Pyay: No tourists and awe-inspiring temple ruins
This series covers places where not many tourists show up. Discover the gems, that lie off the beaten tourist track!
Only attractions where, during my entire visit, I haven’t come across more than five other international tourists make it into this category. I don’t count local tourists.
If you want to go from Yangon to Bagan on an alternative, not so touristy route, Pyay is the logical stop in-between. You will be almost the only tourist here and hence get a lot of attention. If you ever wondered, how a superstar feels in the public, come here. Wherever I looked, people turned their eyes away or still looked at me with a smile.
So here comes the Burma off the beaten path experience.
The city offers wonderful views onto the Ayarwaddy river. On the southern side near the golden Aung San-statue there is a night market with some nice foods to try. I tried some Burmese sweets. Along the street are Burmese restaurants and the Grandma café, offering Korean and Western food. The café also has the nicest chairs to sit down, but they’re still cheap. 🙂 The night market street and others are dirty and muddy. A lot of grass grows along the edges of the street. So you can definitely say, that Pyay has seen better times.
View from Shwesandaw Paya
It is nice to walk around here and you’ll have a good view to Pyay. The Paya stores hair and tooth-relicts from Buddha and is an important Paya in Burma, that gets a lot of visits from outside Pyay.
This is one of the oldest archaeological sites of Burma. And I had it to myself, when I was there. It was the capital of the Pyu empire, that existed from the 4th to the 9th century. On site stands the Bawbawgyi Paya, which is the oldest stupa of Burma built in the 5th century. You can see the remains of the royal palace outside wall and more remains of stupas and temples. You should rent an ox-cart and circle the site in about two hours. Find more information here.
Remains of the palace wall
An inside look at the Buddhas of Rahanta cave Paya. The Buddhas are looking towards the old city of Tharaykhittaya.
Bawbawgyi Paya, the oldest stupa of Burma from the 5th century! It was built by king Duttabaung and has Buddha relicts enshrined.
Where to stay
Myat Lodging House, 222 Bazaar street, Pyay, phone 053 5695
The rooms are ok, but nothing special. I paid 20 dollars for a room with an own bathroom. The owner has a tendency to try to cheat you, but apart from that is a nice guy. He took me to the major sites in and around Pyay for 10’000 Kyat with his motorbike. He also offers a bicycle for rent.
How to get there
You can reach it by bus or train from Yangon. If you like it slow you can also reach it by boat on the Ayarwaddy river. You can buy a bus-ticket in Yangon at the Aung San stadium one day before. There are no English signs. Just ask several times for Pyay air-con bus of the Maw company until you found the booth. The Aung Mingalar Highway bus station is far up north close to the airport. Show your bus ticket to the taxi driver the next day and he will know where to go.
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Hello dear blogger or tourist, My name is Roberta and I am currently about to finish my master’s degree in Geography. Regarding my master’s thesis concerning tourism in Pyay and its surroundings, I am conducting a survey made of questionnaires, place-based observations and interviews in order to gather the needed information to complete my knowledge. I have been searching for travel blogs or online narrations about your trip in order to assess your view of the city of Pyay. I would like to ask you if you would like to help me for my research by answering my questionnaire about your trip in Pyay/ Prome. It would be extremely precious to me, as I would like to assess as many pieces of information concerning tourism in Pyay as possible. I would use these information only anonymously and only for my master thesis. If you are interested in getting more information about my research, or in answering my survey, please tell me. I would be very happy 🙂 Thank you very much for reading! Roberta