Bagan is a spectacular city and the most important tourist destination in Myanmar with more than 2000 ancient temples. Coming here, you not only can enjoy the beautiful scenery but also taste the delicious food and explore the unique features of indigenous culture.
Bagan (formerly known as Pagan) was the capital of Pagan Kingdom, which existed from the 9th to the 13th century in the modern central Myanmar. Nowadays, Bagan located in the dry land of central Myanmar on the eastern bank of Ayeyarwady River. More than 10000 Buddhist works have been built here in its heyday, but today only 2000 temples remain. These Buddhist buildings are the main reason why this city attracts numerous travelers come to visit. It is the home to many magnificent architectural masterpieces, which are tantamount to Angkor Wat (Cambodia) and Borobodur (Indonesia). Bagan is divided into 3 main areas: New Bagan, Old Bagan, and Nyaung U. Tourists can try hot air balloon to watch the sunrise and sunset here. The sun in Bagan is legendary as it rises on top of ancient towers and white mist. There is no word that can describe all the beauty of this peaceful city, its ancient beauty gives tourists the feeling of returning to the past.
Best time to travel
Bagan has the tropical climate with only rainy and dry seasons. You should avoid traveling here in hot months from March to May and rainy months from June to October. Therefore, the best time to discover Bagan is between November and February, when temperatures don’t get higher than 30°C
How to get there
The distance between Yangon (capital city of Myanmar) and Bagan is about 600km. The most popular transportation to get to Bagan is taking the bus. You can buy tickets at the bus station with the price is around 18,000 kyat (13 USD). Another way to get to Bagan is by train. If you choose this mean of transportation, it’s better to take daily overnight trains because the overall travel time is around 17 hours. The price is cheaper than the bus, which is about 12-14,000 kyat (8-10 USD). Some other types of transportations that tourists may consider are the plane or take a boat. Getting to Bagan, you can freely explore this mysterious city with all kinds of vehicles, from walking, horse carts, bicycles, electric motorcycles, motorcycles, and taxis.
Swezigon Pagoda: Located in Nyaung-U a town near Bagan, the temple is the most famous religious site here. It is a prototype of Burmese stupas and built in the 11th century. Swezigon temple attracts tourists with a palatial circular gold leaf-gilded stupa surrounded by smaller temples and shrines. Ananda Temple is one of the most beautiful temples which is well preserved in Bagan. The temple has 4 gates, open in 4 directions and has cross-shape architecture. To Myanmar people, this shape is the symbol of Buddhist wisdom. The temple’s most distinctive feature is the gilded sikhara, the tower like spire on top of the pagoda.
Dhammayangyi Temple: This is the largest temple on the plains of Bagan. However, this temple has a dark past. It was built by King Narathu, who has trouble with the mentality and he was assassinated inside this temple. It is believed to have been haunted. Shwesandaw Temple: This temple is the highest temple in Bagan. It is aslo called “sunset temple” as tourists often gather every afternoon to view the spectacular Bagan sunrise and sunset.