Remote Pakokku Myanmar (Burma) Published on: 13-11-2015
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Why Pakokku is special ?
Pakokku – Situated on the western bank of Ayeyarwaddy River, this quiet city is reached from Bagan by a peaceful up-river excursion by boat. For those wanting to get off the proverbial beaten track after spending a few days in the tourist mecca of Bagan, set aside a short trip to the small town of Pakokku. Typical village life and the river life are important characters of this visit. This unspoilt small town is known for its checkered blanket weaving, Thanatkhar wood (locally used as make-up) and tobacco trading. The nearby 19th century town of Pakhangyi has one of the oldest wooden monasteries in Upper Myanmar with 254 teak pillars.
What to explore at Pakokku?
Pakokku lies along the Ayeyarwady River in Magway Region and a recently constructed bridge across the river – which takes the title for being the country’s longest – makes getting there a cinch.
The land surrounding Ayeyarwady River is exceptionally fertile: field upon field is used to cultivate tobacco, cotton, rice, chilli, peanuts and even sesame. Visiting one of Pakokku’s bustling cheroot workshops, which are largely staffed by women young and old, is a must. Tobacco is regarded as Pakokku’s top form of trade, along with an infinitely more expensive commodity: oil.
Pakokku is also well known for its markets selling thanakha, which is a distinctive yellowish paste made from ground bark. It’s wildly popular among men and women alike, as even the least observant visitor to Myanmar will attest. Thanakha is considered a cosmetic as it highlights the cheekbones more boldly than any blush, and also serves a practical purpose: protecting skin against the sun.
Agriculture aside, Pakkoku produces beautiful rattan furniture and home wares, velvet slippers and traditional silks, with market prices being infinitely better value than those in Bagan.
How to get to Pakokku?
There are daily buses from Bagan (45 minutes) and Mindat (for Mount Victoria and Nat Ma Taung National Park), which departs 8.30am and arrives in Pakokku at 5pm.
By ferry: Bagan ferry to Pakokku is not running because of a new bridge. But for those who visit with a group, you can consider chartering a boat from Bagan to Pakokku (tourist boat).
- Historical and cultural area
- Local arts and crafts
- Beautiful and peaceful atmostphere
- Well- preserved land
- People spiritual life
Pakokku Myanmar (Burma)
My family and I went to Bagan in a nice day, and a trip to Pakkoku delighted our trip. Here we saw how people live their daily life. We also knew more about their history and culture. What a rich land of history! all the stories we were told made us love this beautiful land more and more. We will definitely turn back! Highly recommend!