Though most visitors to Myanmar will be aware that the country’s population is made up of myriad ethnic groups, many may not give much thought to the Mon.
The Mon people and their formidable history are often outshone in tourist brochures by other more “colourful” ethnic groups. The Kayan and their neck rings, for example, or the Inthar and their acrobatic fishing.
And yet it was out of a Mon fishing village that the great metropolis of Yangon grew, and it was two Mon brothers believed to have constructed the paya (pagoda) that was to later become Shwedagon.
Just fifty kilometres northeast of Yangon is the town of Bago, previously the seat of power of the Mon Kingdom of Ramanadesa, an empire that once rivaled the powerful Bamar in the North. Today, the remains of a royal palace and an assortment of religious monuments lay…
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