One of the famous summer resorts in Myanmar, Than Daung Gyi, is an escape from the sweaty and humid weather of the central plains. It is just 200 miles away from Yangon and can be accessible by car, bus and even by train on a half day journey. The fine weather is due to its situation at an elevation of 1462 metres(4824 feet) above the sea level.

Than Daung Gyi(Than Daung) was a well-known hill resort since Victorian times by British, though it was less touched by the travelers because of unstable situations burst after Myanmar had won the independence in January 1948. Today, Than Daung is quite peaceful and secure for both local and foreign visitors. Less population, luch green plantations and the tranquility of environment make the nature of the town fully unspoilt. The slopes bear groves of tea and coffee plantations and Than Daung is a centre of betel nut and red banana(golden banana) cultivation. Being located in Kayin State, it is a home for straightforward and friendly Bwe Kayin(Karen) people but other races can also be found in Than Daung.

In fact, Than Daung has two divisions, old Than Daung and new Than Daung. The hilly region is old Than Daung while the new town was developed near Pathi Chaung(Stream). The transparent clear water of Pathi mountain stream runs down vigorously over pebbles and boulders in order to join the Sittaung River near Taungoo. After you had done some trekking steps over steep and dusty paths across the jungle, you can enjoy cool crystal water falling from Than Daung waterfall. You would take some charming photos for mementoes there. Along the way around Than Daung has delighted views where you can stop the car for enjoying the scenery as well as for taking some wonderful pictures. October to November is the best period to visit Than Daung due to the mild winter.

Naw Bu Baw Prayer Mountain is worth a visit for its sublime sunrise at the top. It is situated just 27 miles from Taungoo and over 4800 feet above the sea level. 374 steps to the top of the mountain will catch your eyes with the picturesque low-lying sea of clouds in the early morning. Along the way is full of enchanting scenery and fresh air will take away your fatigue. Needless to say to take photos at the top. A romantic and sorrowful legend stood behind Naw Bu Baw Prayer Mountain.

The early mornings are the best to admire sea of clouds and sunrise with less crowd. If you prefer railway, then you can take a six-hour ride from Yangon to Taungoo and only 27 miles has to go on to access Than Daung. Please make sure to bring legal documents if you want to stay overnight there since it is permitted for foreigners.

It takes 5 to 6 hours by cars from Yangon, 4 to 5 hours by cars from Mandalay and from Nay Pyi Taw to reach Than Daung Gyi. Actually, the cool weather, breathtaking views, the romantic legend and sea of clouds are the cause of this small town enchantment.

Written By Rose Nyein Chan