Nyaungshwe, which is the entrance town to the north of Inle Lake is a laid back town filled with tourists. There are only a few places to see in Nyaungshwe. However, these places are worth a visit while you are in Nyaungshwe.
Museum of Shan Chiefs (Sao Pha)
This teak-and-brick building is the haw (palace) of the 33rd and last Sao Pha (prince) of Nyaungshwe, Sao Shwe Thaike. The museum is situated in the northern part of the town. Inside the museum is the display of the shan furnitures and royal costumes. The walls are decorated with dark wood carving, and the royal couples’ throne still stands in the reception hall.The palace itself retained little of its former charms and glories of the past. The last Sao Pha Sao Shwe Thaike was the first president of the independence Union of Burma. He was arrested during 1962 military coup and later died in Insein Prison. His body was buried in Nyaungshwe near the football ground by the canal. There is a small entrance fee of US$ 2 to the museum.
Shwe Yawnghwe Monastery
Photo by Markku A
Near the Shan Palace, a little way outside the town, is the Shwe Yawnghwe Monastery made of teak wood. The monastery has an ordination hall (thein) with unique oval windows. This thein was built by a shan prince (sao pha). Because of the photographic attraction of young monks standing behind these oval windows of the monastery, this place has become the regular stopping place for the tourist buses.
Yadana Man Aung Phaya (Pagoda)
This is the oldest temple in Nyaungshwe. With its unique step spired stupa, this pagoda is worth visiting.
Nigyon Taungyon Kyaung
Originally built by the Nyaungshwe Sao Pha, this monastery has a number of unique shan style what slender pagodas in the compound. The monastery is in the south-eastern part of the town.
Situated near the intha village of Nanthe, this old ruined ancient pagoda has a huge sitting Buddha believed to be 700 years old. Surrounding the sitting Buddha are a number of mythical lions (chinthe) and divas (celestial beings).
Other monasteries in Nyaungshwe are Yangon Kyaung, Kan Gyi Kyaung and Shwe Gu Kyaung.
Photo by Yeowatzup
This is the main market or bazaar in the northern part of the town. The market is busiest in the morning. There are a number of shops selling local fruits and products, Shan noodle, textiles, local Shan clothes and pottery.
Editor’s Note: Many of the above information has been obtained from our reference book Lonely Planet Guide to Myanmar (Burma). This is a very good guide book on Myanmar, and essential book that you must bring on your trip to Myanmar. The book can be obtained from Amazon store.