The wooden roof of the Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, Myanmar

Visiting Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery in Myanmar.

The small Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery is situated around 1.5 miles north of Nyaung Shwe along the road towards Heho Airport and makes for a really enjoyable bike ride.


Country side - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. Countryside - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. Cycle hire is readily available in Nyaung Shwe at most guest houses and hotels plus many shops have them too. The bike ride takes you out of town past the Ticket Booth so it is worth making sure you have your area ticket with you in case they want to check it on the way back into town.
Having passed the booth the road becomes a sort of dual-carriageway but it really is fine for cycling - there is not a lot of traffic and anyway the drivers do not go quickly and respect cyclists in the main. The road is completely lined with trees so nice and shaded and there is plenty of room on the verges to stop to take photos and admire the views. A lake is one side of the road and paddy fields stretching away into the distance on the other. It is always interesting to watch local farmers working in the fields planting and picking rice so all very picturesque - actually coaches stop along the way so that their passengers can take photos. In amongst the fields there are small stupas dotted around as well as a variety of thatched houses and barns. Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery is easily spotted - it is on the left hand side of the road just before a sharp left-hand bend.
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Farmers Barn - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. mini pagodas - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. muddy ricefield - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. Nyaung Countryside - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar.
rice picking - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. Planting rice - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. Rice fields - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. rice paddy fields - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar.
Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. Shwe Yan Pyay courtyard, Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar.

Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery itself.

Built in the early 1900s the monastery is actively used however it's fine to walk around - but of course necessary to remove your footwear if entering any of the buildings. The Monastery is contained with a fairly high-walled complex and most of the buildings are made from teak. The Ordination Hall (which is called a Thein) has what are fairly unusual oval windows. The interior is cool and quite dark and supported by heavily carved pillars. There are several Buddha statues and also side rooms where the monks teach deprived children. There are other buildings in the complex which you can look into including the Monastery kitchen and dining area as well as several monks accommodation blocks (which are round the back of the Hall)..
The stupa at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. Shwe Yan Pyay inside view of the Monastery, Myanmar. Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery Buddha - Nyaung Shwe. Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery inside - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar.
Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery kitchen, Myanmar. Shwe Yan Pyay sitting Buddha, Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery kitchen - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. Colourful Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery - Myanmar.
On one side of the complex there is a large barrel roofed Pagoda which has a fine golden stupa. This Pagoda is very unusual because inside there are four corridors and on the walls there are a multitude of small niches. Each niche contains a small sitting Buddha - each has a plaque underneath which names each donor and the amount that they donated. Making a donation to the monastery in this way is considered very beneficial to the donor's life - donations appear to have come from all over the world. The corridors are very brightly coloured - mostly orangey-red - and at the end of each section are one or more larger Buddha statues - each in different poses.
Shwe Yan Pyay Buddha shrine, Nyaung Shwe. Shwe Yan Pyay corridor - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. Buddha shrines at all four corners at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. Donation alcoves at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery in Myanmar. 100s of small donation boxes in corridors at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. Shwe Yan Pyay - near Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar. Buddha shrine at the end of a corridor at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery. Orange/red coloured corridors at Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery near Nyaung Shwe.
Having looked round the Monastery then of course you can continue cycling further along the road. However there is not any site of interest to look round and after a while the countryside and views are nowhere as good as on the Nyaung Shwe stretch - though another mile or two cycling along is of course a quite pleasant thing to do.
Our other items about Inle Lake and Nyaung Shwe - including a couple nice bike rides.
Other destinations in the Far East which are reasonably easy to reach from Myanmar and for which we have travel and touring guides are Cambodia, Laos, China, Thailand and Vietnam - please see our above Home Page for these or visit our Resources Page to see all our website travel and holiday topics.
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