Pyay (Burmese: ပြည်မြို့; MLCTS: prany mrui., pronounced [pjì mjo̰]; Mon: ပြန်, [prɔn]; also known as Prome and Pyè) is principal town of Pyay Township in the Bago Region in Myanmar. Pyay is located on the bank of the Irrawaddy River, 260 km (160 mi) north-west of Yangon. It is an important trade center for the Ayeyarwady Delta, Central and Upper Myanmar and the Rakhine (Arakan) State. The British Irrawaddy Flotilla Company established the current town in the late 19th century on the Irrawaddy as a transshipment point for cargo between Upper and Lower Burma.
The district of Pyay encompasses the valley of the Irrawaddy, located between Thayetmyo, Hinthada and Tharrawaddy districts. Along the western side of Pyay District are the Arakan Mountains and along the eastern side are the Pegu Range. Pyay District’s main towns are Pyay, Shwe Taung, and Paungde.
Pyay is situated around 290 km north of Yangon and is part of Myanmar’s many ancient capitals. It is a quiet and peaceful stupa studded on the Ayeyarwedy River and is a great place to stop on a visit to Myanmar. The hilltop located in the centre of the town, is one of the biggest pilgrimage sites in Myanmar and offers panoramic views of the river and beautiful surroundings. There are also various world heritage sites which can be found nearby and are definitely worth a visit such as the ancient Pyu capital of Sri Ksetra and the distinctive Akauk Taung Buddha cliff carvings, also set on the Irrawaddy River. Another place that would be great for you to visit is Shwe Myet Man Paya or more widely known as Buddha with Golden Spectacles. You will find it on the road to Yangon and is in Shwedung. It is a very fascinating place and quite unique to some as it is said that the act of praying to Buddha images can cure diseases, especially and quite unsurprisingly any disease linked with your eyes. Akuak Taung is another great place to go as mentioned with the spectacular buddha carvings carved into the wall. Some say that these were created by the taxmen who use to stand here waiting to collect money from the passing boats. It does take some time to get there from Pyay by either hiring a motorbike or taxi (around 2 hours) but it is a great day trip and some fantastic opportunity to take some photos. The Shwesandaw festival is a good time to visit in February or March which celebrates the yearly opening of the tooth hall which is said to one of Buddhas teeth. Overall Pyay is a great location to be and to visit in Myanmar and offers some great opportunities to learn more about the Buddhist religion.