Pha An is the capital of Kayin State. It is a small, energetic and friendly town located 270 kilometres east of Yangon across a bridge from Thanlyin River (Myanmar part of Salween River). It has recently been open to foreign travellers. The major attraction in the area include Pha An’s landmark Mount Zwekabin (722 meters above sea level), Kawkun Cave (a sacred site with thousands of Buddha images and a hidden gallery of 7th Century artwork located 8 miles south of Pha An) and Kyauk Kalap (a sole column of rock standing sheer out of a lake), and Saddan Cave (a breathtakingly huge cavern containing many Buddha images inside).
It is the fourth largest city of Myanmar after Yangon and Mandalay, the capital and the largest city of Mon State and the main trading center and seaport in south eastern Myanmar. It is situated at the mouth of Thanlwin (Salween) River, 300 kilometres south east of Yangon. During the colonial times, it is also known as “Little England” due to the large Anglo-Burmese community.
The major attraction in Mawlamyaing is Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, also well known as Kipling’s Pagoda. The 150 meters tall Pagoda overlooking the town centre is the highest structure in town. It was built in 875 AD and believed to enshrine the hair relic of the Buddha.
The most prominent landmark is the 3333 metres long Thanlwin Bridge, the longest road and rail bridge in Myanmar, stretching over the Thanlwin (Salween) River.
The other major attraction located 20 kilometre south of Mawlamyaing is Win Sein Taw Ya Pagoda, the world’s largest reclining Buddha image. It is 180 metres long and 30 metres high. There are numerous rooms with dioramas of the teachings of Buddha inside the Pagoda. It is the world’s largest reclining Buddha image.
It is located 64 kilometres south of Mawlamyaing in Mon State of Myanmar, famous for Thai – Burma death railway linking up with the pre-war coastal railway between Ye and Rangoon which was constructed during World War II under the Japanese occupation. During the WWII, it was also a Japanese Prisoner of war camp for the prisoners who worked on building the railway. Tens of thousands of people including the allied prisoners of wars died during the construction of this railway. More than 3,000 Allied Prisoner of Wars are buried in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery.