Monywa lies on the Chindwin River 3 hours by car from Mandalay. It’s most famous these days for it’s two most interesting sites, the marvelously gaudy Thanboddhay Pagoda and the massive Buddha statues & thousands of Bo-trees at Bodhitataung. Monywa is the best jumping off point for some of the world’s best preserved 14-17th century Buddhist mural paintings in the 900+ caves at Po Win Daung.
Bodhitataung: The Mahar Bodhitataung Laykyun Setkyar Buddha, known commonly as Bodhi Tataung Standing Buddha, stands 129 meters high and is the second tallest Buddha statue in the world. To give you an idea, the Statue of Liberty stands only 93 meters. It real is quite a sight. And yes, you can climb up inside the Buddha and see the 4 Universes! The Buddha is not alone, and the world’s former longest reclining Buddha, at more than 300 feet, is close by. The recently constructed Yadana Taung reclining Buddha in southern Myanmar now blows it away, at 565 feet!
Thanboddhay Pagoda: Built in 1301 by Mohnyin Sayadaw, the unusual pagoda boast 582,363 Buddha images in a variety of rows, niches and ascending tiers, both inside and out. The pagoda is in town itelf, and is Monywa’s number one attraction.