The provincial town of Dawei was a port for the Siamese Sukhothai and Ayutthaya kingdoms from the 13th to 16th centuries, and later came under the control of the British, who knew it as Tavoy. Today it is a sleepy, low-rise settlement with colonial-era shophouses. North of the center stands the huge gilded Shwe Taung Zar Pagoda. Around 7 miles (12 km) west of Dawei is Maungmagan beach, where simple shacks serve seafood. Further south are numerous deserted beaches.