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Setse beach resort (Thanbyuzayat ) is located 80 km south of Mawlamyaing (Moulmein) of Mon State, and therefore it’s around 8-9 hours’ drive away from Capital Yangon. Setse has been a resort since the 19th century, and still remains popular among locals. Not a picture postcard beach by any stretch of the imagination but this low-key Gulf of Mottama (Martaban) beach is a very wide, brown-sand strip and is lined with waving casuarina trees. Seafood can be enjoyed at a very moderate cost compared to other popular beaches, and it is the perfect destination if you stay in Mawlamyine and want to explore the part to the south.

Getting There

By Bus  (Recommended) – There are daily bus services from Yangon to Thanbyuzayat via Mawlamyine. The transport fee is less than $10.  Night buses could be a better choice if you can’t stand the scorching heat of Myanmar. Small pick-ups run between Setse and Thanbyuzayat on a fairly frequent basis (no fixed time) for less than $1. But the last one leaving for Thanbyuzayat  is at 4pm.

By Taxi –   Some willing taxi drivers from Yagon will take you there but be prepared to give a hefty sum as they will have to come back to Yangon on empty seats.

Getting Around

On Foot (Recommended) – There is a small village nearby and the village itself is small enough for you to travel on foot. Take a motorbike taxi if you want to roam around the nearby pagodas.

By Motorbike – Only if your hotel is in  Thanbyuzayat and you want to go to the famous Kyaikkhame Pagoda nearby (20km away)

Things To Do

Kyaikkhame

15 miles (24km) away from the town of Thanbyuzayat, Kyaikkhame town is famous for the pagoda of the same name which is located on a reef about 900 feet (274m) from the sea shore and thus usually called Yelel Paya, “pagoda amidst water”. You probably will not do any swimming at the rocky and rather muddy beach.  Yelel Paya, a metal-roofed Buddhist shrine complex is perched over the sea and reached via a long two-level causeway; the lower level is submerged during high tide. Along with 11 Buddha hair relics, the shrine chamber beneath Yelel Paya reportedly contains a Buddha image that supposedly floated here on a raft from Sri Lanka in ancient times.  During the early half of the day there are pick-up trucks to Kyaikkami from Thanbyuzayat for $1 per person.

A Visit to Mawlamyine (Moulmein)

En route to Setse Beach,  former administrative capital of British Lower Burma,  Mawlamyine is generally considered to be off the main tourist trail for most travellers to Myanmar but the town does have a charm of its own with its rich history, buildings with colonial style architecture, World War II era wooden buses, its leafy tropical coastal setting, and its close proximity to the infamous Siam-Burma “death railway”, making it an interesting place to visit! And only 150 km from the Thai-Myanmar border, it is a melting pot of ethnicity, religion and languages. Mawlmayine is a fascinating town to visit from a sociological and linguistical perspective and it’s very different from any other town in Myanmar.

 Win Sein Taw Ya, Mudon

It is the site of the largest reclining Buddha image in the world and located  in the middle of Mawlamyine (20km) and Thanbyuzayat (60km). After almost 15 years of construction, the reclining Buddha is still not complete.  In 2012, construction started on a second reclining Buddha opposite the original, with the aim of being built to stand the test of time.  The poor concrete construction of the first has left the original with an uncertain future.

Tips
Scooters are available for hire for 5,000 kyats per day in the low season (10,000 kyats per day during high season but including petrol). Bicycles are available for 1,500 kyats per day.

 

 

 

 
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