Bago, formerly known as Pegu, is a city and capital of the Bago region in Myanmar, about 80km from Yangon. Bago is famous with impressive architectural works and ancient temples that attract many tourists coming to visit each year. All of this made Bago into an ideal destination for your wonderful trip from Yangon or if you have finished traveling Yangon, this city is also the next spot you should go.
Shwethalyaung Buddha is a famous reclining Buddha, located in the west of the city. The statue was built by the Mon ethnic group in 994 under the reign of Migadepa. After Bago was completely destroyed by the Burmese in 1757, this Buddha statue was abandoned in the jungle. The statue was found and in 1881by an English railway contractor when the British ruled the country. With 55 meters long and 16 meters high, the statue is the second largest Buddha statue in the world. It is surrounded with decorative glass panels showcasing the life events of the Buddha and guardian spirits.
Kanbawzathadi Palace was built during the reign of King Bayinnaung (1551-1581 BC), who found the second dynasty of Myanmar. After Hantharwaddy city was relocated, the king rebuilt the new palace in the south of Shwemawdaw Temple and named Kanbawzathadi in 1556. The original palace consists of 76 apartments and halls, however, it was burned in 1599 before being reconstructed in 1990 and finished in 1992. Now, the palace is one of the most attractive travel destinations in Bago.
Maha Kalyarni Sima
Sima or Buddhist ordination Hall was built for Buddhism. Maha Kalyarni Sima was built by King Dhammazeddi in the 15th century which resembles the Kalyarni Hall of Sri Langka. This huge hall has long been a place for the devotees of Theravada Buddha. It was destroyed in 1599 by Portuguese adventurer – Philip De Brito and natural disasters before being restored many times to keep its original architecture. With two main colors yellow and white, the hall consists of 10 tablets of Pali and Mon inscriptions, a beautiful marble covered interior and 28 Buddha images.
The temple is famous with four giant images of Buddha seated back to back. According to legend, four Mon sisters have helped build the statues and if one of them got married, one of statues would be collapsed. In 1930, a Buddha statue actually was destroyed by an earthquake and then it was renovated later on. Kyaikpun Temple is located about 1,5 km from Bago and a few hundred meters West of the main road connecting Bago with Yangon.
Shwegugale Paya is an old temple but very beautiful. Unlike other temples, it has a unique cylindrical structure and is home to 64 Buddha statues. The temple was built in 1494 under the reign of Burma King Byinnya Yan. It is located in the south of Shwwmawdaw Temple.
As its name, it is home to an enormous Burmese Python. This snake is the reincarnation of the monk who oversaw the construction of the monastery who tragically died before its completion. Now he resides in a temple beside the monastery and is revered by the resident monks. Whether you believe this story or not, the Snake Monastery is still an attraction that worth a visit in Bago.
Hintha Gon Pagoda
Hintha Gon is located behind the Shwemawdaw Temple on a hill overlooking the city. This pagoda is a great place for visitors to get a breathtaking view of Bago city. You can also see a statue of a bird at the top of the hill. This is symbolic of the birds in Burmese legend about Lord Buddha’s prediction concerning Bago city.