Things to do in Pakokku / Bagan – Myanmar


When you’re in Pakokku, you can enjoy all sorts of fun things to do. From hiking and exploring the countryside, to visiting museums and pagodas, there’s something for everyone. Read on to find out what’s on offer! And, don’t worry if you don’t have time for everything, either. Here are a few of the most popular things to do in Pakokku:

Shwesandaw Pagoda

The Shwesandaw Pagodha in Bagan is a must-see for anyone visiting Myanmar. Built about 800 years ago by King Alaungsithu of the Bago Dynasty, it is a stunning example of traditional Myanmar architecture. Pakokku has plenty to offer tourists, including the pagoda itself and many of the surrounding towns.

The 328-foot-tall Shwesandaw Pagoda is one of the tallest structures in Bagan. King Anawrahta of Bagan started the project in 1057 as part of his efforts to spread Buddhism throughout his empire. He sought to gain an insight into Buddhism from the Mon Kingdom of Thaton and enshrine a replica of the Buddha’s teachings.

The temple is equally impressive. The Shwesandaw Paya is renowned for housing the supposed strands of the Buddha’s hair, as well as the actual tooth, which has been covered in gold for centuries. The temple is located on a hilltop, and features a large 10-metre Buddha statue. Its architecture is beautiful, and the relic itself is a work of art.

Dahmmayan Gyi Phaya

The ruins of the Dahmmayan Gyi Phaye in Pakokku, Burma, are located near the Ananda Temple and Old Bagan. The Buddhist hall is sealed to prevent outsiders from entering. Its ancient doors were sealed during King Nalhu’s assassination, but the ruins are still not finished. Its large red bricks are so tightly packed together that a needle cannot easily penetrate them. The gump in front of the temple is very beautiful and the views at sunrise and sunset are stunning.

A good guide is available for this historical site in English and Burmese. Michael Freeman, a former professor of Art History, has written many books on Burmese art, including this one. This one is fairly comprehensive, covering 33 major sites. It’s only available in paperback, but it’s well worth the effort. Another excellent guide is Ma Thanegi’s book, which is slightly harder to find in the West. Although this one is written by a Burmese, it has a useful summary of the major sites.

Nan Paya

If you’re thinking of visiting Myanmar, consider pausing in Pakokku. Located about 30 km north of Bagan, this small town has plenty of attractions that are both interesting and beautiful. The Ayeyarwady River and Pakokku pagoda are two must-sees. Visitors will also be fascinated by the Myo Ma Ahle monastery, which was constructed around 800 years ago by King Alaungsithu of the Bago Dynasty.

Located just a short drive south of Pakokku, Myinkaba Village features lacquer ware workshops. If you’re looking for a little more culture, visit the mysterious Manuha Temple, where you’ll find an alter Buddha that seems to reflect the king’s stress. If the surrounding area isn’t too crowded, you can also visit Shwesandaw Pagoda.

Bagan Archaeological Museum

The Bagan Archaeological Museum is a fascinating place to visit while exploring the ruins of Bagan. Its exhibits include stone Buddhas, tablets, and models of the temples and villages of the past. The Museum has something for every visitor – including children! There’s even a puppet show, so you can see the museum in action without having to get out of your seat.

The Bagan Archaeological Museum has a small one-storey brick building with 850 objects on display. Some of the highlights include excellent wood carvings of Buddhas, intricate bronze pieces, and ancient coiffures for women. There’s also a great collection of frescoes, which are almost identical to those of the Bagan temples.

The Pakokku Archaeological Museum is located in a beautiful building with an incredible view of Bagan. From the flat roof, you can see the sunset and the Tantkyi Taung hill range on the west bank of the Ayeyawaddy River. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic on the roof. The museum has a good gift shop with a good selection of souvenirs.

Pakokku Market

When in Myanmar, you should spend some time in Pakokku. The region is filled with art galleries, boutiques, museums, and other attractions that you can enjoy. Getting around is easy with a foot tour. You can visit many places and shop at small markets. You can also explore the city’s theatre and cafes. These are all great activities to enjoy while in Pakokku. Once you’ve finished exploring these places, you can head to the next one.

You should make time to explore the market, as it is home to the largest trade in thanaka, an ancient cosmetic paste. You can also see people making the paste in nearby Kyunkalay Village, which is about 45 minutes’ drive from Pakokku. The area has no electricity, schools, or monasteries. But if you’re looking for a more authentic experience, you can visit Pakokku Market.

Nandamannya Paya

After visiting Nandamannya Paya, it’s time to explore Pakokku’s surroundings. The town has a unique atmosphere, a lack of electricity during the day, and a few cheap hostels. Most rooms have only one shared cold-water shower and squat toilet, but you can expect a hot meal for around K1000. Taxis are available to show you around town and take you to sites along the way, such as the 130 pagodas. Besides the pagodas, you can also get a tattoo or piercing.

From Pakokku, you can take a ferry to the nearby villages of Kalewa and Nyaung U. The ferries take about two and a half hours, but you may want to travel a little further by car. The Meiktila ferry leaves from the Nyaung U market, half a mile north of the jetty. You can also take a bus to the village of Salay, which is located near the Taunggyi ferry port. There are also private ferries and buses that leave from Kalewa. If you prefer to hire a private car, you can drive to Pakokku and then catch the ferry back to Mandalay.

Mani-Sithu Market

The colorful produce of the Mani-Sithu Market is a feast for the eyes. You can buy fresh vegetables, fruits, and flowers in this market, as well as souvenirs, gifts, and local textiles. The market is open from 6 am to 5 pm daily, but its atmosphere is at its most lively before noon. A few monks are often present, too.

If you have time, make a stop at the Mani-Sithu Market in Nyaung-U, the town’s main market. Set up beneath a light wooden structure, this market is more of a local than a tourist market. From Bagan-Nyaung U airport, you can catch a train that ends in the town. The market is conveniently located near the Golden Shwezigon Pagoda.

Nathlaung Kyaung

If you are planning a trip to Myanmar, Bagan is one of the top places to visit. Nathlaung Kyaung is a quaint, country town located 25 kilometers north of Bagan. It is connected to the neighboring town of Nyaung U via a bridge and is best known for tobacco trading. To the northwest, Pakhangyi has old city walls, a museum and one of the oldest wooden monasteries. Pakokku is also the site of the annual Thiho Shin Pagoda Festival, an event held in May and featuring a large country fair, traditional plays, and a theatre.

The people of Pakokku are extremely friendly and welcoming, and they are well-trained in English. You can even purchase some traditional silks and velvet slippers for a much lower price than in Bagan. While the accommodations in Pakokku are scarce, you can check out the city’s festival in late May or June and enjoy the traditional games and dance. The pagoda was constructed about 800 years ago by King Alaungsithu of the Bago Dynasty, and hosts performances of traditional games and entertainment. You can also check out nhaparthwar, a dance and song performed by two performers.

David Cronk - Editor

David Cronk is the editor of online travel magazine Travelodium Travel Magazine. David has travelled to over 30 countries of the world and his writing has been published by enRoute magazine - Air Canada's inflight magazine and by Hotel & Accommodation Management Magazine. David has worked as a Sales Executive for Sheraton and Hilton Hotels and for Hotelbookers in London. He has worked also as a Hotel Night Manager and in bars throughout Europe. David eventually settled into a position working as a croupier for several years before changing careers to become a Data, Sales and Statistical Analyst.

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