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Pyay was formerly known as Prome. Pyay is an important commercial center for trade between the Ayeyarwady Delta. Central and Upper Myanmar and the Rakhine (Arakan) State. Pyay is only 161 km north of Yangon travelling along a well-maintained highway by car. You can see green paddy fields along the side of the highway. Several trains run daily from Yangon on the first railway line built in Myanmar in 1877. In the last few years the railway branch lines have been extended north towards Bagan. It is a city halfway between Yangon and Bagan. Visitors can stop over in Pyay and travel on to Bagan and Mandalay. Pyay is situated on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River on a lovely location.

Pyay was anglicized as Prome after the Second Anglo-Myanmar war and in ancient times was known as Thaye-khittra (Srikshetra). Srikshetra. the ancient Pyu capital about five miles to the east. is interesting place to visit because of their historical importance and archaeological sites.

Best time to visit

Myanmar has a rainy season from June to October and at that time you can expect heavy downpours daily as well as flooding. This means that you may find it difficult to get out and about and explore during this time so with that in mind it is better to visit Pyay from November or December. This is the season directly after the rainy season when temperatures are still mild but there is less chance of rain. 

Check the below table for the general idea of Pyay weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 32.1 25.2 18.2
Feb 34.3 26.8 19.3
Mar 36 28.9 21.9
Apr 36.9 30.7 24.4
May 34.5 29.6 25.2
Jun 31.4 27.7 24.9
Jul 30.4 27.1 24.4
Aug 30.3 27.1 24.3
Sep 30.9 27.3 24.1
Oct 32.8 28.4 24
Nov 33.3 28.1 22.6
Dec 31.9 25.9 19.4

Pyay’s current weather and 7-day forecast


1. Shwe Sandaw Pagoda

The Shwesandaw Pagoda is well known in Pyay. Shwesandaw meaning the Golden Hair Relics. The Pagoda is situated on the eastern bank of Ayeyarwaddy River and Myanmar’s most venerated structure stands here. The former name of the pagoda was known to be Mya Thi Htin. It has a height of 127 feet high and standing on the plinth making a total measurement of 290 feet from the base. There are 64 surrounding smaller pagodas around the main one.

There is a chamber in the southern sector of the platform housing a duplicate of the Buddha's tooth relic of Kandy. Having been placed beside the original tooth-relic of Kandy for a time it is believed to have absorbed the aura of the original and become just as potent. The tooth-relic from the Shwesandaw Pagoda is customarily taken out from its chamber in the month of Dazaungmone (November-December) every year and ceremoniously taken on a tour of the city once every three years so that worshippers might pay homage to it and revere it with their own eyes.

2. Saehtatgyi Pagoda

Looming high over Pyay is Sehtatgyi Paya, a giant (maybe not 10 storeys, though) seated Buddha, which goes eye-to-eye with the Shwesandaw Paya seemingly watching over it.

3. BawBawGyi Paya

South of the museum outside the city walls are cylindrical Bawbawgyi Paya and cube-shaped Bebe Paya. Standing over 45 meters high the brick and plaster of Bawbawgyi Paya is the oldest stupa in the area. Other cube-shaped pagodas in the area include one thought to have been used by a hermit featuring eight Buddha reliefs along the lower half of the interior wall and a vaulted ceiling of brick.

4. Shwe Myatman Paya

Shwemyethman Paya meaning 'Paya with the Golden Spectacles' a refrence to a large white face sitting Buddha image inside the main shrine. The Buddha image wears a golden rimmed spectacles. Spectacles were added during the Konbaung era. There is a saying that this image can cure illnesses especially for eyes.

5. Shwe Natttaung Paya

Shwenattaung Paya means 'Golden Spirit Mountain'. This pagoda dates back to the Sriksetra era. Legend takes it back all the way to 283 BC from which it was reconstructed by a long range of Burman kings with the aid of local nats (spirits) A large pagoda festival is held here each year on the full moon of Tabaung (February/March).

6. Shwe Bon Thar Muni

This pagoda is located at the other bank of Pyay across Nawaday Bridge. The Pagoda compound is silent and you can feel beauty of nature.

7. Payagyi Pagoda

Once marking one of Thayekhittaya’s four corners, this towering pagoda probably dates from the 5th or 6th century AD. Three terraces encircle the slightly swollen, breast-like structure from its base; ‘ladies’ are not allowed on the upper one. The modern hti (pinnacle of the stupa) is lit up at night and lies a half-mile east of the bus station.

8. Akauk Taung Mountain

Akauktaung Mountain stands on the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River to the north of Pyay in Bago Division. It takes 15 minutes by boat ride to reach the Akauktaung. Different sizes and styles of Buddha images are carved into the wall of the bank and the visitor can climb and visit the Akauktaung pagoda which lies at the top of the bank.

9. Sri Ksetra World Heritage

The highlight of a Pyay visit for sure is Thayekhittaya (or Sriksetra) – the ancient capital of Pyu Kingdom in the time period of from the fifth to the ninth century. Standing behind thorny bushes dotted with beautiful white flowers, the site consists of several antique pagodas like Patagyi and Bawbawgyi. Also, there is a small museum displaying artifacts such as royal funerary vases, silver coins, stone carvings, terracotta votive tablets, and statues of Bodhisattva, Dvarapala, Vishnu, Lakshmi as well as other Hindu deities.

10. General Aung San Statue

This gilded statue of Aung San on horseback is a handy landmark when navigating the center of town.

As Pyay is not firmly on the tourist trail you won’t find a large selection of restaurants here.

One of the most famous is the San Francisco which is a misleading name as they serve a range of dishes such as rice and noodles and some Western fare for around MMK 6,000 for a main course. If you want to try something a little more authentic, then Auntie Moe’s located on Kan Street is a good option and you will find some toothsome curries here that are typical to the region.

One of the best options if you are looking for something to eat in Pyay is a visit to the night market which is located on Bogyoke Street and skirts along the river front. Here you will find a range of local street food dishes including barbecued meats and some tasty noodle soups. This is also one of the cheapest places to eat in town and is very popular with locals.

Hotels and guesthouses in Myanmar need a license to accept foreigners which means that accommodation is sometimes limited. On the whole you will find some cheap accommodation options in Pyay but these often only have small rooms with shared bathrooms.

In Pyay you will find a few different accommodation choices that are used to housing foreign nationals such as the Myat Lodging House. A twin room with a fan here should be between USD 8-12 depending on the season and doubles with air conditioning cost for around USD 32. The guesthouse also has slow Wi-Fi provided.

Another choice is the Smile Motel which is located on Bogyoke Road and has twin rooms for around USD 22. This is one of the best value choices in Pyay as rooms are clean and you get more space and higher standards for your money.

If you have a larger budget then you can also try the Lucky Dragon which has rooms for USD 50 per night and is located on Strand Road. This may seem more than other places in town but this hotel also boasts an onsite swimming pool where you can take a refreshing dip at the end of a day exploring Pyay.

Get in

By bus

Highway Bus Station (almost 4 km east of the train station). 

From specific destinations:

Bagan – The bus from the bus station near the airport south of Nyaung U leaves Bagan at 13:30 and takes about 10 hr, from 11,000 kyat.

Mrauk U – 16 hr, 20,000 kyat.

Ngapali – Via Taungup. 9-10 hr, 13-15,000 kyat. You could also take a 7-hr taxi (also from Thandwe) for US$50-60.

Pathein – Mostly early morning buses. 10 hr, 6-10,000 kyat.

Sittwe – 18 hr, 22,000 kyat.

Taungup – Most people will come from Mrauk U, Sittwe and Ngapali going through Taungup. Prepare (your stomach) for a very bumpy ride through the mountains at certain seasons. 4-7 hr. 4,000-10,000 kyat.

Thandwe – 8-12 hr, 8-10,000 kyat.

Yangon – Pyay is a stopover for buses from Yangon to Sittwe or Mrauk U. 8 hr, from 10,000 kyat.

We recommend you check the latest bus schedule and price via

By train

Pyay Main Station (in the centre of the city). The ticket counter is not open all day, so ask the locals before heading to the train station. 

From specific destinations:

Yangon – Trains leave every day from two different stations in Yangon, central and Kyemyindine station. From Kyemyindine 07:00 & 11:00 to arrive at 06:00 & 22:00. (11 hr), respectively. From central Yangon at 13:00 to arrive at 21:30 (8½ hr). Upper class is 3,900 kyat and ordinary seat 1,950 kyat for the whole distance.

Pathein – The train leaves at 05:30 (2,000 kyat) and stops at Hinthada and 1 Kyankin. For the last 100 km from Kyankin to Pyay use local transport, because the train does not cross the Irrawaddy River. Boats are also an option.

By boat

There is a local ferry that leaves Bagan Sundays at 17:30 and arrives on Monday at 10:45, from 20,000 kyat.

Another local ferry leaves Yangon Fridays at 16:00 and arrives on Tuesday 24 hr later.

Get around

The Main Roundabout with an Aung San statue in the middle can be used for orientation, because most destinations are close.

Most sights and the Main Station can be reached by foot if you stay in one of the guesthouses in the center. For destinations outside this range, take a motorbike taxi or shared ride/pickup along the main roads. A private ride to the Highway Bus Station is about 1,000 kyat. Shared pickups are about 500 kyat for 10-15 km.

As always, you can also rent a bicycle starting at 1,000 kyat from one of the guesthouses.

Contact us to get more information


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