Pathein has a scenic waterfront and many Buddhist temples, including the main sight of Shwemokhtaw Pagoda.
Lying at the western edge of the Ayeyarwady River delta, on the Pathein (Ngawan) River 118 miles (190 km) west of Yangon, Pathein is accessible to large vessels and despite its distance from the ocean, it is the most important delta port outside of Yangon. The city is also a terminus of a branch of the main railroad line which connects it to Hinthada, Letpadan and Yangon. In the 1990s, the road network along the Irrawaddy to Monywa was improved.
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