Pyay (Prome) is an ancient town in central Myanmar that dates back to the 11th century Pagan Empire.
The city thrived as an important river trading hub during the rise of the Pagan Empire. When the British Empire took control of the region in the late 19th century, Pyay continued to prosper. Today, the city of Pyay is still an important shipping hub for goods traveling along the Ayeyarwady River.
The Shwesandaw Pagoda is the city’s paramount landmark. Capping a low hill near the center of town, Shwesandaw Pagoda is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, and local legends say the Buddhist temple dates back to 589 BC. A tooth relic left from the Buddha’s cremation in Northern India is believed to be enshrined here.
The Thayekhittaya (Sri Ksetra) Archeological Park is about 5 miles from the city of Pyay. The site is the remains of an ancient capital from one of the many Pyu city-states that ruled this region before the rise of the Pagan Kingdom. The circular city was enclosed by nearly 20 square-miles of walls. A number of ancient intact structures dating back to the 9th century and earlier can be found inside the archeological park.
The Thayekhittaya (Sri Ksetra) Archeological Park is best explored during the cooler dry season that runs between November and May while enjoying a luxury tour of Myanmar. Warmer temperatures and higher chances of rainfall begin in June and continue into October. While the second half of the year is hotter, the extra precipitation makes the lush fields and jungles of Myanmar particularly stunning.
The city of Pyay has a plethora of sights for architectural and cultural enthusiasts.
Pyay is about 160 miles northwest of Yangon along the Ayeyarwady River. It can be reached overland in a private vehicle in as little as 4 hours from Yangon.
Western-style clothing is fine to wear while exploring the archeological park and town. If you’re planning on visiting The Shwesandaw Pagoda, it’s best to dress in modest attire that covers your shoulders, arms, and knees.