On the eastern banks of Chindwin River, situated 136 km from Mandalay, lies another trading town for trade with the western part of Myanmar and India. There are several markets. The town is partly rebuilt as there was a large fire 50 years ago.
Aside from trading, people live on logging, Kyauka lacquerware, planting various kind of crops such as rice, beans and peanuts.
On the outskirts of Monywa is the famous Lei-Di monastery located who’s former head monk was adored by Myanmar Buddhists.
A bit out of town is a famous lacquerware manufacturing in the village of Kyaukkha.
There is a large copper mine on the other side of the River.
It takes around 3 hours from Mandalay by car.
Is situated 11 km from Monywa towards Mandalay. It was built between 1939 and 1943. It was built only 60 years ago and features countless Buddha Images and many smaller stupas. It must be taken into account that this Pagoda complex was built during the hardship of the 2nd Worldwar. Usually Lion figures (Chinthe) guard the entrances of Pagodas complex, in this case it’s Elephants carved from Stone. The Pagoda was built with reference to to the Pali language Sambodhae rhyme in Buddha’s teachings.
6km away is another Pagoda called Bodhitataung. In the outer compound you can see glass mosaic elephants and horses. In the middle compund, there are Buddha images and Nats figures (spirits). In the inner compound, you can see thousands of Bo-trees (Ficus religiosa). Under every Bo-tree, you can see Buddha images mostly in meditation posture.
The Chindwin flows into the Ayeyarwady 80 km further downstream near Pakkoku. It is a wide stream through Monywa town. It originates in the far northwestern part of Myanmar and flows 1,000 km through the plains in Sagaing Division in the North East.
The Chindwin is the largest tributary to the Ayeyarwady.
PO WIN DAUNG CAVES
Shweba Daung is near Po Win Daung (Hpo Win Daung) Caves; one has walk a steep staircase from which you can enter the man made caves. There are standing and lying Buddha Images, a big stone bowl and elephants carved from rock. Most of the mural paintings are from the late Kongbaung Era (around 17th to 18th century).
Travelers who go from Monywa to Bagan will reach Pakokku town on the Western Ayeyarwady banks to continue from there by boat to Bagan. The town itself is another trading center for tobacco, cotton blankets and loungyi (The Myanmar “sarong”). There are toy paper making workshops in Pakokku.
ALAUNGDAW KATSAPA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (NEED PRIOR PERMISSION)
Alaung Daw Katsapa wild life sanctuary is situated another 90km from Poe Win Hill. You will have to drive on a rough road and continue by elephant ride.
There is a lot of wildlife around this area like wild elephants, tigers, and foxes.
One can visit Alaungdaw Katsapa Cave.