is home to Naw Bu Baw prayer mountain and some other sights. There have been reports that the area is closed, however it was opened in June 2013; a passport check is usually not required before entering the area, but make sure to bring copies anyway. There are multiple B&Bs in the village (8.000-30.000 MMK). There are several routes up and down, the cheapest option is to find a truck from the central square in Taungoo, but for a more comfortable ride it is best to call ahead to a B&B in Thandaung Gyi so that they can arrange a car for you (30.000 MMK). An alternative is to find a motorcycle driver in Taungoo (16.000 MMK). The trip takes about 2 hr one-way through teak forests. There is a tea plantation at the top. Lots of armed forces are present, however the checkpoint is run by a welcoming tourism ministry. They might ask your religion.
Naw Bu BawThe name of a mountain, and the lady who is said to guard it. The mountain is highly regarded by Karen Christians, and is accessed through the old British hill station town of Thandaung Gyi (pronounced "than down gee") (NB this is not the same town as the newer relocated Than Daung at the bottom of the mountain).
- There is a small restaurant with outstanding fishhead soup (muhinga) between Happy Restaurant and the mountain. Look for a small building with two tables and a baby hammock inside. Ask prices first, some restaurants have been rumored to charge more than 2,500 kyat for a basic local meal, which the local people consider to be scandalous.
- There is a local pick-up that goes up the mountain, but it only runs in the early morning.
- Pho Kyar elephant camp is about 2 hr from Taungoo, if you love nature and elephants.
phone: +95 54 23977address: No.(8), OhtKyautTan
phone: +95-9-784040402address: Pauk Hla Gyi Str, Min Gyi Nyo QtrSituated in the southern end of Taungoo right next to rice fields and a farmers' village. There are two types of room, standard and superior. All rooms have a bathroom inside with warm shower and A/C. Superior rooms are big and have panoramic views of rice fields and Karen mountain. Breakfast is enormous with lots of home-made traditional dishes and fruits.
Myanmar Beauty Guest House IMostly local people stay here, but if you are on a budget, ignore what Lonely Planet says, they do have a license for foreigners. Accommodation is basic and the screened upper parts of the walls do not allow for a lot of privacy, but it does let in the breeze and keep the mosquitoes out. The staff is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. There are two Internet cafes next to the hotel. Taxi motorcycles are on the corner a block away towards the church. There is a reasonably priced local coffee shop they can drive you to from the hotel; it is best to take a motorcycle taxi. There is a beer garden three blocks away, on a side street; turn north before you get to the church. Do not be fooled by the "beer garden" part of it, there is excellent food, and a generator to keep the beer cold for power failures, so you can find the restaurant by following the lights from the main road, or get back in the dark if the surrounding area loses power.
Myanmar Beauty Guest House II, III & IVRice paddy, teak floors.
Myanmar Thiri Hotel
Pan Swedaw Hotel
phone: +959258211142address: No. 570 Pauk Hla Gyi street, Min Gyi Nyo Quarter