Pyay

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Pyay (Prome, Pyi) is a small, charming town and district in Bago Division in the Irrawaddy region of Myanmar.

Understand[edit]

Get in[edit]

  • from Bagan (Nyaung U bus station)

From Bagan it takes 9-10 hours to reach Pyay. Buy your busticket in Bagan a day in advance, costs 13000kyat ((11000kyat for non-A/C bus) and departs at 1.30pm from Nyaug U bus station.

  • from Pathein (East bus station 16.79821N 94.76429E), 8-10h, 14k. Keep in mind the bus passes by the center of town (and guesthouses) to go far to the east bus station... Apparently to give all the taxi drivers a job driving you back in. Save yourself some hassle and just ask to get off right after the bridge or by the big pagoda.
  • A motor taxi or trishaw from the bus station to the city center costs 2000K.

Get around[edit]

The city is fine on foot, but best seen on bicycle. Try not to rent from the stingy Myat guesthouse with sub-par bikes, and opt for the Pangabar hotel bikes which are cheaper.

Pyat doesn't seem to be too well visited by foreigners so you're sure to get lots of 'mingalabas' and smiles.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Night market near the roundabout
  • Shwe San Taw Pagoda. Located on a Hill in the city center (near the roundabout). Stairs from 4 directions and an elevator. Nice view of the giant buddah and the city. Foreigners are supposed to pay 1500kyat, but they don't always check. Especially when taking the stairs.
  • Sri Kshetra ancient city ruins. A few kilometers east of the city is the old Pyu city, with big round temples and city walls. Probably best seen by motorbike or car. Too long and spread out to walk, and the roads can be a bit sandy for biking.

Do[edit][add listing]

By private tuktuk / pickup truck (more than two people possible)[edit]

  • 3h Tour to Sri Ksetra (a.k.a. Hmwaza), 8km east of Pyay, including some temples and stupas (on the way and in Pyay) for max 15000kyat per group (March 2014). Government site fee 5000kyat pax, optional museum 5000kyat pax
  • 2h Tour to "Buddha with glasses" (Shwemyethman Paya) in the village Shwedaung 14km south of Pyay plus 80-Buddhas-monastry plus some sites in Paya: max 15000kyat per group (March 2014). You may haggle! Both tours can be combined, e.g. for 20000kyat or 25000kyat per group.
  • driver with some english: Sithu Aung, phone 09402 695676 (prices without haggling already cheaper than in guesthouses)

By Bike[edit]

  • Bike rental from a guesthouse for 1000-2000kyat per day.

Help at the orphanage[edit]

The Parahita orphan home always needs some help and donations. There is information posted at Pangabar guesthouse. The orphanage is in a monastery at 18.830193, 95.251257.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Cash[edit]

several ATMs at the main road between bus station and roundabout.


Eat[edit][add listing]

There are several restaurants on the riverfront near the night market at Post Office Road. Watching the sunset over the Irrawaddy is sublime.

  • San Francisco, 722 Strand Road, Pyay (In the middle between the Lucky Dragon and the Strand Hotel). The prices (6000kyat for a main dish) are a bit high for food which is just ok and very standard. The place has air conditioning though.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Faluda ice milk drink is sold at Taryarlinn ice cream south of the roundabout. Take it to go though, as the place sits near open sewage channels.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are only a few places (3-4) that accept foreigner, so not much point in wondering round the town looking for cheaper accommodation. The cheapest include:

  • Myat Lodging House

$12 for a twin room with fan, negotiable down to about $8/night (if staying multiple nights) The rooms are downstairs, and dark and dingy with a bad smell of damp and lots of mosquitoes. Upstairs there are aircon doubles/twins for $32 but probably negotiable. (March 2014: 25$ incl. mediocre breakfast, cheaper for two nights) The wifi is slow but working. Shared bathrooms are fairly clean, and there's a decent place for washing clothes (by hand, yourself). 'Mr Myat' is friendly, but a businessman looking to get your money at heart. For example, his quoted price for a tuk-tuk trip to the nearby ancient city is ~25,000 kyat, whereas street price is ~10,000 kyat (negotiable to ~8,000 kyat). It is not advised you book bus tickets with him (where he normally takes a comission of 1000-2000 kyat per ticket). If a bus is full he will find any other form of transport (e.g. small, 10 seater minibuses - not something most people will want to take for 11 hours on a bumpy road) just so he can make his commission. They shut down A/C quite frequently, so you have to ask to turn it on again several times a day.

  • Smile Motel

No.10-11, Bogyoke Road, Sandaw Ward, Pyay. 053-25142. $22 for twin room with aircon. Price negotiable (possible down to $18). Probably the best value place in town (due to its cleanliness, friendliness of staff, and location)

  • Pan Ga Barr

Not to be confused with Aung Gabar (since closed), this is not far from Myat Lodging house, closer to the river. 7$ per person (April 2015) in huge double/family room with toilet and shower, table, bench, fan. Very welcoming and friendly. The best breakfast for budget accommodation so far in Myanmar (tea, coffee, bread, egg, samosa, spring roll, banana, papaya)!

  • Lucky Dragon

One of the more expensive hotels (45$) in town. With swimming pool.Coordinates: 18.819549 95.213723. Address: 722 Strand Road, Pyay. Phone: +95 53 24222.

Stay safe[edit]

Lots of dogs patrol the city. Not usually aggressive, but watch yourself at night.

Get out[edit]

By bus 3,5km east of city center

  • to Pathein, 6:30am 8-11h, 6000kyat
  • to Taunggok, 8am, 7pm, ca. 7h, 11500kyat. Very, very shaky ride!
  • to Ngapali Beach, ca. 7:00pm, 15000kyat (March 2014)

In Pyay somebody will approach you to buy his ticket to Ngapali for 15000kyat. His service is a private car which leaves the next day at 7pm and will take about 11 hours with door to door service. He sells bus tickets as well but they don't drop you off at the hotel but reaches Thandwe only. From there you have to get a pickup to your hotel. Bustickets cost 17000kyat and leave at 8.30pm. Book the ticket in advance or you will loose you possibility to go out.

Buses from Yangon don't stop at Pyay anymore as they take a different (new) "highway" to Bagan. The only afternoon bus departs at 5 p.m. and arrives between 4 and 5 a.m. in Bagan (uncomfortable, old bus without adjustable seats for 12000 kyet). In the morning, there might be a same-day option via Magway, but after noon the above is the only option.

Via Magway: 2pm (and other times). It doesn't matter where you hop on or off, the price is always around 25000K. Serpentines through the mountains.
Via Taunggok: Minivan to Taunggok, see above. From there Minibus to Sittwe 6:30pm, 18000K, ca. 17h (in total 24h + waiting time).



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