Travels

This Is How To Explore Bagan (& Its Ancient Buddhist Ruins)

With a history dating back to the 9th century (and possibly earlier), Bagon is a must-visit for history buffs in Myanmar.

Bagan is a must-see destination during a trip to Myanmar! As you might already know, Bagan is famous for its thousands of old pagodas and stupas that stretch out across the horizon. Bagan was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan from the 9th to the 13th centuries, during which time some 50 Buddhist kings ruled the Pagan Dynasty. Come take a trip to the Land of 3000 Pagodas!

Bagan, Myanmar: The Ideal Vacation Spot

Bagan, Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is located in Southeast Asia. It shares its borders with India, China, and Thailand. Myanmar has many multiple mountain ranges for perfect views of the land below along with long stunning coastlines.

For an extra bonus, Myanmar, unlike a majority of Asia, is very prepared for western tourists with their hotels, restaurants, bathroom, and even gas station bathrooms. They also have US outlets for charging your devices so you don’t need to buy an adapter. SIM cards are super cheap and the cellular data service is up to speed.

Start your amazing journey through Bagan with a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Land of 3000 Pagodas. The sunset over the plains and over 3000 temples is a perfect moment of glitter and magic in the misty sunlight!

Afterward, start by visiting the Shwezigon Pagoda on your journey to visit the many temples. It is truly something you have to see to believe. It is one of the oldest and most impressive pagodas you’ll find in Bagan. One of the main reasons is that this particular temple is completely covered in gold plates!

This pagoda is usually easy to spot on our hot air balloon ride because the gold shimmers in the sunlight, but when you’re on land it is even more impressive with its height.

Afterward, head on over to the Htilominlo Temple. This amazing temple is mostly known for its decorative stucco designs throughout the ceiling and archways. Inside are four beautiful Buddha statues surrounded by umbrellas. The umbrellas symbolize the spot where King Narapati Sithu used an umbrella to determine which of his five sons would be his successor.

Right across the way, you’ll find a fantastic village market filled with color and jewels all hand-made by women in the village. There are also exotic and delicious fruits worth trying and experiencing in this magical place!

It might be difficult without spending several days in Bagan to visit all of the 3000 temples. Here is a list of the first 10 that should be seen first!

  1. Shwezigon Pagoda
  2. Htilominlo Temple
  3. Ananda Temple
  4. Gawdawpalin
  5. Dhammayangyi
  6. Shwesandaw
  7. Mahabodhi
  8. Shwezigon
  9. Yin-ma-na-hpaya Temple
  10. Bu Paya Stupa

If you plan on spending more than a couple of days in Bagan, make sure to take time to go on a day tour to Salay and Mt. Popa. This beautiful mountain is located about an hour south of New Bagan. Salay is a center for lacquerware manufacturing and it’s home to many still active Buddhist monasteries, including Yokesone Monastery where you can view some of the most wonderful and detailed wood carvings.

On the top of Mt. Popa is the leftovers of an extinct volcano about 5,000 feet above sea level. This is one of the most spectacular views of a sheer volcanic rock formation with a Buddhist temple sitting peacefully on top.

Make sure to end each magical night watching the spectacular sunset, starting at Nyaung Lat Phet sunset viewpoint. This will be a site for the ages that’ll last the test of time.

How To Get Around In Bagan

Traveling around to all the amazing temples and different village marts might take a few days of moving around such a large city. One of the best ways to get around is by booking a tour of the city. No one knows the grounds better than a local.

There are tons of different tours offered and there’s no need to book before you travel to Bagan. Tours are often inexpensive and people are happy to have you and make sure you’re happy and satisfied with your experience!

If taking a tour isn’t for you and you’d rather travel on your own they do have car rental places with reasonable prices. This is much preferred to paying the high taxi prices over and over again as you move through the city. Check out renting a car, but make sure to review maps of the city before you head out on the road!

Another smart and affordable way around is by taking the city buses. They have a great public transportation system at affordable rates. You can buy a ticket for the duration of your stay and save money and your feet (but make sure to wear good footwear!) from walking around the large landscape.

To save time on your travels and make sure you are using the most of your time, make sure to stay in the Villa Bagan. It’s located right next to one of the amazing ancient temples. They offer complimentary breakfast that you can have outside on the terrace with a gorgeous view of the majestic temple. Any room you end up with will have a magnificent view of this glorious city.

This is guaranteed to be one of the most spectacular experiences with memories to last a lifetime. This beautiful historic land is a place that everyone can enjoy and love. So next time you’re thinking about taking a trip, think Bagan, Myanmar.

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