The large riverside complex of Botataung Paya has a 40m-high golden stupa at its heart and includes a bamboo-shaded picnic area popular with families. It is said to have a history stretching back more than 2000 years, but the buildings were destroyed by RAF bombers in 1943 and rebuilt after the country gained independence.
Unusually, the rebuilt stupa is hollow and contains a series of atmospheric and dimly lit chambers with gold-covered walls, where visitors roam and monks meditate. The chambers surround the pagoda’s relic, a hair from the Buddha stored in a case embellished with gold and gems. Outside the pagoda complex, opposite the main entrance, is a popular nat (spirit) shrine.