Long time ago, in the Kingdom of Okkalapa (what is now Yangon),there lived the king of Syriam. The king loved so much to his wife and also he wanted a baby of their own as they had no child. One day, the queen consort had pregnant. But unfortunately, she had died in child-birth. At the royal cemetery, the loyal ministers kept vigil near the queen’s body, which would lie on its golden bier until the time came for its cremation. All was silence. Suddenly there was a sound like the cry of new-born baby came out from the queen’s bier. People discovered there was a little child, still in her mother’s womb, was not dead. The king was very glad to hear that he now had a daughter. But he couldn’t took his daughter to the palace with him because this was the custom of country at that time-anyone who was born in the graveyard shouldn’t live in the city. So the king built a palace for his daughter in the graveyard and named her ShinMway Loon.People of this country believed the princess brought bad luck to the country. The poor princess grew up lonely and isolated in her palace guarded by maid-servants.

story1On the other side of the Thanlyinriver, there lived the King of Dagon. He had only one son named Min Nandar ,a handsome prince, much loved by people and the king. But the royal astrologers had predicted the prince would be killed by some creatures that lived in water .The kings of the nats felt very sorry for the prince and gave him a magic cane .The prince could summon all creatures living in the forests, in the sea and the rivers by using the magic cane. This cane was very useful for the prince and he became familiar with the king of crocodiles called Nga Moe Yeik. Nga Moe Yeik was a giant crocodile and the prince could summon him whenever he wanted. After the prince heard about the beauty of Shin Mway Loon,he tried to visit her.He went down to the sea-shore and struck the ground three times.Nga Moe Yeik was appeared and offered to carry the prince across the river.The prince and the princess fell in love at the first sight.Then the prince went to the princess everyday across the river.Prince Min Nandar’s father was furious that his son fell in love with a girl of bad fortune.He announced an order to all boatmen not to take the prince to the other side of river. This was no difference for the prince as he visited to his lover not by boat.As usual,he rode on the back of Nga Moe Yeik and came back to his palace at dawn before his father could find out.He also brought the magic cane with him together.


story2And the other crocodiles were jealous of their king,Nga Moe Yeik and wish to overthrow his despotic rule.They found out as long as Prince Min Nandar was alive,Nga Moe Yeik would continue to rule over them,so they decided that the prince must die.So,the crocodiles chose one female crocodile named “Ma Let To” to kill the Prince.This crocodile was in love with Nga Moe Yeik,but he already had a wife and ignored her seduction.So Ma Let To decided to kill the prince and also Nga Moe Yeik toget into trouble.


As all the crocodiles can change into human form,Ma Let To transformed herself into human form as her first step to kill the prince.She went to the Shin Mway Loon and served the princess because Ma Let to knew that the noble strength of Prince Min Nandar lied in his right arm and if one woman sleep on his right arm,he would face bad luck and get trouble.All the maids of the princess said to the Shin Mway Loon that Ma Let To smell was very fishy.But the princess was very kind and allowed her to stay.Ma Let To urged the princess to ask Min Nandar to let her rest her head on his right arm.The prince didn’t allow to sleep at first.But the princess continuously asked the prince to let her sleep on his right arm.Atlast,the prince allowed her to do so.At the end of the day,just as usual,the prince and Nga Moe Yeik were about to leave.It was the night that the crocodiles planned to attack their king.And the sky was full of dark clouds,thunder rumbled and a stromcame up.Unfortunately,the prince forgot the magic cane in his palace.Without magic cane,the prince couldn’t summon the creatures of the river.Both the princess and Nga Moe Yeik told the prince not to cross the river but the prince didn’t listen.So,Nga Moe Yeik told the prince to lie in his mouth as he was giant crocodile.As they left, Ma Let To change into her real form,stepped into the river and attacked Nga Moe Yeik.He was fought so long underwater with Ma Let To and also other crocodiles.Finally,Nga Moe Yeik fought all off and fell asleep on sandbank as he was exhausted.When King of Dagon heard that his son had paid a visit to princess without magic cane.He seized the cane and struck it on the ground three times.So Nga Moe Yeik woke up and remembered that the prince was still in his mouth.He hastened to bring Min Nandar out of his mouth.But the prince was dead already.Nga Moe Yeik carried the dead prince to the King.Nga Moe Yeik was executed by the king.His wife buried his bones a few miles out of the city and built a pagoda over it.

When the princess heard the news of her lover,she died of a broken heart.Their funeral pyres were set up on the opposite banks of the river.The columns of smoke rose from each funeral pyre met at the sky and then turned into a rainbow.The people believed the two lovers were united in the heaven. Some people believed Min Nandar died because of Shin Mway Loon.She slept on his right arm and that brought bad luck to Min Nandar.So there is a saying derived from this story, never let one woman to sleep on the man right arm.


Thanlyin first came to prominence in the 15th century as the main port city of the Hanthawaddy Kingdom, replacing a silted up Bago port. In 1539, the city became part of the Kingdom of Taungoo. In 1599, the city fell to the Rakhine forces led by the Portuguese mercenary Filipe de Brito e Nicote, who was made governor of the city. Brito declared independence from his nominal Rakhine masters in 1603, defeated the invading Rakhine navy in 1604 and 1605, and successfully established Portuguese rule under the Portuguese viceroy of Goa. In 1613, Burmese king Anaukprtlun recaptured the city, and executed Brito by impalement, a punishment reserved for defilers of Buddhist temples.

Thanlyin remained the major port of the Taungoo kingdom until mid-18th century. In the 1740s, Thanlyin was made the base of the French East India Company fo their help in Mon’s reestablishment of Hanthawaddy Kingdom. The arrangement lasted until 1756 when King Alaungpaya of Konbaung dynasty captured the city. From then on, the importance has shifted to Yangon across the river, which Alaungpaya founded just a yearearlier.


Thanlyin became part of the British Empire in 1852 after the Second Anglo-Burmese War. The British made the city into the oil refinery center of the country in the early 20th century to process the oli shipped from central Myanmar, the refinery was destroyed during World War II. The Thanlyin refinery was rebuilt in 1957, and underwent expansion in 1979 with Japanese assistance. In 1979, a pipeline was completed between Syriam and the Mann oilfield.Since the 1990s, the city has undergone major changes. Thanlyin was finally connected to Yangon by road in 1993 when the Thanlyin Bridge was built. In the late 1990s, Thilawa Port was built to handle the container ships away from Yangon’s ports; the city is home to a national university in Myanmar Maritime University of East Yangon and Technological University, Thanlyin. The city’s population has increased from 43,000 in 1983 to 123,000 in 1996.Thanlyin Thanlyin is situated at the confluence of the Yangon and Pegu Rivers; to be exact, on the southern bank of Pegu River. To the south of Thanlyin is a ridge named UtaringaKon in history but locally known as Shin Mwe Nun Kon. It is on this ridge that KyaikKauk Pagoda stands. The colonial town of Syriam was built by the British for its port and petroleum refinery plant. It is also a sub-urban town right a few miles away from Yangon, across 1.5 mile-long bridge. KyaikKauk Pagoda Its legend dates its building far back to the time of Emperor Asoka the great king of India. Two hundred and thirty six years after the demise of the Lord Buddha, Emperor Asoka who embraced Buddhism after he heard and understood the Buddha’s dhamma, held the Third Buddhist Council. MahaTheraAshimMoggalanaPutta Tisa presided over the Council. At his advice, the Council with the royal patronage and support of Asoka sent out religious missions to nine places and nine countries to spread the Dhamma, Buddha’a Teachings. The missions sent to Suvannabhumi /Thaton/ was headed by MahaTherasSona and Uttara who successfully carried out their missionary works there. One of their pupils and assistants AshinSomaga was sent on a mission to Paukkhara-waddy or Dagon. He resided at this place and visited Let-Kha-ya and Siha islands and propagated the Buddha’s teaching there. A hermit named KhawLaka who lived on UtaringaKon, after hearing the Dhamma became a bhikkhu. Later AshinSomaga and Bhikkhu Kaw Laka went to Pataliputra in India and requested Emperor Asoka to give them some scared relics of the Buddha for worship. They received 24 strands of the Buddha’s hair. They returned to Siha Island and when they reached the Pada jetty, they left two sacred hairs to be enshrined in a pagoda now known as KyaikDeiYa. The remaing hair relies were enshrined each in one pagoda at each of 16 villages such as (1) Ta Hmaw Village (2) KaLun Pun Village (3) KaHnein Village (4) KaHnaw Village (5) Mon Naw Village (6) Tha Laing Village (7) HmawWun Village (8) Kan Ti Village (9) Kha Pi Village (10) Tha NawKaik Village (11) Ah Lwei Eake Village (12) Pa WunGai Village (13) Pa Yin Village (14) Wi Thone Village (15) Pa Ro Village (16) Than Hlyin Village /Saga Village/ and the remaing six hairs wre enshrined in a pagoda built on UtaringaKon (now called Hlaing PokKon).

The pagoda on UtaringaKon was built by King CulaThirimasoka of Thaton in the Buddhist Era 241. It was a big structure built of laterite stone. Because this place was where AshinVhikkhu Kaw Laka resided, the pagoda came to be known as Kaw Laka Pagoda. This name in course of time corrupted to Khaunk Pagoda or KyaikKhauk in Mon.