Between the 5th and 9th centuries the Pyu people began to settle in this area, in the Bago region of Burma, hence the town was originally known as Pyu but was later renamed Pyay (also known as Prome).  The town is sited on the banks of the Ayerarwady River and is around 285 km north of Yangon, reachable by car or train allowing a journey time of around five hours.

Its most well known pagoda is Shwesandaw, built in 589 BC by King Dotdabaung, a heavily gilded Buddhist pagoda in the centre of the town and is an important pilgrimage location in Burma.


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