Yangon, the former capital & gate way to Myanmar (Burma); Myanmar (Burma) people with Myanmar (Burma) culture, tradition, religion, costume, language, lifestyle, arts and crafts are mixing with modern technologies to greet the tourist coming to Myanmar from all over the world. The Shwe Dagon Pagoda, 100 m rise over the city welcomes you Yangon, the capital city and gateway to Myanmar, is one of the most attractive cities in the East with tree-lined streets, shaded parks, gardens and lakes. Whichever way , you come, by sea up the Yangon river, or by air, there is the Shwedagon greeting you, even beckoning you announcing unmistakably that you have touched an essentially Buddhist country, the land of the golden pagodas. Yangon is unique among the Asia cities, a happy blend of Eastern mystic and religious charm, with modern living conveniences. Yangon has been impressive as one of the world’s best planned cities, in standard of both compactness and mathematical uniformity, which can be obviously seen from the straight streets and roads that intersect at right angles. Yet this metropolis is not a dreary cluster of big buildings. Its fringes are beautified by pagodas, spacious parks and its atmosphere cooled by the Kandawgyi (Royal), Inya and Kokine lakes. Not far from the official and commercial hub of city are typical Myanmar residential localities with rows of timber houses, palm trees and monasteries. The Yangon River gives it color and a peninsular look (from aerial view) touching the city in the east, south and west.
Unlike many capitals, which raise up the barrier of modernity and commerce against the provincial countryside around, Yangon seems to absorb the fields and villages of Myanmar into itself. Yangon has the same green warmth of the surrounding countryside and the whole of the smiling, unspoiled interior waits for you to explore
Interesting Places in Yangon : Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda & Downtown Area, Bogyoke Aung San Market, National Museum, Botathaung Pagoda, Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda, China Town, Royal Kandawgyi Lake
Htautkyant War Cemetery
Htaukkyant War Cemetery adjoins the village of Htaukkyant which is about 35 km north of Yangon (formerly Rangoon). Htaukkyant War Cemetery is the largest of the three war cemeteries in Burma (Myanmar). It was begun in 1951 for the reception of graves from four battlefield cemeteries at Akyab, Mandalay, Meiktila and Bhamo which were difficult to access and could not be maintained. The last was an original ‘Chindit’ cemetery containing many of those who died in the battle for Myitkbina. The graves have been grouped together at Htakkyant to preserve the individuality of these battlefield cemeteries Burials were also transferred from civil and cantonment cemeteries, and from a number of isolated jungle and roadside sites. Because of prolonged post-war unrest, considerable delay occurred before the Army Graves Service was able to complete their work, and in the meantime many such graves had disappeared. However, when the task was resumed, several hundred more graves were retrieved from scattered positions throughout the country and brought together here. The cemetery now contains 6374 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 867 of them unidentified. In the 1950s, the graves of 52 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War were brought into the cemetery form the following Thaukyant Photo cemeteries where permanent maintenance was not possible: Henzada (1), Keiktila Cantonment (8), Theyetmyo New (5), Thamakan (4), Mandalay Military (12), and Maymyo Cantonment (22). Htaukkyant War Cemetery also contains: The Rangoon Memorial, which bears the names of almost 27000 men of the Commonwealth land forces who died during the campaigns in Burma and who have no known grave. The Htaukkyant Cremation Memorial commemorating more than 1000 Second World War causalities whose remains were cremated in accordance with their faith. The Htaukkyant Memorial which commemorates 45 servicemen of both wars who died and were buried elsewhere in Burma but whose graves could not be maintained.
Syriam, a picturesque resort and historical town, is one of the tourist attractions of Myanmar.
This small romantic town is famous for its tragic legend which is still popular among the Myanmar people. The legend started with a love affair between the Princess of Syriam and the Prince of Okkalapa (now Yangoon) which ended in tragedy just like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Syriam is also known for its historical sites. One example is the famous Kyaik-khauk pagoda about two miles from Syriam where you can study the ancient Myanmar architecture. In the pagoda compound there are tombs of Natshinaung and Padethayaza who were famous for their literary works.
Interesting Places in Thanlyin : Colorful market, Kyaik-kauk Pagoda, Yele-hpaya Pagoda (Kyauk-tan)
According to legend, two Mon princess from Thaton founded Bago in 573 AD. It was written in the chronicles that eight years after enlightenment, Lord Buddha along with his disciples flew around the Southeast Asian countries. On his return journey while crossing the Gulf of Martaban, which happened to be at low tide, he saw two golden sheldrakes sitting, female on top of male, on a peak of land protruding out of the sea just enough for a bird’s perch. Viewing this strange phenomenon, he predicted to his disciples that one day a country where his doctrine would thrive would come into existence in this vast sea area. That part of the sea, when it was silted up and ready for habitation approximately 1500 years after the prediction, was colonized by Mons from the Thaton Kingdom. Thus, the Mons became the first rulers of this country known in history as Hongsawatoi (Pali Hamsavati). Other variations on the name include Hanthawaddy, Hanthawady and Handawaddy; and in Thai หงสาวดี ี Hongsawadi.
The earliest mention of this city in history is by the Arab geographer Ibn Khudadhbin around 850 AD. At the time, the Mon capital had shifted to Thaton. The area came under rule of the Burmese from Bagan in 1056. After the collapse of Bagan to the Mongols in 1287, the Mon regained their independence.
In Lower Burma, a Mon dynasty established itself first at Martaban and then at Pegu. During the reign of king Rajadhirat (1383–1421) Ava and Pegu were involved in continuous warfare. The peaceful reign of Queen Baña Thau (Burmese: Shin Saw Bu; 1453-72) came to an end when she chose the Buddhist monk Dhammazedi (1472-92) to succeed her. Under Dhammazedi Pegu became a centre of commerce and Theravada Buddhism.
From 1369-1539, Hanthawaddy was the capital of the Mon Kingdom of Ramanadesa, which covered all of what is now Lower Burma. The area came under Burman control again in 1539, when it was annexed by King Tabinshweti to his Kingdom of Taungoo. The kings of Taungoo made Bago their royal capital from 1539-1599 and again in 1613-1634, and used it as a base for repeated invasions of Siam. As a major seaport, the city was frequently visited by Europeans, who commented on its magnificence. The Burmese capital relocated to Ava in 1634. In 1740, the Mon revolted and briefly regained their independence, but Burmese King Alaungpaya (or U Aungzeya) sacked and completely destroyed the city (along with Mon independence) in 1757.
Bago was rebuilt by King Bodawpaya (1782-1819), but by then the river had shifted course, cutting the city off from the sea. It never regained its previous importance. After the Second Anglo-Burmese War, the British annexed Bago in 1852. In 1862, the province of British Burma was formed, and the capital moved to Yangon. The name Bago is spelt peh kou literally. The substantial differences between the colloquial and literary pronunciations, as with Burmese words, was a reason of the British corruption “Pegu”.
Interesting Places in Bago : Kyaik Pun Pagoda, Shwethalyaung Pagoda, Shwemawdaw Pagoda,Kanbawzathardi Palace Complex Kyaik Pun Pagoda is a temple before you enter Bago city. Most notably, Kyaik Pun Paya is the home to the Four Seated Buddha shrine, a 90 ft (27 m) statue depicting the Buddha seated in four positions, sitting back to back. The Four Seated Buddha was erected in the 15th century.
The Shwethalyaung Pagoda is a reclining Buddha in the west side of Bago (Pegu), Burma (Myanmar).bago tour The Buddha, which has a length of 55 m (180 ft) and a height of 16 m (52 ft), is the second largest Buddha in the world, after the 74 m reclining Buddha in Dawei (Tavoy).The Buddha is believed to have been built in 994, during the reign of Mon King Migadepa. It was lost in 1757 when Pegu was pillaged, and during British colonial rule, in 1880, the Shwethalyaung Buddha was rediscovered. Restoration began in 1881, and Buddha’s mosaic pillows (on its left side) were added in 1930.
The Shwemawdaw Paya is a Pagoda in Bago, Myanmar, often referred to as the Golden God Temple. It is the Shwemadaw which holds the record for the tallest pagoda in the country, at 375 feet, although the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is usually credited as the tallest pagoda in Myanmar (at 98 meters – approximately 321.5ft). Shwemadaw, along with the Shwedagon and Kyaiktiyo are famous Mon pagodas.
Kanbawzathadi Palace is a palace in Bago, Burma.bago tourIt was built by king Bayinnaung (Sinphyumyarshin), the founder of the second Myanmar Empire.The king built the palace in A.D 1556 originally with 76 apartments and halls. It was reconstructed in 1990 and finished in 1992.<ps=”font1 tcolor002″>TaungGoo
TAUNGOO (Second Myanmar Empire)
How to get there?
175 miles away form city Yangon. You can access by public bus, private cars and Yangon-Mandalay Express Train but not in accordance with schedule sometimes.
Where to stay and where to dine?
Nowadays, you can lodge at luxury hotel –Royal Kaytumadi Hotel and mid range with Myanmar Beauty Guest House. A handful of local decent restaurants and neat and tidy dining hall at hotels are at your choice in Myanmar.
Why so special?
For many foreign independent travelers (FIT), Taungoo has become a nice diversion on the way from Yangon to Mandalay or Inle Lake in Myanmar.
Taungoo has at least one thing to set it apart: history. More than 400 years ago, a dynasty emerged from Taungoo that would for a time command a vast empire, stretching from Manipur in northern India to Thailand and Laos. Today it’s often referred to as the Second Myanmar Empire.
While a quick ride around town reveals little of this past, a few obvious traces remain: the royal lake, some sections of the city wall and the moat, now covered in aquatic plants.
A 10-minute ride west of the Yangon-Mandalay highway past the lake and over the moat is Kaungmudaw Pagoda, said to be the oldest religious site in Taungoo (Second Myanmar Empire). In the corner of the compound stands a new statue of the warrior King Bayinnaung (founder of Second Myanmar Empire), who commanded the Taungoo Empire at its zenith.
He is a recurring figure in Myanmar, both past and present – the “universal monarch of legend” who brought together an empire through 30 years of constant warfare, until his death in 1581, aged 66.The historian Godfrey E Harvey describes Bayinnaung’s life as “the greatest explosion of human energy seen in Burma”. His exploits on the battlefield were matched behind closed doors, where Bayinnaung fathered 97 children.
Bayinnaung has also become a favorite of Myanmar’s military government – a giant figure of the Taungoo monarch, along with Anawrahta (founder of First Myanmar Empire) and Alaungpaya (founder of Third Myanmar Empire), guards the entrance to the Defense Services Academy, the elite military training school in Pyin Oo Lwin. Another, nearly completed statue of Bayinnaung stands at the north end of Taungoo.
Shwesandaw Pagoda, The central stupa – the standard bell shape – dates back to 1597 and there are several interesting pavilions in the compound, many of which are being renovated by teams of workers.
Beside the pagoda, below the platform, sits a ruined brick monastery guarded by two white elephant statues. There’s no roof and from the ground level the glassless windows offer views of the sky above. The monastery was built around 1912 by an Indian company and was destroyed by bombing in World War II in Myanmar. It was never rebuilt and a new monastery sits behind the grand ruin. Much of the city was destroyed in the war, as Taungoo was a key battlefield both in the Allied retreat and then recapture of Myanmar. Many of its old buildings have disappeared as a result.
Continue your walking to the central market. At Padaetha Pure Coffee, just north of the market on Bo Hmu Pho Kun Street, you can buy Taungoo souvenir in Myanmar – local coffee grown in the Kayin hills, just 2 ½ dollars a pound in Myanmar.
You can visit to picturesque village stretches along the bank of Kaphaung Creek to where it meets the Sittaung River in Myanmar about 3 kilometers from the highway. In January, the green monotony of paddy fields has given way to a bounty of fruit and vegetables and in their small compounds families grow even more produce. The variety is amazing: mustard, kailan, tomato, onion, corn, mar pe (beans), cauliflower, gourd, and potato – it seems anything can grow here.
Enjoy the view where the rivers meet and watching the fisherman drag their boats up the bank on the opposite side of the Sittaung River, the sun begins to slide behind the horizon, coating everything in an orange haze.
And do not forget to come back to your lodging house before you grope about your way.
Some visitors go to Myanmar Timber Enterprise elephant logging camp in the Bago Yoma, or just to explore the town and the countryside by hiring a motorbike with 5 dollars per day not including fuel. Another option is with bicycle because the terrain is flat enough to keep physical exertion to a minimum level in Myanmar.
Thandaung (New tourist destination in Myanmar)
Thandaung was a small town and a Hill station in the times of the British in Myanmar. It was established in 1900. The Township Administration Office was opened at Leiktho in 1910, and shifted later to Thandaungyi in 1935. In 1951 it became one of the townships in the Kayin State under the law amending the constitutional law of Myanmar. In1959 the Township Administration Office moved from Thandaungyi to 13th Mile Camp in Thandaung Myothit (New Thandaung).
Thandaung Township occupies an area of 1,412.29 square miles, with a total population of 79,232 people in nine wards, 337 villages and 51 village tracts.
In that part of Myanmar there used to be insurgency for about 30 years. Now, peace having been restored, a hill station has begun to emerge, known as Thandaung Hill Station in Thandaung Township, Kayin State in Myanmar.
It is the only resort area nearest to Myanmar’s former capital city Yangon, just 200 miles away. There is not much difference in elevation between Thandaung and Kalaw (one of the hill stations set up by the British, the other being Pyin Oo Lwin built by Col May of the Bengal Army) in the upper region of Myanmar.
Most of the people in the Thandaung region are Kayins, one of the indigenous races of Myanmar. They are good-natured, simple folks earning their livelihood by cultivation. They grow tea and coffee among other things. A tea factory was set up in 1914. At present the Thandaung region has about 700 acres under tea. They also grow edible fruit trees such as lychee and durian.
Bamboo that grows in abundance is the materials from which they make baskets with their unique traditional designs. They make their own bamboo mats to sit on. Most of their houses are built of bamboo and wood. They make use of bamboo in several ingenious ways: as pots to carry water in and even to cook in! They would not swap their disposable bamboo rice-cookers for anything you have for cooking or boiling something in.
They have their traditional dances with traditional songs and music. They wear their traditional costumes, simple in design, yet beautiful to look at, especially on girls most of whom have what some might call fair-skinned Oriental beauty characteristics. They have different local Kayin dialects. You can see their time honored art of weaving still in action or some simple-faced elderly ladies making baskets or bamboo mats enjoying their bamboo tobacco pipes dangling tantalizingly from their mouths.
The Kayins are Myanmar’s’ racial brethren whose racial name used to be spelt erroneously in Englsh as Karens but we’ve always pronounced its second syllable without the rolling ‘r’. The Kayins have a state of their own, Kayin State, bounded on the north by Mandalay Division, Shan State and Kayah state, on the east by Thanlwyin River and its tributary Thounyin River, separating it from Thailand, and on the south and the west by the Mon state in Myanmar.
About 70% of the people in Thanlwyin District are engaged in hillside cultivation and 16% in agriculture. People in the Thandaun region and Thanlwyin District, where there are dense forests, earn their living by extracting timber in Myanmar. Residents of Papun region, on the other hand, grow besides paddy lime and mulberry, and in the south division orange, cotton and tobacco are grown in Myanmar.
There’re lots of forest reserves in the Kayin State that produce teak, Pyin:ma(Myanmar for Lagerstroemia Speciosa), Thin-gun: (Myanmar for Hopea odorata), Ka-nyin (Myanmar for Dipterocar pus Glatus), thit-ya (Myanmar for shoerea obtuse), in (Myanmar for Dipterocarpus tuberculatus), padauk (Myanmar for gun-kino tree) and bamboo. The timber trees are felled and the timber floated down nearby rivers or streams.
The Thandaung Hill Station is a destination tourists should not leave out in their tour program in Myanmar. Plots for three hotel zones have been already allotted. One is materialized with Royal Kaytumadi Hotel in Taungoo and the other with Shwe Thandaung Resort in Thandaung. “Shwe Than Daung Resort is located along the breathtaking Pathi River. It has been designed to look like a traditional Kayin house.
A traveler’s joy lies not only in getting to the destination but also in those things he experience on the way. On his way to Thandaung Hill Station, the first he can enjoy seeing is Taungoo, one of the famous capitals of ancient Myanmar, ranking in some respects with the best-known Mandalay. It is where the past comes alive in the setting of the present. A few miles on, you come to the Bago Yoma Mountain Range, well-known for its abundance in teak forests and wildlife species and plants. Sein Yay & Pho Kyar camps are there for you to see or study various wildlife species and plants. From there it is just a little distance to see elephants working together with men in logging operations.
1. Yangon > Taungoo tour by car / train Overnight at Taungoo (Royal Kaytumadi Hotel **** )
2. Yangon > Golden Rock > Taungoo by car Overnight at Taungoo(Royal Kaytumadi Hotel **** )
Tour Activities in Taungoo & Thandaung
Taungoo city sightseeing, off-road tour to Elephant camps
(½ Day) Sightseeing to Thandaung (with regional travel permit)
Overnight at Thandaung will permit International Travelers very soon
The Golden Rock
Kyaikhtiyo > Myanmar
Travel to south east of Myanmar to Kyaikhtiyo. Visit to Myanmar (Burma) in not complete without visiting wonderful Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda which was built in the year 574 BC more than 2500 years ago and today also known as Golden Rock Pagoda in Myanmar (Burma). Driving up to mountain with hairpin curves say “Welcome to Myanmar!”
History books tell us a thrilling story of the great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Most writers, having seen the huge mass of masonry and wonderful sculpture, decide that the great Pyramid of Cheops (or Khufu) is the largest and among the oldest of architectural monuments. Not only its gigantic sizebut also its geometrical design, together with its 2,300,000 blocks of stone, attract the wonder and delight of a beholder. In one sense it is one of the wonders of the world. But when we deeply consider the employment of more than one million slaves for thirty years to finish this huge royal tomb, we came to realize the fact that the Pharaoh, for his vain glory, caused many sorrows and sufferings to his people; for all pyramids of Egypt were built by slave labour. Thus any autocrat can cause to build other kind of “wonders of the world” in ancient time. So there are seven wonders of the world according to the Western tradition.
We now present one of the wonders of the religious sites of the world, built without slave labour and without authoritarian pressure. It is known in Burma as the Kyaik-hti-yo Cedi, the pagoda of the great hermit. Really, it looks like a head of a hermit. It contains several hairs of the Enlightened Buddha. The precious relics are enshrined inside the chamber. It was built by the ex-prince Tissa who became a hermit in search of truth. He lived near the Zink yaik Mountain ranges together with his brother hermit. And then they moved on to the Muso (Hunter). Mountain to find good teachers. One day the hermits met a yogi and a princess who came to pay respects to them. The couple had a baby and they lett him in the forest.
Now the compassionate hermits took pity on this young infant; they brought up this youth by giving him food and protection. This young boy was destined to become a Sasana Dayaka, a helper of the true Dhamma.
goldenrock tour. At this period the Enlightened One had been preaching the Dhamma in the Majjhimadesa now called India. Knowing that the Sasana would be well established beyond the borders of the Majjhima desa (the Middle Country). He sent one of his Chiet Disciples, Gavampati, to do the missionary work in Lower Burma, the home of the Mon people. He also gave his hairs to be enshrined in pagodas in Thaton (then known as Suvannabhumi). With the help of relics and pagodas peoples of diverse creeds follow the right path of the compassionate Buddha. Tradition records that five hundred Arahats (the Noble Saints with supernatural powers) visited Thaton to teach the Buddha-Dhamma to peoples of all walks of life.
The then regining Mon King Tissadhamma-raja built monasteries for these Buddhist missionaries and pagodas for the Buddha’s relics. The noble Arahats preached the Dhamma for seven days and returned to their own country. Soon after at the request of the two brother-hermits, the Buddha himself came and preached the Dahmma in the Mon country. In order to prolong the duration of the true Sasana, the Buddha gave his hairs to the Kelasa hermit who built a pagoda on the Mount Kelasa to enshrine them. Soon the remaining relics were found to be distributed among the villagers who paid homage to them in veneration.
There Venerable Tissa, the hermit who received the greatest number of the relics made a plan to enshrine them in a unique pagoda on top of a most wonderful cliff situated on a high mountain. Today this mountain is known as the Kyaik-hti-yo Taung, the Mount Kyaik-hti-yo. It means that the hermit’s head is used for bearing the precious relics of the Buddha.
Tradition says that even the great Sakka, king of devas, came down to human abode to assist in finding the right kind of rock on which the famous pagoda should be built. With the help of the Sakka, the wonderfully-situated rock on top of the edge of the mountain range was found at last. We can rightly say that among the similar reclining stones or rock-ciffs of the world, this is a unique one. For it has two wonderful characteristics: (1) It is made by nature, thus free from the stigmas of slave labour and the commands of an autocratic monarch (2) It is at the same time a kind of supernormal monument because it successfully accomplishes the prophecy of the Buddha for the propagation of the Dhamma by means of piety and devotion. This pagoda is the most venerated pagoda in Burma. Therefore, it is a befitting one that a unique pagoda built on a tilted rock and situated on the edge of the mountain is the wonder indeed. When one thinks deeply on the spread of the Buddha Sasana one can appreciate the holy events and deeds which cannot be fully explained by the scientists. The work done for the Kyaik-hti-yo pagoda may be the result of the supernormal powers of the sages of old. Actually this pagoda should be one of the wonders of the world.
The mountain is 3618 feet above the sea level. The circumference of the tilted-stone is 50 feet. The unique pagoda atop of this round stone is 12 feet high. A small bridge connects the edge of the mountain and the great balancing rock. When one starts to push the rock it moves to and fro. It does not fall down from its precarious position. The most wonderful fact, however, is the existence of this pagoda for over two thousand years, despite its exposition to rigors of the inclement weather. It is also exposed to all severe earthquakes. Yet the pagoda still stands atop the big, round stone.
In conclusion we wish to point out the two strange phenomena. First, it is built on a naturally made rock without using slave labor and without authoritarian pressure. Second, its location and form are so wonderful that the causes of these events cannot even be explained by advance sciences. Geologists, archeologists, architects and researchers should pay a visit to this miraculous pagoda in Burma, if not of the world, to see for themselves the truth of the above assertions. He journey to this pagoda is itself a thrilling experience because pilgrims have to pass through thirty three hills, traveling seven and a half miles on foot. Yet, it is a joyful experience indeed, bringing spiritual peace and a new vision of light.
An ancient ‘Pyu’ Capital lies 8 km south-east of Pyay (Prome), which is located about 178 mile north-west of Yangon. Archaeological discoveries indicate that the city attained its height of prosperity between the 5th and 9th centuries. The remains at Tha-ye-khit-taya are palace site, the prototype of Bagan vaulted temple such as Lemyethna and East Zegu, the cylinder-shaped Bawbawgyi Pagoda, Payagyi and Payama stupas each with a high conical dome and the Archaeological Museum.
Places of interest in Pyay are Shwesandaw Pagoda, a gigantic sitting Buddha Statue of Hsehtatkyi Pagoda, Shwe Phone Pwint Library and the beautiful scenery of majestic Ayeyarwaddy river. Pyay is easily accessible by road or by rail.
The site Akauk Taung lies two hours by car from Pyay. The story of Akauk Taung is connected with the British Myanmar relationship during colonial times. The British fought three wars of conquest and colonialism against the Myanmar (The three (Anglo-Burman wars) in the 19th century. The first Anglo-Burmese war took place in 1824 when the British annexed. The second in 1846 and the third in 1885-86 , when the British completed their conquest of Myanmar by taking, Mandalay, upper Myanmar, deposing the king and queen and destroying the remaining Myanmar sovereignty.
After the second Anglo-Burmese war, Akauk Taung marked the territorial point for upper and lower Myanmar, between Myanmar and British. (Echoes of this colonial border remain today). (As Akauk Taung mark the border between Ayryawady division and Bago division). Akauk Taung had British customs house and Myanmar customs house during colonial times. Boats had to pay a tax the Myanmar customs house, if they were going upper Myanmar and to the British custom house if they were going down the river to Lower Myanmar. Akauk Taung also was an ideal place to take shelter from stormy weather. So boats were often laid-up at Akauk Taung. Sometimes for days or even weeks, waiting out bad weather and paying customs tax. The people on the boat, sailors, passengers and merchants, naturally become bored with waiting, so the question “became what to do all that spares time”.
In other parts of the world, people might amuse themselves in such a situation by card playing, gambling, drinking or other pastimes. But Myanmar people, steeped in Buddhism, didn’t generally want to do such things. They tend to do good deeds even with their leisure time. And so Akauk Taung’s most unique feature developed. People began curving statues of the Buddha on the bank of the river, there by paying homage to the Buddha and gaining merit. This soon became habitual and almost compulsory; every boatman, while waiting to pay tax or for a change in the weather, had to curve a statue. Today, although erosion has taken its toll, hundreds of these statues can still be seen on the bank of the river.