By Thiha Lulin (Thiha, the Traveller)
Aungban Haw Nan
I was amazed that there is a Haw Nan in Aungban. I haven’t read the history book and did not know about the Haw Nan in Aungban as I think it is a new city, and no one says about it. In reality, there is a Naw Nan in Aungban. But I think it needs to conduct renovation works. U Khum Yone constructed the Haw Nan. The current Haw Nan is not that one. I mean the one established by Thar Mine Kham Sawbwa Sao Tun Aye. When it was constructed, it included a tennis court, garden and horse riding course. It was built of teak.
He was married to three women. They all lived in that Haw Nan. Two out of his three wives are from Taunggyi, but they returned to their native town as they could not live here. One wife gave birth to a daughter. Maha Devi was Saw Kyi Htoo, a daughter of Sakar Sawbwa. They didn’t have any child.
The Sawbwa’s family and his sister’s family lived together in that Haw Nan. Then, it was the office of Cooperative. Now, it is just a vegetable wholesale centre rather than being a visit place to the public.
There is no ancient utensil inside the Haw Nan anymore, and it is totally destroyed. The bulging floor seemed to collapse soon.
The Pine row in Aungban is picturesque. There are sometimes couples in the Pine row in the evening. The entire mountain with a lot of Pines is pleasant locating along the mountain route to Mae Kho Taung Monastery and is a photo spot as well.
Lwal Mal Taung and Chan Tha Gyi Pagoda
The peak of Lwal Mal Taung can be reached through the stairways and the road. There are monasteries and pagodas at the top of the mountain. Chan Tha Gyi pagoda can be seen at the foot of the mountain. The beauty of Aungban can be viewed from the top of the Lwal Mel Taung.
Pinhme Monastery is located in Pinhme Village near Aungban. The monastery is very long and was a home for many ancient Buddha images. Later, they are preserved behind bars to protect from the thief. Many Buddha images and some commodities can be seen in the monastery.
Ngone Thone Ancient Pagodas
The most striking thing in my visit to Aungban this time was the ancient pagoda near Ngone Thone Village. It is said that the architecture style of this pagoda is from the Nyaung Yan period. The stupa shape is rare to find in Shan State, and it seems that the pagoda was high and around 60 feet big. The pagoda needs to be preserved systematically as some people used to renovate in a hurry. I heard that the local people pay special attention to renovating the pagoda.
Thaye U-Min Pagoda
Thaye U-Min Pagoda which situated in Thaye Village can be reached through the stairways to the cave.
As Aungban was the terminus of the railway, there are still colonial buildings and the train maintenance places near the station.
The market is alive with seasonal fruits, locating in the centre of the town.
Clock Tower, Mingalar Pond and Bahtoo Park
The clock tower was moved to the park, but it is sad that the tower is not as splendid as the one in Kalaw. Both the pond and the clock tower are in the park which is renovated and full of people doing sport, fishing and resting.
Aungban Chinese Temple
A beautiful Chinese Vegetarian Temple can be seen on Aungban-Taungyi road. The place is a photo spot and can be visited inside too.
Monuments such as Aungban Town Sign, Bogyoke Aung San statue, Colonel Ba Htoo monument and Pa-O Drum.
Other visiting places
There are also trekking, hiking and camping activities in Aungban. I will write more about trekking.
Foods in Aungban
The very delicious pickled pork and fish rice are recommended to try in Aungban. The restaurant is called Shwe Chan Thar, and it is well-known for its cleanliness and the unique taste of pickled pork. The restaurant is open around 1 pm, and the foods run out so fast. If you are late, then you will have to wait the next day. The fritter shop at the corner of Ba Htoo park and Mingalar pond is also a special place for local people.
Where to stay?
There are only a few popular hotels in Aungban. Most travellers usually stay in Kalaw, but actually, hotels in Aungban are friendly to stay and affordable too. Hotel Hnin Shwe Yi is one of them. The hotel is located on the famous Pyidaungsu road of Aungban, and it seems like an average hotel at first. There are not only hotel buildings but also bungalow types and the swimming pool. The breakfast is well prepared with both local and Myanmar foods. The place is so clean, and the price is reasonable. A superior room is 35,000 kyats, and the deluxe bungalow is 55,000 kyats. It has regular customers who always come and stay, and I also would like to recommend it as it arranges sightseeing and trekking tours as well as camping plan. You can reach to 09780832575 and 09968882800 for booking at the hotel.
Aungban has more historical stories, but most travellers usually skip the town, thinking it doesn’t have anything to visit. There are many places to visit and for activities near Aungban. Let me recommend you again to stay and visit in Aungban.
May you all have an enjoyable trip!
(Translated by Ei Phyu Phyu Aung and Khine Thazin Han)