Pathein also called Bassein, is a port city with a 2004 population estimated at 215,600, and the capital of the Ayeyarwady Region, Burma. It lies on the Pathein River (Bassein), which is a western branch of the Irrawaddy River.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.
The coastline along the Bay of Bengal is surrounded by the Arakan Mountains. In the area is Inye Lake, 1.5 miles (2.5 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, which is known for its fishing. Pathein has a scenic waterfront, many Buddhist temples. The main sight of Pathein is Shwemokhtaw Paya, a Buddhist temple originally founded (according to local legend) by King Asoka of India in 305 BC.