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Max Yu

Travelled to 9 countries / regions

Written 6 briefs
Visited Bagan in December 2017 for 4 days

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Asia > Myanmar > Bagan > Trip Briefs
Updated on Nov 13, 2018 Trip Brief

How to see Bagan

Bagan is a pretty amazing place to check out. I went last year and stayed for 3 nights. The main sights in Bagan are the thousands (I think 2200 in total) of temples big and small that cover the landscape that are open to be freely explored. It's also an extremely photogenic place, especially around sunrise and sunset


Here's how I did my trip:

  • I flew in from Bangkok via Mandalay on Bangkok Airways and Air Bagan. Note that at the Bagan airport I had to pay a 25,000 kyat (~$20) fee at the airport for a 5-day pass to see the temples. I had some kyats on me that I paid with
  • Here's the lay of the land:User submitted photo of Bagan
  • I stayed in New Bagan, which is one of the 2 main clusters of hotels. The other one is just northwest of the airport. New Bagan I found was slightly more upscale with more food options
  • The next day I started exploring. I rented an E-Bike from the town for 7,000 kyat ($6) per day. This is probably the best way to get around as Bagan is too big to walk and has too many temples to cost effectively get around in taxi (and there's no such thing as public transportation in Bagan)
  • The vast majority of the temples were devoid of tourists
  • All the temples could be explored freely. Just go in, walk around, admire the architecture, take photos
  • Even though you're not supposed to climb them, there's no one around to enforce the rules. I don't recommend doing it but to be honest I did climb a few temples and the views were fantastic
  • Sunrise and sunset: this is one of the main attractions of Bagan. The views are stunning. First day I watched the sunset from Taung Guni temple. The next morning I saw the sunrise from Bulethi temple and saw all the hot air balloons. For sunrise, what I recommend doing is to scout out a temple the day before of where you want to go. Try to find a smaller temples that are off the main roads
  • I didn't do the hot air balloon, but I saw a number of them going up while watching the sunrise
  • In the temple area, there were some shops to buy water from around Myin Ka Bar area (lower left corner of the temple area in the map above), but it's otherwise pretty devoid of commercial stuff. So bring lots of water with you as it gets pretty hot during the day
  • Restaurants and other shops become more plentiful around New Bagan (lower left corner of the map above), Old Bagan (upper left corner of the map above), or Nyaung-Yu (upper right corner of the map above)