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Pyay is 294km north of Yangon, at the crossroads for bumpy bus rides west to Ngapali Beach and less bumpy bus rides north to Bagan. Over the years it's practically seen by more archaeologists than travelers, due to the much-excavated ancient Pyu capital of Myanmar Thayekhittaya, 8km east. The town itself can be a good busy day for sightseeing with interesting archeological site of ancient Pyu and directly stone curving Buddha images on the rock over headed on the Ayeyarwaddy river.

The current town site used to be an important trading centre during the Bagan era. Nowadays, it's an important cargo town in Myanmar, set at a transshipment point between northern and southern Myanmar.

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