By Thiha Lu Lin
(Thiha, the Traveller)
Mogok is really cool and beautiful in all seasons. I have been there two times in the raining season and two times in winter. After two years of my last visit to Mogok, everything has become new to me and there are also many new places to visit there.
The reason I learnt more about new places was that I didn’t go on my own like I used to, instead, I joined a tour from Mogok Ikan Travel for my visit to Mogok this time.
Mogok Ikan is a tour agency based in Mogok. It was convenient since the tour included food, transportation, accommodation and sightseeing to every place of the town as well as the service provided historical knowledge and beautiful photos at the same time.
Two-night and three-day trip to Mogok
Two-night and three-day trip is enough to visit Mogok. Two-night sleep of Mogok Ikan Travel is not sleeping on bus as some other tour packages, I slept in a good hotel for two full nights and the tour was almost three full days. I slept in the car on the way to Mogkok and arrived in the next early morning. After fresh-up, we started the tour. It was really convenient because the tour included not only breakfast, lunch and dinner but also local snacks on the first day.
The second day included hotel breakfast lunch and dinner. The tour was finished until 3 pm on the third day and I was impressed that the tour made sure not to miss any place in Mogok and not to miss any local foods.
How to get to Mogok?
People can reach to Mogok via flight from Mandalay or by car from Yangon as well as by bus. I went there by High Class bus and it was noticeably safe.
I liked the safe driving on the 999 turns of Madara-Mogok road. Bus attendants were also very helpful: gaving the necessary medicines, lucky draw programme once the bus started going and giving 3,000 kyats gift vouchers for the next time you buy a ticket.
Mogok can be reached from Madara or Pyin Oo Lwin. Madara road is better and safer than Pyin Oo Lwin road although it has a lot of turns whereas Pyin Oo Lwin road is very narrow bad. Besides, security is not always considered good.
Remember Mogok Ikan for the visit to Mogok
In Mogkok people often have to contact car rental agents from hotels. It is a little difficult to know in advance. When Mogok Ikan Travel arranges the tours, it is very convenient for visitors to Mogkok. It is a one stop service with a wide range of fine restaurants and local cuisine and also a wealth of information on places to visit and knowledge. 180,000 kyats (excluding the car to come to Mogok) for one person for two-night three-day hotel, foods, tour car, guide and a photographer is more than worth it.
If you want to visit Mogok with Mogok ikan, you can call 095010534, 09402525708.
To visit Mogok, as mentioned earlier, we can visit on our own without having to go through a local tour. Here are places to visit in Mogok. But the visit will not be easy by asking for directions to the way to places. If we join a tour, we can relax and unwind.
I’m not going to travel with this person asking for directions. Once connected, you can relax and unwind. To visit Mogok, it should be divided into East and West (Kyat Pyin). It has a lot to do with its parts.
From the Shwezigon Pagoda built by Sitagu Sayadaw, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the city and the mountains. There is also a globe-shape pagoda nearby, and Shwezigon is now being rebuilt on the former globe-shaped pagoda. This place is a great place to see the scenery.
Ancient pagodas at the East-Village monastery
It is a unique feature of Mogok to see the ancient pagodas around the city. Ancient pagodas can also be seen at the foot of Chanthagyi Pagoda and in this East Village Monastery near Kyarnikan Lake (Kya Lake near Gems Office) on Bogyoke Road. These are some of the famous pagodas in Mogok.
Linn Yaung Chi 28 pagodas
If you are interested in mountaineering pilgrimage, you can also visit the Twenty-Eight Pagodas. You may have a slight knee pain as you have to climb stairs from the slope. It is a pagoda that can be seen on a high mountain from Mogkok.
Phayar Ta Htaung Chinese Temple
Phayar Ta Htaung Chinese Temple also known as the Chinese Nunnery, is a good place to visit. You can explore the monastery and see a thousand Buddha statues on the walls.
Chan Tha Gyi Pagoda
Chan Thar Gyi Pagoda, said to have been built by the king of Pyi, is located in the center of the city. Old people knows it as Minn Pagoda. Chan Tha Gyi Pagoda was built in 1538 AD by King Min Khaung and is now 482 years old.
Chan Tha Gyi Pagoda is located on a hill, so you can see the beauty of the eastern part of Mogok up close.
Inside you can see statues and the identical pagodas with Chan Tha Gyi pagoda made by silver and gold.
You will also see pre-donated relics for the renovation of the pagoda. People donated all kinds of Mogkok Gems. There are also jewelry stores and souvenir shops on the way to the pagoda.
Historical Shwe Gu Gyi Pagoda
The historical Shwe Gu Gyi Pagoda is located near Chan Tha Gyi pagoda.
Maha Muni Pagoda
People also pay visit Maha Muni Pagoda which is near the Pan Chan Htar Pwai.
Phaung Taw Oo Pagoda
Historically significant Phaung Taw Oo Pagoda, which is clearly visible in the centre of the city, is also a good place to get a closer look at the city.
I am always amazed that there is a pagoda in a mountain town like Mogok.
As far as we know, Mogok was not one of the towns and villages that were acquired when the Phaung Taw Oo pagodas floated away. However, during some Phaung Taw Oo pagodas were taken for pilgrimage and arrived to Mogkok, it was in World War Two and the stupa was built in Mogkok. There is also an identical pagoda with Phaung Taw Oo Pagoda to be worshipped.
What is remarkable here is the ruby throne. There are thrones made of gold, silver, and these thrones are adorned with fined jewels. Some rubies are said to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars each.
The Ruby Pagoda is known for its scenic pagodas. Mogok lake can be seen up close and is a great place to watch the sunset.
Kaung Hmu Stupa
In Mogok, there is a pagoda similar to the Kaung Hmu Stupa in Sagaing. But, it is small in proportion. It can be seen from the Ruby Pagoda and is located not far away from the Ruby Pagoda.
If you go to the west of Mogok (Kyat Pyin), you can visit Pyin Oo Lwin Pagoda. The pagoda is unique with its multi-tiered roof and the view from the top is quite beautiful.
Kyaut Lat Hnyo Pagoda
In West of Mogok (Kyat Pyin, the Kyauk Lat Hnyo Pagoda in Bawmar village is also a must-see. Women are not allowed to go to the place of the stupa, but men can do so, and from there enjoy the panoramic view.
Kyaut Pya Thatt
We can also visit the Kyaut Pya Thatt where we can see the beautiful rocks. It is also a pleasure to visit while exploring the unique customs of the villages.
Daw Nan Kyi Taung (Mal Nan Kyi Taung)
Most of the travellers come to Daw Nan Kyi Taung located at 5,277ft above the sea level especially in the evening. You will see young and old people doing exercise like walking or mountain-climbing. There are pagodas at Daw Nan Kyi Taung but Only males are allowed to get on the upper terrace of the pagoda. There is also Padamyar pagoda. The scene at the sunset is very beautiful. Most of the travellers are interested in such place for its legend regarding with Padamyar Nga Mauk. You can see open fields and mountains on the other side and also picturesque scenes of Kyat Pyin (western part of Mogok).
As it is difficult to get the mountain by cars, most of the travellers rarely reach there. The local residents said it takes half of a day to get there. Even though I visit to Mogok for many times, I haven’t reached there so far.
If we keep going from Kyauk Lat Nhyo pagoda, we will see the beautiful pine forest. But you can get lost there. Most of the local residents have picnic there with their food.
Kin Chaung resort
During the rainy season, you should pay a vist to Kin Chanug resort for its Kin Chaung waterfall with high speed water flow. The water level declines during summer. The water is clear and is at average level and so such period is good to visit. There are playgrounds and karaoke for youths at the resort.
Pan Chan Htar Pwe
We cannot make any distinct betwee Mogok and Htar Pwe. Htar Pwe is a traditional market where locals trade gems. So, you should go there as it is called old Htar Pwe. What I notice is that the poeple hold Htar Pwe in many places of Mogok and Kyat Pyin. The people trade gems under the big umbrellas at Pan Chan Htar Pwe.
Manimingalar Htar Pwe
It is locally called Manimingalar Htar Pwe located near Mogok Lake. It is now called Forever Htar Pwe after 800th anniversary of Mogok. The people trade gem by displaying just on the tables and it is such a very interesting place.
There are many gem mines in Mogok and Kyat Pyin. I had a visit to the gem mines under the arrangement of officials during 800th anniversary of Mogok. It was such an interesting place for me. Currently, the mines are closed. But you can study about the scavengers at the old mines.
Mogok View Point is a must when you pay a visit to Mogok. You can see the Cherry flowers during the blooming season of Cherry trees.
If you go down the stairs near the view point, you will get to the natural caves. You will see a small case firstly and then many Buddha images in multiple sizes. There is no man-made thing. Some of the big caves are sometimes closed with iron doors. But I got a chance to explore the big case. It is a very beautiful cave. I found out that there are still such natural caves in Mogok.
The water in the pool of Yay Pu village is clear and most of the residents and travellers come there to take rest and to play in the water. You can see fish in the clear water.
The Ruby market (a) Aung Chan Thar market is always crowded with people the whole day. You can buy regional food of Mogok and also souvenir near the market.
You should not miss the Mogok night market when you visit there. You can taste Mogok steamed rice and other regional food. The vendors can keep clean the market in the morning no matter how many people are there at night. It is an impressive manner.
Adam, Eva Resort
Both of the local residents and travellers enjoy visiting to Adam, Eva resort located on the road to Mongmit. It offers natrual scence with tea plantation field and there is also a swimming pool. It is a breathtaking scenery. You can hire ethnic customes there.
It is located on the way from Mogok to Kyat Pyin, near the aged care home. It is a modern recreation center. If offers swimming pool and other modern materials and the travellers especially the young peole like them. I prefer a cafe opened in the garden.
Place with religious of different kinds
Mogok is a place where people with different religions live peacefully. There are Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindu worship places are concentrated there. The Sri Ramachandra temple which is now at over 100-year of age is also located there. The city will offer you varuous kinds of interesting places.
Where to stay in Mogok?
There are many modern hotels in Mogok. Mogok Ikan also choose the best hotels for trips. among these famous hotels, I like Mogok Hill Hotel most as I can see the picturesque scenes of Mogok while having my breakfast buffet. You can see the view of Mogok from the higher floors. The staff spary disinfectant in the rooms sytematically and they are so friendly.
Although the hotel rate is at normal price, I think we can save more when we make a trip with Mogok Ikan. Mogok is a multicultural place with different living styles. What I would like to say is that this year’s trip to Mogok is the most satisfying for me.
May you all have a safe trip. (Translated by Ei Phyu Phyu Aung, Khine Thazin Han )