Moulmein is the city of the most impressive marks of colonial style. A tailor-made trip to Moulmein will be the occasion to discover unique architectures and nostalgic atmosphere there.
If you ever wondered how the life in the colonial period was, a visit to Moulmein (now called Mawlamyine) would be undoubtedly the best way to go back that time.
The city retains the memory of its colonial past, with its typical architecture of that time, its buses dating from the Second World War and its proximity to the “railroad of Death” of Siam-Burma.
Stopping at Moulmein as a part of your tour in Burma, you can enjoy the city with a unique atmosphere, and its melting pot of ethnicity, religions and languages. Moulmein is an intoxicating blend of beauty and melancholy in an enchanting setting.
1. How to get to Moulmein and stay there
By bus: Most travelers arrive in Mawlamyine by night bus from Yangon. This is one of the cheapest options, which costs only 10USD per person for buses with air conditioning and enough large space for your legs. It takes about 7 hours to get from Yangon, with one or two stops on the way for dinner and relax.
By taxi / car: You can rent a car with driver quite easily in Yangon. Some taxis will take you from Yangon to Moulmein if you offer them an interesting rate.
By train: There are two departures from Yangon (at 8 am and 6 pm). It will take 9 hours for the ride, and cost 6USD for a second-class ticket and 14USD for a first-class one. You can enjoy the bucolic countryside on the way.
By plane: From Yangon, two flights are operated weekly by Myanmar Airways on Thursday and Saturday. Only 40 minutes are required. However, this schedule is quite often changed.
As it is a relatively small town, walking is a great way to visit Moulmein. Another choice is a motorcycle taxi, which takes you anywhere in town for about 0.8USD.
The supply of housing is quite limited. However, there are accommodations for all types of budget (8USD for a room in guesthouses and up to 40USD for a more prestigious hotel).
For dining, the majority of Western restaurants are on the banks of the river. However, you will find more traditional restaurants all over town.
2. What to visit, what to do during your visit to Moulmein
One of the main attractions of a trip to Moulmein in Myanmar is to discover its colonial-inspired architecture that will enchant the lovers of old stone. Walk through the streets of the city, discover its old buildings and dive into the past.
In Moulmein, you will also be able to contemplate many religious monuments, including pagodas, monasteries and old churches. The U Zina, Mahamuni and Kyaik Than Lan pagodas (which has an incredible relic of a Buddha’s hair) are particularly well-known.
You can also climb Mawlamyine Hill, where many Buddhist temples and pagodas have been built, and enjoy an extraordinary view of the city.
Strand Road, the street along the Thanlwin River, is a pleasant place to relax and admire the sunset. There are many restaurants and cafes.
For shopping enthusiasts, go to the Zeigyi Market, often referred to as the shopping area of Moulmein. Go early in the morning to have a chance to experience the local daily life.
Focus on: Gaung Se Island
“Gaung Se” literally means shampooing in the local language. This name was given to it during the Ava period, when water from the island was used at the annual Royal Shampoo ceremony. To get to Gaung Se, you need to rent a small traditional boat on the banks of the river.
Moulmein is a strange combination of landscape among cities of Burma. It is a melting pot of languages and customs of different ethnicities in the heart of Burmese society, which evolves in a city with a colonial atmosphere.
During your stay in Burma, do not hesitate to stop in this cosmopolitan city, which will allow you to relax for a while by immersing yourself in the past. A tailor-made trip to Moulmein will entertain young and old alike, and will be the occasion to create unforgettable memories!