Taungoo

A popular stop on the drive from Bago and Yangon north to Hpo Kyar Elephant Camp and Kalaw, Taungoo was once the capital of the second Burmese Empire, founded in 1486. In 1535, the Taungoo (or Kaytumadi dynasty) King Tabinshwehtee launched a military campaign from Taungoo that unified much of Myanmar. After his death in 1551 his brother-in-law, the celebrated King Bayintnaung consolidated his success and achieved stunning military victories against Manipur (now in India) and Siam (Thailand)at their capital, Ayutthaya. The dynasty’s last King, Natshinnaung, is famous for his love of literature and revered for his personal contribution to Myanmar poetry. Today’s town boasts and interesting market and Kandawgyi Lake, a popular place to stop for lunch.

Highlights.
Shwesandaw Pagoda.

In the town centre guarded by two gold lions, this pagoda dating from 1597 is the town’s most important. It is said that the pagoda stands on the site of a much earlier pagoda which housed a hair of the Buddha.

Myasigon Pagoda.

This pagoda is best known for its glass mosaics and museum displaying many bronze Erawan images, and bric-a-brac from the British colonial period.

Kaytumadi Palace.

The palace area was bombed during WWII but most of the walls and moat remain. The ruins are overgrown and in poor condition but give an indication of the importance of the city in the 16th Century.

Myanmar Cycling Tours  can arrange transportation to Taungoo by air-conditioned car from Yangon. Taungoo is a convenient stop for those driving the circular route of Myanmar’s main attractions and there is good standard accommodation available. It is also possible for us to arrange a hire car in Mandalay and stop in Taungoo on the route south back to Yangon. Yangon to Taungoo is a six hour drive.


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