Ye and the surrounding area offer many interesting sites and activities. Starlight can arrange day trips to any of the following locations:
Ko Yin Lay (the Mon name, translated, is “Banana Mountain”) – A uniquely styled Mon temple complex. It features a 9-story 4-sided seated Buddha structure that you can walk up from the ornately styled interior. At the top, enjoy a 360 degree view of the surrounding area. If you arrive at 10:30 to 11:00 am, you may be invited to sit down for a traditional Mon/Burmese lunch. All the food is vegetarian, and delicious! You won’t be asked for payment or the food, but a donation to the temple will be appreciated. A very large reclining Buddha image is being built at Ko Yin Lay, as well as a private school. Ko Yin Lay is about 25 minutes drive time from Starlight Guesthouse. You can go either with or without a guide.
Jaung Ywar (School Village) – The village is a mix of Mon and Kayin people, and is located upstream on the Ye River, where the water runs clean and clear. You can hire a longtail boat for10,000 kyat and go upstream through the jungle to a small Mon temple where 2 branches of the river meet. There are areas along the river that are perfect for swimming or just relaxing. Outside the village, there is a pagoda on the hill with a great viewpoint of the river as it winds through the jungle, and the mountains beyond. There are restaurants in the village if you choose to eat there. Jaung Ywar village is about 40 minutes drive time from Starlight Guesthouse. You will travel to the village by either motorbike or car, and the boat ride starts from the village. Dress modestly for swimming. No bikinis, please.
A guide is required for a visit to Jaung Ywar village.
Asin Village and BinLeWa beach – Asin is a large village to the west of Ye, and BinLeWa Beach is at the point where the Ye River flows into the ocean. You will go through Asin before you reach BinLeWa. At the beach, there is a hill with a small pagoda at the top, and it is a nice viewpoint. There are several restaurants that make very good food: barbeque, seafood and tom yum (Thai-style seafood soup). Drinks and beer are also available. The water at the beach is not so clear, but it is safe to swim there. Unfortunately, there is a lot of rubbish in the area.
Most visitors walk to the left side of the rocky hill, but the beach to the right side is more secluded, and cleaner.
If you walk about 500 meters north, along the beach, you will and a few beach-side restaurants with cold beer and drinks. BinLeWa beach is about 40 minutes drive time from Starlight Guesthouse.
KaBiaWa Beach – Located southwest of Ye, it’s about a 1 hour drive to KaBiaWa. The village is planned as a resort area in the future. There is a nice beach at the south side of the village.
The beach area is cleaner than BinLeWa beach, and there are restaurants with views of the beach, beer and
drinks. On the north side of the KaBiaWa village, you’ll see traditional wooden fishing boats in the sheltered bay.
A footpath continues along the side of a hill to a rocky point with a pagoda and great views of the ocean and the
mainland. There is also a beautiful small beach for swimming and relaxing. A guide is not required, but can be helpful to find the correct roads and assist with translation.
Motorbike rental (if available) – 7000 kyat for semi-automatic. 8000 for automatic.
Motorbike taxi – Driver will quote rate depending on destination and time required.
Local tour guide (the guide uses their own motorbike. One person can ride along) – 20,000 kyat per day maximum.
Shorter tours to 1 destination are 15,000 kyat.
3 wheeled tuk-tuk, private car or open-back small truck (vehicle depends on availability). Prices include driver. Might require a guide as well (for an extra charge), depending on your destination and the driver’s English skills.
Car and driver prices to:
Ka Bia Wa, 50,000 kyat
To Duya village, 35,000
To Jaung Ywar, 35,000
To Ko Yin Lay 35,000
For Jaung Ywar + Ko Yin Lay 50,000 kyat.
To Bin Le Wa 35,000
There is not a boat that takes customers upriver to Jaung Ywar
starting at Ye. There are parts of the Ye river that are too shallow
and rapid. Transportation to the village is by road only. The longtail
boat starting from Jaung Ywar village is 10,000 kyat. Depending on
the water level, the boat driver can take anywhere from 4 to 8 people
in one boat. There is usually more than one boat available.
Getting around… We will arrange for transportation wherever you’d like, either by motorbike or car. We rent motorbikes to experienced drivers as well, but availability is limited.
Eating… There are many good restaurants in Ye that offer Myanmar specialties, Thai food, noodle soup and vegetarian cuisine.
The Market… The public market in Ye is located very close to the Ye River. Fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, fish, snacks, and housewares are sold in a variety of specialty shops. Three-wheeled bicycle taxis and horse-drawn wood wagons transport items from the market to people’s homes. It’s like a trip back in time!
Temples and shrines… Ye and surrounding areas offer far too many temples and shrines to mention. Chances are that, wherever you happen to be, a Buddhist structure is not far away. When entering a temple complex, take off your shoes. You’ll usually see a collection of shoes as you enter, and this is a good reminder. At some more prominent temples and pagodas, it is appropriate to wear the traditional ‘longyi’, for both men and women. They usually have a ‘loaner’, and there is always someone that will take great delight in showing you the proper way to tie it around your waist.
Churches… Yes, there is a Baptist Church in Ye, as well as a Catholic Church. You will be very welcome to participate in Sunday worship. Services are in Myanmar language, but you’ll feel the love!
Photography… Myanmar is a photographer’s dream, and Ye offers plenty of unique scenes. The culture, the people and the architectural features will challenge your compositional skills. Whether in the rainy season or the dry season, you will not be deprived of interesting images to capture.
Fitness and Yoga… Noble Fitness and Sport Center is a 10 minute walk from Starlight Guesthouse. Sam is a very competent yoga teacher in the Bikram style. It’s not ‘hot’ yoga, but you’ll work up a good sweat anyway. He has free weights, cable machines and cardio equipment as well.
Meditation… The 500 monks monastery welcomes foreigners to come and practice meditation. There are English speaking monks and instructors to assist you in your challenge to minimize distractions in your life, and find a bit of solitude.
Massage… After a day out, you may be interested in a relaxing and therapeutic massage. We can arrange that for you.
Haircuts and Salons… There are several salons in Ye for both men and women. The price is amazingly cheap, and the stylists are very competent.
Festivals and Dates… January 4th – Myanmar Independence Day. One of the biggest holidays in Ye, with dragon boat races on the lake, many athletic competitions, shows and plenty of local food. It’s a 3 day event, starting on January 2nd.
February 7 to 14 – The Ye Festival. Myanmar-style kickboxing, live music and theater, carnival rides, food, beer and plenty of local people in a festive mood.
1st full moon in March – The Lamai Festival. Lamai is about 45 minutes North of Ye, and features a beautiful temple complex reminescent of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. The festival features Myanmar kickboxing, live music, food, rides for the kids and a special atmosphere that you will not find anywhere else.
3rd week in March – full moon – Tabuang Pwe Pagoda festival.
April 13th to 16th – Tinjian Water Festival, similar to “Songkran” in Thailand. Plenty of water is thrown and everyone gets wet for 3 days. This is a celebration of the Buddhist New Year. April can be very hot in Myanmar, so being doused with water can be quite refreshing. Tanaka, the traditional powder from the tanaka tree, is generously applied to faces. Typically, this time of year marks the beginning of the rainy season.
April 17th marks the new year of the Myanmar calendar.
May 1st – Labour Day
2nd full moon in May – Full moon of Kason. Anniversary of the birth, death and enlightenment of the Buddha.
July 19th – Martyrs’ Day – Commemorates the assasination of General Aung San in 1947.
2nd full moon in July – Waa Waen – Festival of Lights. Beginning of Buddhist Lent.
2nd full moon in October – Festival of Lights. End of Buddhist Lent. In Ye, it’s known as the Day of 1000 Monks. The procession of monks from various monesteries walk through Ye town and receive gifts of merit from thousands of people lining the streets.
2nd full moon in November – Tazangdaing Festival.