Bago Region is an administrative region of Myanmar and which is located at the southern central part of the country. It is located 91 km (50 miles) North-East of Yangon and it is bordered by Magway Region and Mandalay Region to the North, Kayin State, Mon State and the Gulf of Mottama to the East, Yangon Region to the South and Ayeyarwady Region and Rakhine State to the West.
The 2 Mon Princes from Thaton founded the Bago city in 573 A.D. as Hanthawady according to the legend. Hanthawady was the capital of the Hanthawaddy Kingdom from 1369 to 1539 which covered all of lower Burma. The King of Taungoo Kingdom, Tabinshwehti, made Bago their royal capital from 1539 to 1599. In 1634, the capital of Burma was relocated to Ava. The Mon revolted and temporarily regained their independence in 1740 but the King Alaungpaya completely demolished the city together with Mon independence in 1757. The King Bodawpaya rebuilt Bago in 1782. The British seized Bago in 1852 which is after the Second Anglo Burmese War. The capital was moved to Yangon in 1862 with the establishment of British Burma.
Capital of Bago Region
posztos / Shutterstock.com Bago, formerly known as Hanthawaddy, is the capital city of the Bago Region in Myanmar. The signature of the Bago is the Clock Tower and Lake of Butterfly (Late Pyar Kan). There also have many ancient pagodas and interesting sightseeing places where you can learn the rich culture and history. For the foreign visitors who want to visit Bago historical sites need to buy the Bago archeological zone ticket (costs 10$ per person) which valid for most of the sites except Kanbawzathadi Palace.
Bago Region is divided into four districts: Bago, Pyay, Tharrawaddy and Taungoo. Bago is the fourth largest city of Myanmar and the other major cities like Taungoo and Pyay are in this Region.
Ethnicity & Religion
Bamar, Karen, Mon, Chin, Rakhine, Shan, Chinese and Pa-O ethnic groups live in Bago Region. The major religion of this region is Buddhists and also has other religions such as Christianity, Hindu, Islam, tribal and other religions. The common language is the Burmese language.
The economy of this region is mainly depending on the timber trade. Taungoo which is located in the northern end of the Bago Region is surrounded by the mountain ranges and this city is a home to teak and other hardwoods. Petroleum is another natural resource and the major crop is rice. Not only this, there also have other crops such as betel nut, sugar cane, maize, groundnut, sesame, sunflower, beans & pulses, cotton, jute, rubber, tobacco, tapioca, banana, Nipa palm and toddy. The other industry includes livestock breeding & fisheries, salt, ceramics, sugar, paper, plywood, distilleries and monosodium glutamate.
How to get to Bago?
There are two ways to go to Bago. The first way is by car or bus and the second way is by train. Visitors usually visit Bago as a day return trip.
By car or bus
The distance from Yangon to Bago is around one and a half hours drive if there is not much traffic. Taking the bus from Yangon to Bago is the quick and easy way to go and it is really cheap too. Nowadays, the roads are well maintained and the buses are a lot more comfort to travel these days. There have air-conditioning and non-air-conditioning buses running go and forth between Yangon and Bago. The buses are departing from Yangon Saw Bwar Gyi Gone bus station and one way trip only costs 2000 Kyats to Bago. The buses also leave from Aung Mingala bus station with the same price.
The train from Yangon to Bago usually takes one hour and forty five minutes. It departs from Yangon Central Train Station which is located at the city center and the one way ticket costs 5$ for ordinary class and 8$ for upper class. There are 5 direct trains daily from Yangon to Bago. From Yangon, the earliest train departs at 6 am in the morning and the latest train departs at 5 pm in the afternoon.
The Southern part of the Bago Region is wet and the Northern part is dry. In average, January is the driest & coldest, August is the wettest and April is the hottest months.
Famous Sightseeing places of Bago
1. Shwemawdaw Pagoda - the tallest pagoda in Myanmar (opens daily from 6:00 to 21:00, valid with the Bago archeological zone ticket: 10$ per person and 3$ for camera fee)
2. Shwethalyaung Pagoda (opens daily from 6:00 to 21:00, valid with the Bago archeological zone ticket: 10$ per person)
3. Kanbawzathadi Palace and Palace Museum (opens daily from 9:00 to 17:00 except on National holidays & important Buddhist holidays, admission fees is 4$ per person)
4. Kyaik Pun Pagoda (opens daily from 6:00 to 18:00, valid with the Bago archeological zone ticket: 10$ per person and 3$ for camera fee)
5. Mahazedi Pagoda (opens daily from 6:00 to 21:00, valid with the Bago archeological zone ticket: 10$ per person)