Third leg of our 9-day temple run vacation takes us to Bago (home of the second largest reclining Buddha in the world) and the Taukkyan War Cemetery.
Instead of booking a cab through the hostel (for Ks 70,000), we decided to try our luck at looking for a cheaper air-conditioned cab at the taxi queue outside Sedona Hotel. Luckily, we met Ko Par Pu who was willing to drive us to Bago and Taukkyan War Cemetery for Ks 60,000.
Ko Par Pu
We highly recommend Par Pu. He understands and speaks moderate English, basic Mandarin Chinese, and fluent Japanese. His taxi is well-maintained and has very good air-conditioning. He is very friendly and attentive. We have no qualms about leaving some of our bags in his taxi. He even gave us a pack of wet tissue to freshen up after touring the temples.
Visitors are required to purchase a Bago Archeological Zone ticket for Ks 10,000 which covers visits to most of the sites in Bago and is valid for 1 week.
Again, dress code when visiting pagodas around Myanmar:
- No footwear or socks
- Length of shorts or skirts must be below the knees
- No sleeveless tops or plunging necklines
Basically, dress conservatively. The locals will not call you out on your attire, but they will give you a disapproving glance.
Shwe Mawdaw Pagoda
Camera Fee: Ks 300
Contrary to popular belief, the Shwe mawdaw Pagoda is the tallest pagoda in Myanmar, although most people argue that the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is the tallest. It is as impressive as the Shwedagon pagoda, but is less crowded and more peaceful.
Kanbawzathadi Palace site and museum
Kanbawzathadi Palace is a reconstruction of the original royal palace from the second Myanmar empire. It now houses relics and teak pillars found during the excavations.
Kyaik Pun Pagoda
The pagoda houses four large Buddha seated back-to-back around a square pillar.
Shwe Tha Lyaung Pagoda
Camera Fee: Ks 300
The Shwethar lyaung Pagoda houses the second largest reclining Buddah in the world at 55m in length and 16m in height. The reclining Buddha is awe-inspiring and would’ve been more impressive if not for the gray steel columns of the building. (P.S. Our companion used her phone to take pictures and wasn’t charged any camera fee.)
The stairs leading to the Buddha is flanked by stores selling souvenirs and longyis. Oddly, they don’t have souvenir items specific to Bago. The shirts, magnets, mugs, and keychains they’re selling all have Yangon or general Myanmar designs.
Three Five restaurant
We decided we didn’t want Burmese food for lunch, so Par Pu brought us to Three Five restaurant which is known for their Chinese dishes. The menu has pictures on it which helped us a lot when ordering. The owner was a helpful Chinese guy who speaks Burmese, English and fluent Mandarin Chinese. We spent Ks. 30,000 for a meal for 5 people: Fried rice with pork and cashew, Pineapple Chicken, Sauteed morning glory, fried fish and 2 big bottles of Myanmar beer. The food tasted great, presentation is good, service is awesome; overall it is worth every Kyat. The wifi in the restaurant is the fastest we’ve encountered during our stay in Myanmar.
Taukkyan War Cemetery
A memorial to more than 30,000 allied soldiers who died during the second world war. A reminder that “They died for all free men.”
Budget for Bago & Taukkyan
|Taxi (Ks 60,000 + Ks. 10,000 tip for 4 people)||17,500|
|Bago Archaeological Fee||10,000|
|Lunch (Ks. 30,000 total split among 4 peopple)||7,500|
|Total||Ks. 42,300 ~ US$ 42.3|