Myanmar / Burma Travel Update
Since I was there, the situation in Myanmar/Burma has changed a lot. In February 2021, a military coup sparked widespread civil unrest and armed conflict.
The U.S. State Department currently advises: "Do not travel to Burma due to civil unrest and armed conflict." You can find their full travel advisory and security alerts here. And you can find the British Foreign Office's travel advice for Myanmar / Burma here.
It’s one of the oldest–and from all appearances, richest–of the many pagodas in Sagaing. Sitting high on top of Nga-pha Hill, one of dozens of hilltops in the Sagaing Hills, it was built in 1312 by Minister Pon Nya, after whom it’s named.
It’s not the most subtly decorated pagoda you’ll come across, thanks to a flood of cash coming in. A few things stand out in the main prayer hall. You can’t miss the giant statue of Gautama Buddha that dominates one end, tower higher than the walls around him. He looks unusually cheery. His gold robes and throne are surrounded by jade-colored tiles that line the walls and ceiling. And there are more donation boxes in this pagoda than I’ve seen in any other, each box designated to a particular purpose.
As with nearly all Burmese names that have been transliterated into English, you’ll come across multiple variations in spelling and rendering, including SoneOoPoneNyaShin and Sone Oo Pone Nya Shin.
Outside, the sprawling patios aren’t any less opulent. Colorful tiles cover the floors from which gold-covered stupas rise up. And there are great views over the Ayeyarwaddy River and surrounding hilltops.
The hill on which the pagoda sits is shaped a little like a frog. Which is how it got its name. And it also explains the large frog-shaped donation box you’ll see inside.
Photos of Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda
More About Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda
- Constructed in 1312 by a minister named Pon Nya
- Renovated and expanded several times throughout its history
- Located on the highest point of Sagaing Hill, providing panoramic views
- Features numerous terraces with shrines and Buddha images
- Known for its gold-plated stupas and intricate decorations
- Attracts local devotees as well as international tourists
The Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda is an important Buddhist temple located atop Sagaing Hill in Myanmar. Built in 1312 by a minister named Pon Nya, the pagoda has undergone several renovations and expansions throughout its history. The hilltop location provides visitors with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the Irrawaddy River.
The pagoda is known for its gold-plated stupas and intricate decorations, which showcase the artistic and architectural heritage of the region. The terraces within the pagoda house numerous shrines and Buddha images, making it a significant site for Buddhist worship. The serene atmosphere of the pagoda and its stunning views make it an ideal spot for meditation and reflection.
The Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda is not only a place of worship but also a popular tourist destination for travelers seeking to explore Myanmar’s rich history and culture. Its proximity to Mandalay and the Irrawaddy River ensures that it remains an accessible and sought-after destination for both local and international visitors.
What’s Nearby to Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda
- Oo Hmin Thone Sel Pagoda
- U Min Thonze Pagoda
- Kaunghmudaw Pagoda
- Yaza Mani Sula Kaunghmudaw
- Hsinmyashin Pagoda (Tiger Cave Pagoda)
- Sagaing Bridge
How to Get to Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda
- Located in the Sagaing Region, Myanmar
- Nearest city: Mandalay, about 20 kilometers away
- Nearest major airport: Mandalay International Airport (MDL)