Thandaung Gyi

2_thandaungyi            A two hour drive or motorbike ride east of Taungoo lies Thandaung Gyi, a stunning town that sits atop the Bwihikho mountain range just inside northern Kayin State. The town is overlooked by a mountain named locally as Naw Bu Baw Mountain, which is an important religious site for the Karen Christians in the area. According to Karen legend, the mountain is still plagued by the spirits of Naw Bu Maw and her husband Saw Thaw oh Khwa.
The main part of Thandaung Gyi is dominated by a ghostly building that functioned as a tea factory during British colonial era and still functions as a factory providing tea rations for the Myanmar army; the friendly factory manager and his wife will happily give a tour of the facility to curious visitors.
The visitors should carry a copy of their passport to give to police at a checkpoint a few kilometres outside the town. Thandaung Gyi can be reached by car or motorbike from Taungoo (US$60 for a car for the day), and when exploring the area you should note that it is a different place to Thandaung Lay. The road from Taungoo through Thandaung and up to Thanthaung Gyi is spectacular, as it snakes up the hills for two and a half hours through dense forest.