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Monywa is the main port on the Chindwin, Myanmar’s second most important river, whose headwaters rise just across the Patkai Range in Assam. The town has long been a hub for trade with northeast India, although with little traffic now crossing  the northern border, its prin- cipal modern role is as a clearing  house for produce grown in the fertile Sagaing plains. While the town’s two pagodas are worth a look, the few foreigners who travel here tend to do so en route to or from Bodhi Tataung, the Thanboddhay Pagoda, and the Pho Win Taung Caves, which are more com fortably explored using Monywa as a base than as day trips from Mandalay.

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