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Pathein, also called Bassein, is a port city with a 2004 population estimated at 315,600, and the capital of the Ayeyarwady Region, Burma. It lies on the Pathein River (Bassein), which is a western branch of the Irrawaddy River. Pathein is the fourth largest city of Burma (Myanmar), situated west of Yangon.It is located within the Pathein Township of Pathein District and is also the seat of all. Although once part of the Mon kingdom, Pathein has few ethnic Mon residents today. The majority are of Bamar, Burmese Indians, Karen ethnicity. There are, however, notable minoritiy Rakhine.EtymologyThe city's name is believed to derive from the Mon name,. The name was corrupted to Bassein during the British colonial period.An alternate theory holds that the city's name comes from the classical name of Pathein, Kusimanagara, a name used by ancient writings an the Kalyani inscriptions. Pathein itself is a corruption of Mon "Kuthen," which itself is a contraction of Kusimanagara. This is supported by the fact that the Portuguese call Pathein "Cosmim."HistoryPathein was part of the Mon kingdom. The British built a fort and established a garrison in 1826, after the First Anglo-Burmese War. The 1983 census recorded a population of 144,092.Take a look at our Myanmar trip itinerary planner to refine the details of your trip to Pathein.
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