Shwe Myitsu Paya

Top choice in Northern Myanmar

The mystical Shwe Myitsu Paya, on an island off Nam Tay village, seems to float on the surface of the lake and is especially atmospheric at dawn when light mists rise from the lake surface. The central, gilded stupa was constructed in 1869 to enshrine Buddha relics transported here from Yangon. It costs K1000 for a boat to the island from the nearby pier. Women are not allowed to enter the temple itself, but can go around the exterior courtyard.

Pilgrims visit in droves for the Shwe Myitsu Pwe, held during the week before the full moon of Tabaung (March), at which time the lake waters are low enough for a walk along a seasonal causeway to the pagoda. The temple is about 7 miles from Lonton. Head 5 miles north and then turn off east towards the lake at the village of Nam Tay, where you see a large sign in Burmese script.