Monywa Myanmar is a city in Sagaing Division, Myanmar, located 136 km north-west of Mandalay on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River. It is along the Mandalay-Budalin branch railway line but is best reached by bus as the road from Mandalay is in reasonably good shape.
Monywa is a major trade center for agricultural produce from the surrounding Chindwin Valley, especially beans, orange pulses and jiggery (palm sugar). In addition, the local industry includes mills for the production of cotton, flour, noodles, and edible oils. Monywa’s rough cotton blankets are famous throughout Myanmar. Other regional crafts include bamboo and reed products, bullock carts and agricultural implements.
This place is a must for the culture buff! It takes a little time to make this overnight excursion, but it is well worth the while. A 140 km drive in NW direction brings us to Monywa sprawling along the Chindwin River. En route: Visit of the pagodas of Thanbodday – a Hollywood fantasy specialist could have been godfather here – but see for yourself (without fail!). The true highlights of our Monywa excursion are the Buddhist cave temples of Powindaung, an artistic jewel among spiritually inspired building (wall paintings, Buddha galleries, rock carvings) dating back to the 14th till 16th centuries. Powingdaung takes its name from the alchemist U Powin who lived in this mountainous region hundreds of years ago. In order to reach the caves we have to cross the Chindwin river by boat, from there onward pickups take us on an approx. 1 hour’s drive to the site. Make provisions for spending the night at Monywa. Bone fragments, traces of ancient settling and reaching way back to mankind ´s early days, have been found in the nearby mountains of Pontaung Ponnya. And for those aficionados of real trekking and elephant rides through monsoon forests, there is possibly another rewarding destination: the Alaundaw Kathapa National Park 100 km NW of Monywa.