Located about 150 km south of Bagan, on the east bank of the Ayeyarwady River, Magway is the capital of the 44 820 km2 Magway Region of the same name. During the British occupation, Magway was just a township in the Minbu province. On 1974, in the period of the Socialist Government, it became the capital of the Magway Region. The main production of oil and natural gas is based in Magway and the surrounding area, mostly using medieval-style processes from the colonial era. In the south of the city there are still some beautiful colonial mansions.
Visible from afar, the Myathalun pagoda is just outside the city on the elevated bank of the Ayeyarwady River. According to legend, the original pagoda was built by the merchant by the name of Baw Gyaw, who had been a demon in his previous life, and his wife, the daughter of a rich man. The pagoda is believed to have housed an emerald couch of Buddha. The Pagoda Festival is celebrated in the days around the full moon in October. Hundreds of huts are then set up for pilgrims on the road leading to the pagoda.
Shwesettaw is about 30 km west of Minbu. There are actually two pagodas: one at the bottom of the Mann River at the foot of the hill and the other pagoda is on top of a wooded hill with a beautiful view of the surroundings. According to legend, Buddha left footprints on his travels at the request of monks and kings. After being forgotten for many centuries, the holy place is said to have been rediscovered in the 10th century when a hermit dreamed of it and tracked down the footprints with the help of a hunter and his black dog.
Sale is located about 35 km south of Bagan, on the east bank of the Ayeyarwady River. The town originated at the end of the Bagan era in the 12th and 13th. It was a wealthy trading city during the colonial era. Some remarkable wooden monasteries with excellent wood carvings date from that time and bear witness to the former splendor of this town, which now looks like a village. On the outside of the Yoke Son Monastery, elaborately carved figures tell scenes from the Jatakas; the approximately 150 year old monastery was renovated in 1994 as a museum of sacred art.
Pakokku is located northeast of Bagan on the opposite bank of the Ayeyarwady River and it has the population of more than 320,000. The town is an important hub for trading goods and a cultivation center for tobacco, cotton and thanaka, and it is also known for its large number of monasteries. The main sanctuary of the city is the Thihoshin Temple, which was founded by King Alaungsithu in the Bagan period. At the center of the sanctuary, there are three lavishly decorated Buddha images, which according to legend came from Sri Lanka.