Sri Ksetra Museum

Myanmar (Burma)

Before exploring the ancient ruins of Thayekhittaya, it's worth stopping by this three-room museum at the entrance to the site. Inside, you'll find a posted map of the area and various artefacts from excavations, including sandstone reliefs featuring Hindu deities, 6th-century buddha images, Pyu beads, finely crafted gold and silver jewellery and condensed background details on Pyu architecture, literature and religious beliefs.

Among the most important pieces found at Pyu are small bronze figurines of five performers (a flutist, drummer, clown, dancer and cymbal player), which are among the earliest evidence of Myanmar's musical traditions (and date from between the 4th and 9th centuries AD). You can see replicas here of the figurines, though the originals are in the National Museum in Nay Pyi Taw.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Myanmar (Burma) attractions

1. Thayekhittaya


This ancient site, about 5 miles east of central Pyay, makes for an enjoyable few hours of laid-back exploration, often in isolation. Known to Pali…

2. Payagyi Paya


Once marking one of Thayekhittaya’s four corners, this bulbous, towering pagoda probably dates from the 5th or 6th century AD. Three terraces encircle the…

3. Wunchataung Paya

4.24 MILES

The smaller gold stupa on the highest hill southeast of Shwesandaw is the Wunchataung Paya, where people can say ‘sorry’ for misdeeds. While they’re at it…

4. Sehtatgyi Paya


Looming high over Pyay is Sehtatgyi Paya, a giant (maybe not the claimed 10 storeys, though) buddha seated in the earth-witness mudra (left hand palm…

5. Shwesandaw Paya & Around


Set atop a hill in the town centre, the stunning Shwesandaw Paya (and the surrounding pagodas and monasteries) is not only Pyay’s major point of interest,…

6. Aung San Statue

4.88 MILES

This gilded statue of Aung San on horseback is a handy landmark when navigating the centre of town.

7. Central Market

4.97 MILES

Follow Strand Rd north to catch the action at the lively and colourful central market which spreads over several blocks. As you approach, you’ll pass an…

8. Shwemyetman Paya

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South of Pyay, you'll find an oversized buddha wearing a gargantuan set of eyeglasses with gold-plated rims.