The other Bagan...

Pyay (most often pronounced Pyi) is a riverside town that forms a convenient spot to break the western route between Yangon and Bagan. Boasting a quite spectacular pagoda, a collection of ancient ruins, some relaxed riverside scenery and, for the more adventurous, a series of impressive cliffside carvings well outside town, Pyay is certainly worth an overnight stay if not two nights for those with the time.

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Pyay’s most impressive attraction is the Shwesandaw Paya, with a glittering gold-covered stupa at its centre. With four entrances at its cardinal points, we found the best approach was to walk to the western one from the riverbank. The views from the summit are all-encompassing from the bridge over the river to the south across to the northern reaches of town.

Glittering Shwesandaw Paya.

Further afield, the ancient ruins at Thayekhittaya have been described by some as “Bagan lite”. The ancient site was the capital of a Pyu kingdom from the fifth to ninth centuries (until it was sacked and left in ruins by the Bagan king Anawratha in the 11th century. Today, aside from a small museum on site, the remains are scattered across a sizeable estate that doubles as not only an archeological site but also a living, working farm community. Generally the ruins are less spectacular than at Bagan, but you can easily lose a ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)

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