Monywa is small town just 2 hours drive from Mandalay and 3 hours drive from Bagan. Travelers can do day return visit from Mandalay (will be quite rush to visits all around Monywa) or one night two days trip from Mandalay.
There is another option driving from Mandalay to Monywa, overnight at Monywa and then proceed to Bagan. Monywa is the most important city towards the western gate of Myanmar even it is not border with India. The city is situated on the eastern bank of Chindwin River. River transport along Chindwin River is very important.
Monywa is important trade center for agricultural product around Chindwin Valley. As local product Monywa cotton blanket is very popular for the whole country. Seik Khon cotton longyi for both men and women is one of the famous product of Monywa region. It has tropical climate. Nice temperature during winter time (December to February), the rest of the year is hot, dry and dusty.
Thanbodhay temple, Bodhitataung. Shwethalaung reclining Buddha, Laykyun sekkya standing Buddha, Powin cave are main attractions of Monywa. Driving from Mandalay to Monywa by private car can stop at charming Myinmu morning market which is colorful authentic local market.
Short visit to rice noodle family industry is recommendable on the way to Monywa. Thousand acre of cultivated land for dry crops and betel leaves made you understand that most Myanmar are farmers. One of the villages near Monywa is famous place for local snack. Almost all families has family workshop to produce difference kinds of snack that we find at Myinmu or Monywa local market.
One hour drive from Monywa there is famous Powin caves. Most caves are as niches around the sand Stone Mountain. There are two options to approach to Po Win Caves from Monywa : one hour drive by car or take the boat at the jetty and cross Chindwin river for 5 minutes and hire jeep or pick up then drive to Po Win Cave. Small caves with Buddha images are excavated from the same block of mountain. Some caves are quite big with numerous Buddha images and beautiful painting.