Pakokku

Pakokku is a prosperous trading town in central Myanmar. Pakkoku is also known as Pakhangyi.  It is a quiet and traditional country town on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, located 25 kilometres north of Bagan and now connected by a large new bridge across the river. Pakokku is accessible from Mandalay by car and Bagan by ferry boat.

Best known for tobacco trading, other than Tobacco plantation, it also produces palm sugar jaggery, thanakha logs, longyis and blankets called “Anyar Saung”. There is not a great deal to do in the town itself, but 20 kilometres to its northwest you can find the remains of Pakhangyi, with its old city walls, archaeological museum, and one of the oldest surviving wooden monasteries in the region.

On other bank about 42 kms, the old town of Pakkoku was contemporary of Bagan. It preserved monuments of time and in particular its walls. The two old pagodas of Shwegu and Thiho-Shin are also centers of local arts and crafts where are held of many festivals. Many old tombs on both sides of the walls can be seen. There is also a small museum of the place. One will discover the sites Buddhist of 13th and 14th centuries post Bagan period. In the city close to Pakangyi of the large monasteries are in activity, Kyaungdawgyi and the monastery of the 254 pillars.

Pakokku has an airfield and a diesel-electric plant. The area east of Pakokku is characteristic of Myanmar’s dry zone, with undulating gravelly and sandy land. The Chindwin and Irrawaddy rivers provide alluvium and are utilized for irrigation. To the west, over the Shinmataung and Tangyi ridges, the region is drained by the Yaw and Myittha rivers. Peanuts (groundnuts), millet, and sesame are the principal crops. In the riverine areas sugar is produced from the toddy palm. Rice, gram, peas, beans, tobacco, and corn (maize) are also grown, the latter primarily for its husk, which is used for cheroot wrappers under the name of yawpet. The western forests yield teak. In the Yaw River valley, cutch, a yellow dye, is extracted from a type of small acacia tree. The Yenangyat oil field is to the south of the town. Nearby riverine towns include Gangaw and Tilin on the Myittha and Pauk and Seikpyu on the Yaw. The inhabitants are mainly Burman.

The Thiho Shin Pagoda Festival takes place in Pakokku at the end of May or the beginning of June and features a large country fair and traditional plays.