Even though I visit Pathien by total fluke I am very happy that I visited this city. It is completely off the beaten path which makes it such a relaxed and interesting place to visit. Myanmar is a very diverse country and I could see the physical differences in the people in Pathien versus in Yangon. They looked more like my friend I was traveling with from Hong Kong– finally we could see why everyone here thought that she was Burmese.
Since it isn’t a toursity destination you can expect there there are not a lot of major attractions to see- which is part of the charm. I enjoyed just walking around the city and seeing how the locals live. I didn’t find that I was bothered for money here like I am in other places or ripped off (which to be fair is quite rare in Myanmar).
There is a beautiful pagoda in Pathien- but I dare you to name a place in Myanmar without one. The nice thing about this pagoda is that it is quite empty and calm. There are absolutely no tourists around and only a few locals. Because foreigners are so rare here some people in the pagoda asked to take their pictures with us. It was nice to know that we weren’t a nuisance to them and that they appreciated our presence.
People in Pathien were so friendly. As I was hobbling to the night market with my broken toe a man pulled over to give us a ride. In any other country I would have been hesitant but Burmese people don’t have an evil bone in their body.
At the night market people were also very kind. It was a tiny market but little food stalks and a few items for sale. People were kind to make room for us to sit in order to try their local food. It was fun being the only foreigners there and people seemed to be happy that we chose to eat with them instead of inside of a restaurant. Food is so cheap here so make sure you come hungry so you can try many different things.
A day in Pathien is all that you need but it can be the perfect little stopover that you need between Nwengsaung Beach before heading back to hectic Yangon.