Monywa is a lovely town, situated on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River and a major trade centre for agricultural products from the surrounding Chindwin Valley. It is the gateway to the magnificent Thanboddhay pagoda complex, with its 845 stupas, 7.350 statues and almost 600.000 sacred images of the Buddha, as well as the quiet impressive sandstone Hpa Win Daung Caves.
Thanboddhay Pagoda: this attraction 20km southeast of Monywa. It was built between 1939 and 1952; so fairly new it is an interesting site. It mainly imposes through the over 500.000 small images of Buddha's disciplines featured inside of the Pagoda. The Pagoda itself looks from outside vaguely like Borobudur in Indonesia, just in gold. There is a little watchtower on the compound, on which man are allowed to climb up and enjoy the view over the pagoda.
Boddhi-Tataung (1000 Buddhas): 4km from Thanboddhay Pagoda is this grove of Banyan trees, each with a Buddha image placed at its foot.
Aung Setkya Paya: is a Pagoda nearby the Boddhi-Taung, which is surrounded by 1060 small zedis. A good view over this compound is from in front of the large 90m long reclining Buddha, which is placed up the hill. It is hollow inside and features some stories of Buddhas life with men height figures.
Ledi Kyaung: monastery founded by the famous monk Ledi Sayadaw. There are 806 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist scriptures in Pali and their Burmese translation.
Hpo Win Daung Caves: this magnificent sandstone caves named after U Hpo Win a famous alchemist who once lived there, they feature various beautiful fine murals and Buddha images, some of them are date as far back as the 14th and 16th century, mostly the ones with the smaller entrance. The most of the over 200.000 large and small caves exhibit the Inwa (Ava) style from the 17th and 18th century.
Shwebataung Paya: (right next to Hpo Win Daung) these large caves, like temples, with very colorful entrances have been cut into the sandstone in the 18th century. Amazing are the long stairways with the straight tall walls leading down to the complex.
Kyaukka village: is right behind Shwe Gu Ni Paya and the original place for Lacquer Ware, though today the main finishing place is Bagan. The pieces produced here are more utilitarian and basic.