Thanlyin is a profitable port city in Myanmar, situated across Bago River from Yangon (formerly Rangoon). Myanmar or Burma is home to a few important port cities and amazing coastlines with some of the best beaches in the world. Not many know it, but Myanmar is rich with all kinds of natural resources such as forests, hills, lakes, waterfalls, gardens and beaches. This enchanting country is best known for its pagodas, temples and ancient ruins, as well as its friendly people, savory local dishes and rich Eastern culture and traditions.
Myanmar shares its borders with China, a number of Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, and South Asian countries as India and Bangladesh. It is one of the largest countries in the region. The infrastructure has significantly improved through the years so that foreign tourists may feel welcomed in this country whose tourism industry is relatively young. The major Myanmar cities are Naypyidaw, the new capital; Yangon (Rangoon), a modern yet traditional city that used to be the capital; Bago, an ancient city that is home to many Buddhist relics; Mandalay, which is also an ancient city that was actually a kingdom; Pyin Oo Lyin, the summer capital and center of Anglo-Burmese settlement; Kawthaung, a beach town; and of course, Thanlyin, a port township and the home of Myanmar’s largest port, Thilawa Port.
Also known as Myanmar International Terminals at Thilawa, the busy Thilawa Port handles most of the import and export activities of the country. It is the most important port handling the most lucrative international shipments to and from the country. Its modern seaport facilities are capable of conducting business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The township has modern network of roads and highways to insure efficiency around the port area and to the Thanlyin Industrial Zone. There are two bridges that link the town to Yangon and Mandalay. There are also passenger and cargo river ferries going to Ayeyarwady River. And since this is a major port area, it is also home to the Myanmar Maritime University, alongside two other major universities – Technological University of Thanlyin and University of East Yangon.
In addition to its economic and geographical importance, this port city is home to two of Myanmar’s Buddhist temples, the Kyaikkhauk Pagoda and Ye Le Pagoda. In a country of thousands of pagodas, there is at least one in every town. The scenic and gold-studded Ye Le Pagoda is situated on a small island in Hmaw Wun Creek, approximately 20 km south of Yangon. It was constructed by King Baygasena in the third century and is home to an impressive collection of old paintings, sculptures and important Buddhist arts and crafts.
Finally, Thanlyin is a widely known tourist draw for its intriguing history. It was recognized as the country’s main port city as early as the 15th century. In 1539, it went under the rule of Philip De Brito, a Portuguese adventurer who declared himself as a local warlord. Using the port city as base, De Brito battled with other cities including Bamar and Bago in 1599, defiling Buddhist temples and other religious structures. He was captured and executed by the Burmese in 1613. Around 1740, the city became the base for the French Each India Company. The British took over in 1852 and converted the city into the country’s oil refinery center. This ended during World War II when the refinery was destroyed. It was rebuilt in 1957 and expanded in 1979. In 1990, the productive Thilawa Port was built.