Only two hours drive from Yangon, Bago is a former ancient capital. Originally founded in the 6th century the city achieved prominence during the 13th – 16th centuries when it became the centre of the Mon kingdom of Ramanadesa. Remnants of this great age can be found in the town’s museum.
In Bago it is possible to visit the charming monastery of Thamanay, a renowned teaching centre for hundreds of monks from neighbouring regions who wish to study Buddhism. If you arrive early in the day you will have ample time to observe the monks walking in procession for their last meal of the day.
A tour of Bago usually include a visit to the thousand year old Shwemawdaw Pagoda which has a spire taller than that of the Shwedagon Pagoda and the dazzling architecture of Kambawzathardi Golden Palace - a reconstruction of the 16th century palace of King Bayinnaung, one of Burma's most popular kings. Other sightseeing includes a visit to one of the enormous reclining Buddhas, some inspiring smaller temples, lively markets, cheroot making and woodcarving centres.
Otherwise the city makes a convenient stop off point for those continuing on to the Golden Rock.