Twante is a very interesting town about 25 kilometers from the city of Yangon. It is known as the country’s center for hand-woven cotton cloth and pottery. Its streets are littered with rows and rows of beautiful traditional pots that are sure to capture any tourist’s attention. But the pots are not the only thing Twante is known for. Tourists come here for the three nearby tourist destinations, which are major attractions in Myanmar.
The first one is the Shwesandaw Pagoda, one of the leading pagodas in the country that is in possession of an actual hair of the Lord Buddha. There are three other pagodas that go by the same name and also enshrine a sacred hair. The other Shwesandaw Pagodas are found in Taungoo (about 290 kilometers to the north of Yangon), Pyay (about 260 kilometers also to the north of Yangon), and another at Bagan (an old capital city in Central Myanmar).
According to legends, Gautama Buddha visited Bagan during his eight year of Buddhahood and gave strands of his hair to be enshrined in a temple constructed by the Mon people. Sometime after King Anwrahta’s conquest of Thaton in 1057, the Mon temple was destroyed and the king was able to obtain some of the sacred hairs. He then constructed the first Shwesandaw Pagoda in Bagan. The pagoda was expanded and the Taungoo Shwesandaw Pagoda was built during the reign of King Duttabaung. It was in Taungoo where the King of Sri Lanka (back then called “Ceylon”) gave eight strands of hair of the Buddha to King Bayint Naung. The king kept four strands to be worshipped in Taungoo and gave the rest to his brothers who would later build the other pagodas. There are also claims that the Shwesandaw Pagoda near Twante was built during the lifetime of the Lord Buddha.
Another important attraction in the city is the Baundawgyoke Pagoda. Located on the road going to Yangon, this pagoda is made up of religious buildings and monasteries that are occupied by monks who are known to keep a strict vegetarian diet. Myanmar is known as a land of a thousand pagodas, and so every town has at least one major pagoda or place of worship. In fact, the city of Bagan as more than 2,200 temples, stupas and pagodas; Twante has two.
The third tourist draw to the city of Twante is Letkokkon Beach, which is also the nearest beach from Yangon. Twante is found on a delta region, which is why there is a beautiful beach nearby. Letkokkon Village and its neighboring Ywa Thit Kone Village are found across the Hlaing River (Yangon River), which is only three hours away from Yangon by car. There are small fishing villages that offer delicious seafood dishes and fresh tropical fruits. Visitors to Letkokkon Beach will definitely enjoy a fun time in the sand that is flanked by several coconut trees; sunbathing while sipping fresh coconut milk. Myanmar beaches are known for their fine sands and utmost tranquility since there are neither loud beach-side bars nor annoying beach vendors. The water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. On the beach is the Letkokkon Beach Hotel but with limited facilities.