Today we set off early to explore the not so famous city of Sri Ksetra. It's located about 5 miles East of Pyay and deserves a half day minimum to see some of its biggest sights.
We had the option of getting the hotel to arrange some transport there and back but opted to DIY it as usual. When we write this up properly I will tell you the pro's and con's of that!
Anyway, the city is the same age as Old Bagan. You could call this place it's little brother. It is worth the trip though, as you will get to come up and close with the prototypes of the modern day Stupa (that's the big golden temples you see dotted around the country, Myanmar's most iconic image). It was great seeing how the modern day Stupas evolved over the past 1,500 years. Better still, we had the place to ourselves and definitely felt like we made a fairly rare show of tourism in an otherwise fairly deserted place. We worked out from the guest book that maybe just a few hundred Brits come to this place every year so it's definitely a great place to discover before the whole world knows about it and descends like the plague. It's going for a World Heritage spot at the moment, and likely will get it soon enough..
Just a tip though, just because these Stupas are old, doesn't make them any less religiously sacred. So take your shoes off and wear sensible clothing when exploring them.
It was a fairly expensive day actually, with us each paying 8,500 Kyat for transport and 5,000 for entrance (as with most attractions in Myanmar you pay in kyat rather than $ Dollars unlike the guide books tell you).
Anyway, below are some photos from my phone. Better ones to come when we get back to Thailand! The second one is Bawbawgyi Paya, the sites most prominent Stupa!