Taungoo is a city between Yangon and Naypyitaw. This town is famous because of the palm tree and also well-known among the betel lovers. You can easily access there from Yangon by bus and it may take around 4 hours. Furthermore, this city serves as a stopover during the border crossing tours before continue to Bagan.
Taungoo Dynasty History
200 years ago between the 16th and 18th centuries, this city was well-known in Myanmar according to the history. Moreover, it served as the capital of Myanmar during 1500s. For now, Kaytumadi is the current central command and Armed Forces city of Taungoo.
In 1287, during the waning days of Bagan, Taungoo was discovered. After the falling dawn of Bagan Empire, it adjusted under the rules of Myinsai and Pinya Kingdoms. Then it revolted and achieve independence until 1367 and become the partner of Innwa (Ava) Kingdom.
There are some historic sites which still remains survive. Moreover, all sides of the city wall prevail from the dynastic period. During the 19th century, this district comprises 52 wards including Naypyidaw. In 1940, the British Royal Air Force constructed airstrip in the north of the town. Finally, they applied this area as a training ground for the 1st American Volunteer Group which is famous as the Flying Tigers.
What to do in Taungoo?
As it was founded hundreds years ago and one of historical sites in Myanmar, it has some of the interesting attractions to explore.
It is in the center of town which is one the most awe-inspiring pilgrimage site. The bell shape central stupa gilded and dated around 1597. At the north entrance, you will see the Kings of Taungoo ever since this town commenced. Furthermore, there is a round building which house a reclining Buddha Image. On the west of the stupa, there is a 12 feet high sitting bronze Buddha image. In 1912, the donor offered the bronze and the ton of it was equal to his body weight. He passed away after the casting of Buddha image and beyond the image, you can find his ashes.
At the south of Shwesandaw Pagoda, there is a modern golden stupa which include many glass mosaics. Beside the pagoda is a white building museum which include the image of Erawan (the three headed elephant) and different types of Buddha images.
Than Daung Gyi
It lies in the east of Taungoo elegant spot around the Bwlhlkho mountain range just north of Kayin State. Like the famous towns of Pyin Oo Lwin and Kalaw, British founded Than Daung Gyi as a hill station so as to flee from the heat. So you can find some buildings from the British period including the old fortress and tea factory. Moreover, you can explore around the tea plantations, forest trails, waterfall and hot spring at Taw Pyar Gyi. From Taungoo to Than Daung Gyi, you have to take nearly 3 hours to pass through the dense forest by the car.