Sprawling north of Yangon, the Bago Region lies on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River in the south-central part of Myanmar. Its capital (also known as Bago) is said to have been founded by two Mon princes in the 6th century following an auspicious sighting and was almost completely destroyed by King Alaungpaya in 1757.
Things to do in Bago
Whether you want to get lost in the bustling streets of Bago or discover the religious sites dotting the surrounding countryside, the Bago Region is well worth the adventure from Yangon.
Explore Bago’s sacred sites. Bago is home to the tallest pagoda in Myanmar, the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, a 10th-century gilded landmark that’s often referred to as the Golden God Temple. Don’t miss the Kyaikpun Pagoda, renowned for its statue depicting four Buddhas seated in different positions. At the Shwethalyaung Temple, you’ll find the world’s second-largest reclining Buddha statue, which measures 55 metres in length.
Visit the Shwesandaw Pagoda. In the centre of Pyay is one of Myanmar’s most important Buddhist pilgrimage destinations, the Shwesandaw Pagoda, which is believed to enshrine hair relics of the Buddha. Legend states that it was built in 589 BC and it remains bustling with worshippers today. Witness one of Buddha’s teeth in the Sacred Tooth Hall before soaking up the panoramic views toward the seated Buddha of Sehtatgyi Paya.
Cruise to Akauk Taung. From the village of Htonbo, rent a boat to marvel at the Buddha images of Akauk Taung, which have been carved into a cliff face overlooking the Irrawaddy River. Along the way, enjoy the scenic landscapes as they roll by, with both fishermen and cargo boats plying the water. On arrival at Akauk Taung, you can climb the steep trail that leads to its clifftop pagoda.
Getting around Bago
Yangon International Airport is around 1.5 hours’ drive from the Bago Region and has flights to destinations across Asia and the Middle East. Long-distance buses connect to Bago while local services travel throughout the region, accessing most of its attractions.