The commercial centre of Pyay, situated on the lower reaches of the Ayeyarwady River was established around the 12th Century during the Bagan era after the fall of the nearby Pyu city of Thayekhittaya. The city boomed during the British colonial period when it became a base for the famous Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. Myanmar’s first railway connected Pyay to Yangon back in 1877.
Thayekhittaya. (Sri Ksetra)
The remains of this huge city, the largest built by this civilisation, cover about 19 square kilometres and the best way to explore is by ox cart. Highlights of the city include the Bawbawgyi Pagoda, one of the oldest in the city; Leimyethna Pagoda with its ancient Buddha reliefs and the old city gate. The site is a mixture of overgrown bush and farmland; you are likely to be the only visitors here. The on-site museum contains objects discovered in the archaeological zone such as Hindu deities, Buddha images, jewellery, coins and bronze figurines of musicians and dancers.
Pyay is six hours drive northwest of Yangon and accessible by air-conditioned hire car. There is no airport at Pyay. Mr Myanmar Travel can arrange return travel from Yangon or alternatively, you can continue onwards north to Bagan, a full day’s drive away. Shwemyetman Pagoda can be visited en-route to or from Yangon. We recommend staying in Pyay for at least two nights / one full day in order to explore the city and Thayekhittaya.