Big Buddha, Win Sein Taw Ya

If you travel in Southeast Asia, you are going be very familiar with myriad images of Buddha. Tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, fat ones… you get the point. So why go 45 minutes out of your way to see yet another one? Because this one one is giant. It is considered the largest reclining Buddha in the world. By reclining I mean that it literally lays over a couple of hills, one hill used as a pillow, the other as an ottoman. It’s worth the trip.

Win Sein Taw Ya is 560 feet long and is, quite frankly, a building. You enter head side where you start your tour of the brightly colored dioramas telling the story of Buddha’s life. Some are gruesome and others are strangely erotic. Families, monks and few tourists were milling about taking pictures and trying to navigate through the strange structure.

My favorite room ended up being the top floor where the scenes were not yet finished. The figures were still all white and more elegant in my opinion than the gaudier ones on the main floors.

We roamed the grounds, looking at other large statues. We spent most of the day getting to and from Win Sein Taw Ya which is located south of Mawlamyine, but a ride in a local bus in Myanmar is always an adventure. We walked back on the road lined with 200+ monk figures bidding our farewell.