Than Taung Gyi Hill ResortThe Than Taung Gyi Hill Resort
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Swe Thandaung resort | Later nowhere
Up until a few years ago, Myanmar's tourists would have had no problem driving through Taungoo without knowing what an important part the city once had to play in the country's past. The celebrations for the celebration of the company's 50th birthday as the capitol of a mighty Myanmar empire in 2010 turned around.
These ceremonies involved the erection of a 6 metre high bronzestatue of Min Gyi Nyo, who founded the Taungoo (Kaytumadi) family on October 16, 1510 on the full lunation of the Tazaungmone monarch. Situated along the city' s major street, the sculpture is difficult to miss, even for those who have been planning to race through Taungoo without halt.
Bayintnaung is testing the courage of one of his troops by putting a pin in this thumbs. Min Gyi Nyo founded Taungoo - 220 kilometres northerly of Yangon in the region of Bago - as a new capitol after he separated from the Ava (Inwa) empire near Mandalay. It reigned for 45 years, but it was his heir, King Tabinshwehti, who began the expansion of the empire and worked on the reunification of Centrally Myanmar for the first ever since the downfall of Bagan in 1287.
Influences of Tabinshwehti extended as far as the Shan states in the NE and as far as Bago in the SEE. The Second Burmese Empire, as it was called, was further reinforced by the third Taungoo Queen Bayintnaung after the murder of Tabinshwehti in 1551. Under his command, Taungoo became one of the most mighty empires in Southeast Asian development, stretching from Shwebo in the Nort to Dawei in the S and Ava in the W to Chiang Mai in the S....
The Bayintnaung king passed away in 1581, and in 1599 the boundaries of the Taungoo realm had been forced back until the realm had reached a small part of its former greatness. In this much smaller measure, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy survived another 150 years until the downfall of King Mahadammayaza in 1752.
Taungoo Castle is said to have once occupied an area of about 8000 sq. m., but apart from the gates and ditches restored for the occasion of the bicentenary, only a few remains of the dynasty period have been preserved. At some places you can see the old trench as a broad, arid trench, while the western side of the tall dam is lined with grassy ground, plants and small saplings.
Taungoo also has a number of other places of interest that are well deserved to visit. There' s also an airfield just south of Taungoo, but it's reserved for warfare. The Taungoo is situated in the vast Sittaung River Valley, with the Bago Yoma Mountains to the east and the Kayin Hills to the south.
Its name derives from the Sittaung River, which rises on the Shan River plain and joins the Gulf of Martaban 420 kilometres to the southwest of Bago. The trail follows the easterly border of Taungoo. A way to see the waterways up-close is by walking to the junction of the Khabaung and Sittaung River just outside the city.
Taungoo's main attraction is the scenic Royal lake, set in a well laid out area with an entertainment area for children, an open-air dining area and the Royal Kaytumadi Palace Hospital. It overlooks the pagoda Shwesandaw Pagoda, the highest stupa in Taungoo, and it was constructed in 1597.
It stands in a room adorned with glazed tile mosaics in a quadratic structure under a gold stupa. 2 of the rooms are covered with stone. The Kawmudaw Pagoda, where King Bayintnaung prayed before each of his 15 wins in combat, is situated on the west side of the city, beyond the borders of the old walls and the ditch.
Situated about 20 min eastwards of Taungoo over the Sittaung River, Myat Saw Nyi Naung Wooden Lounge has a distinctive look with long roofed paths that connect various wooden boats and carpentry with Buddha-paintings. It is the largest of the Taungoo area' s yearly festivals, taking place around the fullmoon of the moon in Tabaung (March).
Taungoo's Sittaung River Valley position makes it an ideal base for two-way mountain outings. Thandaung Gyi is an old mountain resort 44 kilometres eastwards of Taungoo at almost 1300 metres aboveseas. Situated in the state of Kayin, the city has only been open to international visitors since early 2013 and therefore does not have the facilities of more attractive tourist locations such as Bagan and Inle.
But the area is an incomparable piece of nature and an opportunity to leave the well-trodden paths and discover a city where Nepali Kayin and Nepali descendants live. The best way to reach Thandaung Gyi is by car, as the means of transportation are uneven. There is no clear answer as to whether foreign nationals are allowed to stay in the city:
A number of guests were permitted to remain, while others were sent back to Taungoo at sunset by the locals. However, the lodging is restricted to very simple guest houses - the baths are divided and sleep on the ground with thin ceilings - operated by the Zion Hill Baptist Church and the Anglican Church.
Thandaung Gyi is located in the city of Thandaung Lay, 21 kilometres eastwards of Taungoo. Here is the Shwe Thandaung Resort, where you can stay in country cottages in the woods on the shore of Pathi Creek. Its 100 hectares of property are twice as large as a 20,000-tree walnut-plantage.
From Thandaung Lay the path begins to ascend sharply into the wooded hills and climbs further to Thandaung Gyi, 23 kilometres eastwards of the village. Doung Gyi is a small city with cold, humid climate. It' s renowned for its plantation of teas and coffees, and there is still an old teaprocessing plant in the city from the Colonies, which now makes dried teas for the Myanmar military.
Thandaung Gyi's most dramatic site is 1462 meters high Naw Bu Baw's Mount, called after a mythical witchess, who was charged with sorcery and held prisoner in a cavern on the summit. If you are looking for more adventure, you can drive westwards of Taungoo into the rugged Bago Yoma Mountains to see Asiatic elephant in the woodwork.
Excursions of this kind are subject to approval and an expert tour leader and can be arranged at Taungoo by Dr. Chan Aye at Myanmar Beauty Guesthouse or Bae Oo at Mother's House Hotel. It is a unique chance to take a stroll on the rugged side of Myanmar.