80 km east of Yangon: Bago (formerly called Pegou) is the last capital of the Mon Kingdom, which dominated southern Burma more than 1500 years ago. It was famous during its past and many gigantic and majestic stupas.

In Bago state, the earth is flat and covered as far as the eye can see with rice fields whose colors change according to the season. Today, this city and its monuments deserve a small stop along the way when we visit the famous Golden Rock or the regions in further south...

A legend that has become a symbol...

According to legend, two Thaton princesses founded the city in 573 CE, after a favorable omen: a couple of Brahmanic sacred geese landed on a tiny islet in the Gulf of Martaban, so small that the female, due to lack of space, had to land on the back of the male. (It is jokingly said that this is where the reputation of the women of the region to always be "on the back" of their husbands - like that of the men of Pégou to be more chivalrous than the Burmese in general - comes from).

It is to this legendary couple that Pegou owes its first name, Hamsawaddy or Hanthawaddy, the "Kingdom of the Goose".

It is in reference to this legend that the symbol of Pegou is a hamsa (goose or female swan, mount of the god Brahma) and that the seal of Bago state bears two superimposed geese.

From the 8th century, the kingdom of Pegou lost all importance and was included in Thaton.

... and majestic monuments

Less touristic than its cousins Yangon, Bagan or Mandalay, the kingdom of Pegou possesses treasures of architecture and religion:

- In the middle of rice fields, stands the giant golden stupa of the Kyaik Pun pagoda. The view is surprising because this stupa is visible from miles around.

- The Shwethalyaung Buddha (55m long by 16m high) was built in the 10th century, more than 1,000 years ago. 

- Not to mention the Taungoo elephant camp where the elephants will be very close to you. Elephants are domestically raised, so there is no other ideal place for a family trip with children.



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