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You can join two of our popular Irrawaddy river cruises to visit the beautiful town of Thayetmyo. Both The Irrawaddy and The Golden Land cruises will take you to this pretty region and you will have the chance to disembark the ship and explore Thayetmyo at your own pace.

Here’s our quick guide to Thayetmyo and why it’s really worth visiting during your time in Myanmar on one of our popular cruises.

Thayetmyo on the banks of the Irrawaddy riverThayetmyo on the banks of the Irrawaddy river

The History Of Thayetmyo

Thayetmyo is a small town on the banks of the Irrawaddy River in upper Myanmar. It had a significant armed forces present since the middle of the 1800s and was developed as a colonial town by the British after the second Anglo Burmese War in 1855. The town was still home to a British battalion throughout the First World War and also had a large battalion made up of local army as well.

The oldest golf course in the whole of Myanmar was located in Thayetmyo and this had reciprocal links to Scotland’s famous Royal & Ancient St. Andrews course. These links are under dispute these days, though, as the modern Royal & Ancient St. Andrews course now denies them.

Traditionally, the area had a strong trade in rice, tobacco, cotton, and oilseeds. In the 1960s, the area’s economy was revolutionized when two lime-stone quarries were established just south of the town. These were used to provide supplies for the local cement factory.

What To See And Do In Thayetmyo

One of the main attractions in Thayetmyo is the large war cemetery that is located just outside of the town. It is the final resting place for thousands of Turkish prisoners of war. The prisoners were originally taken hostage in Iraq and transported by the British forces to labor camps in what was Burma. Hundreds of them died in these camps from Malaria. For years, the cemetery was left in a state of neglect until the Turkish government stepped in during the 1960s. After trying to set up initiatives for maintenance for the cemetery, permission for the work was finally granted in 2012.

Of course, the extensive war cemetery isn’t the only thing to see during your time in Thayetmyo. In the center of the town is also a bustling market, where you will be able to rummage through trinkets to try to find some souvenirs to take home. The market is also a great place to head if you want to sample some local street food as well.

Lots of visitors to Thayetmyo also enjoy exploring the town’s streets so that they can see all of the traditional colonial architecture and houses. It’s possible to take a horse and cart trip out to the scenic edges of the town and to check out the golf course.

There is plenty to see and do in the town of Thayetmyo, and you will certainly enjoy your time off the ship here. For all travelers who love history and want a glimpse into life in one of Britain’s colonies, then this will certainly be an interesting location for you.

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