I wasn't expecting anything special as I climbed the hill but all of a sudden the temple appeared. One word... Magnificent! pure white and golden shades adorn the walls and floor, with buddha after buddha on show. Take lots of pics and take off your shoes.
We crossed over into Burma to get our Thai visa. It was our intention to come back to Burma in a month or so and spend more time there. Due to events taking place this was not possible as visa's were only being issued from your home country. This brief visit gave us a brief glimpse.
This statue Immortifies one of Burmas most famous and respected Kings: King Bayinnaung. The local guys who were showing me around proudly told me his story.
The Guff: King Bayinnaung inherited the throne in 1550 and re-established Burman control over Lower Burma. Between 1552-1555 he destroyed the power of the Shan states and laid the foundations of the Second Burmese Empire. But Bayinnaung was not content to stop there and turned his attention to neighbouring Siam. He captured Chiang Mai, then set his sights on Ayutthaya. The King of Ayutthaya was known to have 4 white elephants which Bayinnaung coveted. On the pretext of a manufactured border dispute, King Bayinnaung launched a successful attack on the Siamese capital in 1564.
The Siamese king, queen and youngest son were taken prisoner and the heir to the throne was left to govern as a tributary king. However after the return of his mother the Siamese tributary king re-asserted his independence. Bayinnaung was furious and launched a fresh Burmese invasion of Siam. He left with 200,000 troops, many of whom died during the subsequent 7-month siege of Ayutthaya. The Burmese finally captured the city however and the belligerent King Bayinnaung went on to attack Vientiane in Laos. But had a hard time of it.
For all his warmongering, Bayinnaung seems to have been a model Buddhist: he forbade the sacrificing of slaves, horses and elephants and sent brooms of his own hair (and that of his wives) to sweep the Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy, Ceylon. He eventually died in 1581, apparently leaving 97 children, (a fact my guides delighted in telling me especially since they were to nearly as many wives) and was succeeded by the eldest, Nandanaung, who ruled from 1581-1599.
This Lovely Buddha is Housed in the Third Mile Temple.
Its craftsmanship is very different to those Buddha found in nearby Thailand. Notice that there are more Indian Style facets to its look. Although its features are undoubtedly South East Asian. Also look and the strange gesture that the hands are making. That seems very sub-continental to me.
The Buddha has a Peaceful, almost pleasant or mildly happy demeanour, which is quite different from the Thai and other Northern Asian Buddha that are often simply serene and emotionless.
This is an old temple with a new face. It was almost completely rebuilt in the 1950s. Even so it was construction in the Burmese style.
This temple heralds a main stupa that is gilded with an octagonal base containing eight inches each filled with a seated Buddha. On the highest level, the Buddha sits on a lotus flower, protected by the Naga or serpent god, which curls its head over that of the Buddha
Outside the main temple, slightly to the North is a day temple, there is a Buddha for each day. So find out what day you were born and visit the buddha.
Keep walking east, down a little hill you will pass the Monks residence, and you'll even meet children monks. then head south on a path that will take to back westward, this path will take you into the town of Kawthoung.
The Buddhist temple on top of Kawthaung hill was really a wonder to me. The interiors were amazingly decorated with small glittering plaques on the walls and brightly coloured Buddha statues. Everything was perfectly clean and very well kept.
Kawthoung port is a lively place, with many fishermen boats and people trading fish.
There are several wooden palafittes, close to the wooden piers, where you can find cheap sigarettes, excellent grilled food, cold drinks and other goods.
Go to the statue of Burmese King Bayintnaung. He is stood on a rock with his sword facing Siam (modern day Thailand).
A good photo opportunity and the walk there is interesting, through the park.
On the hillside there is a small Buddhist temple. The temple itself is not that inspiring compared to the others in South Asia, but it does give a good birds eye view of the ocean and village.
Basically in this small town, there are two things to do. Walk around and witness the daily life of the market and wait for your papers to be processed if you are entering Burma by boat for diving.
There are several Buddha statues in the Kawthaung hill temple; some of them are quite big. They are all painted in bright colours, that is much different from the Thai style.
On top of a hill overlooking the town, there is a large traditional buddhist temple. Its colours are really beautiful and it is definitely worth a visit. No admission fee, no tourists.