Not far from Bagan, the city of Pakokku is famous for its top quality agricultural products. A visit to Pakokku is a great opportunity for you to learn about the Burmese and their local traditions.
Not far from Bagan, in the center of Myanmar, is the Pakokku market town. The city was once a very important trading port. Even today, Pakokku continues to be a trading center between the Chindwin and Yaw Rivers. The city is famous for its top quality agricultural products such as peanuts, sesame, rice and cotton. In addition, Pakokku is an important Buddhist center, with more than 8 monasteries and many pagodas.
A visit to Pakokku is most often organized as a one-day excursion. You can reach Bagan in a half of an hour. With a large market, a cigar factory and an impressive traditional know-how, Pakokku is an interesting to walk around. You can also walk away from the city center to the archaeological site of Pakhangyi.
1. How to get to Pakokku
During your tour in Burma, you will surely have to visit the city of Bagan. To get away from the beaten track and the mass of tourists, it’s better for you to go to Pakokku for a day.
By road: By bus or taxi, it is very easy to leave Bagan to reach Pakokku. Buses depart from Bagan throughout the day. The journey takes about 1 hour, and will cost you 1.5USD. Buses also depart regularly from Monywa (US $ 2.3, 3 hours) and Mandalay (US $ 5, 7 hours).
By boat: Most boat trips have disappeared since the inauguration of the bridge linking Bagan and Pakokku. However, if you want to sail from Bagan to Pakokku, you can rent a private boat (maximum 10 people per boat). It will cost you 60USD for a round trip, and the journey lasts between 1.30 and 2.00.
To get around town, you can either walk or rent a bike (much cheaper than a taxi).
In terms of housing supply, it’s very limited in Pakokku. However, there is a downtown hotel, with rooms with the price of 25USD per night. If you need another option, we recommend you to stay in an inhabitant’s house. It’s forbidden for the Burmese to welcome people to their homes for compensation. Therefore, it’s a great opportunity to experience a “night at the inhabitant’s house” in Burma.
2. What to do during your stay in Pakokku
During your tour in Burma, a one-day trip to Pakokku certainly brings you fresh feelings. You will immerse yourself in the daily life of the Burmese, and discover the local craftsmanship.
The place has various monuments to visit, including the Watchtower. Located in the monastery of the city center, it was built during the colonial period by the British.
One of the most beautiful pagodas in the city is the Shwe Ku Pagoda. It is famous for its carved wooden ornaments, and its image of Buddha sitting on a lotus throne. The second is the Thiho Shin Pagoda. It contains one of the most venerated representations of Burma, the King of Ceylon.
In terms of traditional know-how, besides plantations of tobacco, cotton and other agricultural products, you can find a cotton weaving factory, the pride of the region. Napkins or toiletries or multicolored covers can be bought there.
The incense sticks of Thanakhar are very famous, being used as offerings in the pagodas of the whole country. The main ingredients used are Thi and Ma Kyee, and Thanakha.
After your tour in Pakokku, you can head to the ancient city of Pakhangyi, which still retains more than 380 monuments today. The walls of the city are the most important in Myanmar. There is an archaeological museum and one of the oldest wooden monasteries in the area.
The city of Pakokku may not seem important compared to the major tourist centers of Myanmar. However, this is one of the places that you will not have to regret your visit, as you learn about the Burmese and their local traditions.
During a stay in Burma, this is perhaps one of the most authentic destinations you will be given to see.