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.
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
What to Know Before You Go
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.
Travel Advice for Myanmar (Burma)
You can find the latest U.S. Department of State travel advisories and information for Myanmar (Burma) (such as entry visa requirements and vaccination requirements) here.
The British and Australian governments offer their own country-specific travel information. You can find the British Government's travel advice for Myanmar (Burma) here and the Australian Government's here.
Health & Vaccinations
The CDC makes country-specific recommendations for vaccinations and health for travelers. You can find their latest information for Myanmar (Burma) here.
Guidebooks for Myanmar (Burma)
If you're looking for a guidebook to make the most of your visit, these are some of the most popular ones currently for Myanmar (Burma). Some are available in both paper and e-book formats.
- DK Eyewitness (Author)
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Guides, Insight (Author)
- ✔ GPS map loads to your smartphone memory - no network access needed once the app is downloaded.
- ✔ GPS map displays your location along with nearby sights and attractions.
- Guides, Rough (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
Travel Insurance For Your Trip to Myanmar (Burma)
I never travel without travel insurance, and I've run into several situations where I've had to make claims. I consider it essential.
But shopping for travel insurance can be a pain and confusing. Thankfully, there are some travel insurance comparison sites that show you a wide range of plans, make it easy to compare coverage, and can save you money at the same time. And the coverage can be much better tailored to your specific needs than the checkbox offering at travel booking sites or through your credit card.
These are some good places to shop for travel insurance for your next trip to Myanmar (Burma) :
Hopefully, you won't need it, but if something goes wrong, you'll sure be glad you have it!