Discover the hidden places of Salay, Myanmar

Salay, a charming small town in lovingly quiet atmosphere, is about 120 kilometres north from Bagan. Salay was the home of famed writer and poet of the-Bagan era Salay U Pon Nya whose works are still studied and revered by modern Myanmar scholars. In this renowned village also lies the 130-year-old Yokesone Monastery known for its exquisite wood carving decorations.


Drive out of Bagan toward Chauk, a petroleum port in Magway region for the Singu – Chauk oil fields. Explore the local market and observe the lifestyle of the local people. From there, continue to drive to Salay. Visit Yokesone Monastery, a 130-year-old heritage site that is the oldest surviving wooden monastery hall, built on 154 teak posts with beautiful wood carvings decorating the outer walls.


Continue to Payathonzu, a complex of three brick shrines with mural paintings from the Bagan period, and see Man Paya – a large lacquer Buddha image, said to date from the 13th century. Nearby is Sasanayaunggyi monastery, featuring a lovely 19th century glass armoire with painted Jataka panels and 400-year-old Pali scriptures inside. The next stop on the tour is the 130-year-old monastery, Yokesone Kyaung, which is situated on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River, a cultural valued heritage site in Salay. Thousands of artistic detailed carvings adorn the exterior, and one hundred and fifty teak posts, each more than three feet in diametre, hold the whole building up ten feet above the ground.


Next, visit the Salay House, which was a trading house in British Colonial times and built in 1906. This restored riverside warehouse is filled with antiques to recreate the flavour of this historic time period. Learn and explore how British-Burma operated with displays and information panels. After lunch, embark on a short walking tour in the village to see colonial era houses and visit the U Bo Kyi’s House, the patron of Salay Yokesone Monastery. Continue driving toward Shinpinsargyo Pagoda built by King Nara Patisithu in the 11th century, featuring unique paintings in different styles of three periods (Bagan, Ava, Kong Baung) from the 11-18th centuries. The temple is decorated with paintings, glass mosaic and hundreds of the teak pillars. The tour ends with a drive back to Bagan and drop off at your hotel.


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Exploring Salay