Taukkyan War Cemetery- this cemetery is located some 70 kilometers south-east of the city. Although it belongs to the Yangon greater area, township of Mingaladon, Taukkyan Village, trips to this commemoration sight are organized from Bago as well. The cemetery itself was built in 1951, to commemorate the soldiers who died in both World Wars. It is maintained by Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The landscaping is done almost immaculately, giving this place a dose of solemnity and tranquility specific for many commemorative sights from the two wars scattered around the world. The cemetery now contains 6,374 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 867 of them unidentified, and many of which feature inscriptions that can be read by visitors. In addition, memorial pillars bear the names of more than 27,000 allied soldiers who have no grave. The Takukkyan Cemetery is also the largest of the three War Cemeteries in Myanmar. It contains the graves transferred from four battlefield cemeteries at Akyab, Mandalay, Meiktila and Sahmaw which were difficult to access and could not be maintained. Moreover, graves from some jungle and inaccessible areas of the country were also transferred to the Taukkyan Cemetery. There are also three memorials within the Cemetery: the Rangoon Memorial, which bears the names of almost 27,000 men of the Commonwealth land forces who died during the campaigns in Burma and who have no known graves; the Taukkyan Cremation Memorial, commemorating more than 1,000 Second World War casualties whose remains were cremated in accordance with their faith; and the Taukkyan Memorial, which commemorates 46 servicemen of both wars who died and were buried elsewhere in Burma but whose graves could not be maintained. The Cemetery is open for visitors every day from 7am to 5pm.
Akauktaung Mountain- also known as the Tax Hill, its attractions include many Buddha images carved into the stone surrounding the Bago River, whose banks are also cliffs of the Akauktaung Mountain. It is believed that the alternative name derives from the legend that the Buddha carvings were paid for by the local traders in order to collect money from pilgrims and passengers visiting them. It is located some 300 kilometers north-west from the city of Bago, or 20 kilometers from Pyay, a town in Bago Division. The other sight worth visiting at the mountain is the Akauktaung Pagoda, which sits on the very top of the hill. The trip fro Bago to the Mountain, via the new Yangon- Naypyitaw highway, takes around 5 and a half hours, and going through Taik Kyi and Tharrawaddy cities, which is going west of Bago, takes some 15 minutes less, but under a lot worse road conditions.
Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda ( Golden Rock) - one of the most famous and visited sites in Myanmar. It is located around 140 kilometers southeast of Bago, in a small town of Kyaikhto. Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda stands on a gilded boulder precariously perched on the edge of the hill 1202 meters above the sea-level. Getting here is a real test; one needs to hike for almost 11 km uphill to reach the Boulder. Of course, there is also a road for the cars which can park close to the pagoda, but very few of the pilgrims decide to go this way. It is not a big pagoda, especially compared to some of the pagodas in Myanmar, that are enormous, standing 7,3 meters in height. It is built on a huge, almost egg- shaped, rounded granitoid boulder perched on the very summit of a tabular rock. The rock itself is separated slightly from the hill, so a small bridge was built to walk over the chasm to the boulder. The “Golden Rock” Pagoda was built in built in 574 B.C. Legend has it that after the hermit had obtained the hair from the Buddha, he was carrying it on his head inside his hair knot till he found a boulder which resembled his head, and so he built the pagoda on it, enshrining the relic.
The historic significance, together with the monuments left from different eras and sacred pilgrimage sites for the Burmese people, especially Buddhists, ought to be strong enough encouragement for everyone to get out of Bago, sit in a car (or bus), and take off to some, or ideally all, of the sites we listed above.