Bagan is an ancient royal city brimming with history that dates back to the 2nd century. As the former capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, Bagan laid the regional foundations for what is modern Myanmar. In its glory, the city thrived on an essence of Buddhist spirituality and wisdom, and today, you can find religious tradition intertwined into the fascinating archaeological culture. There are over two thousand sacred monuments throughout this vast steppe region, which is the reason Bagan is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even though the city has suffered from earthquakes throughout the centuries, these brick temples have been wonderfully preserved and renovated – and invite exploration to the culturally inquisitive!

Themes

  • Heritage

Highlights

  • Shwezigon Pagoda
  • Ananda Temple
  • Markets
  • Museum

Places to Stay

Aureum Palace

Style: Resort

This incomparable Spa Resort set amidst 27 acres of tropical landscaped gardens offers its guests the ultimate in luxury and is an ideal choice for those seeking a superlative vacation experience.

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Bagan Lodge

Style: Resort

Bagan Lodge, just a half-hour flight away from Mandalay, offers you a comfortable stay. The hotel’s strategic location allows you to explore much of this historical town on foot, which is well-known as an archaeological heritage site.

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Tharabar Gate (Bagan)

Style: Boutique

The Tharabar Gate Hotel is ideally located right in front of the famous Tharabar Gate dating back to the 10th century.

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Thazin Garden (Bagan)

Style: Boutique

The Thazin Garden Hotel is set on a high plain surrounded by ancient Pagodas.

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Thiripyitsaya Sakura (Bagan)

Style: Resort

The Thiripyitsaya Sakura hotel in Bagan is located in a beautiful garden area, on the bank of the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River.

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Activities in Bagan

En Route Drive Highlights-Bagan to Mandalay (& vice versa) via Pakkoku & Ma U

On the drive from Bagan to Mandalay (or vice versa if doing from Mandalay to Bagan), you will visit the villages of Pakkoku and Ma U where you can observe and experience rural life. The locals here cultivate seasonal fruits and are renowned for their incense stick making skills. The drive also offers the chance to enjoy a scenic two hour boat ride between Bagan and Mandalay to Pokkaku (or vice versa if doing between Mandalay and Bagan to Pokkaku).

Excursion to Tankyi Taungi & Local Villages

After breakfast climb aboard a traditional, wooden boat to cross the Irrawaddy River where a jeep awaits for your onward journey. Discover local artisans when you visit Thezin village, where you can witness some cane weaving of plates and tissues boxes, Htan Taw Kyauk village (where baskets are weaved from palm tree leaves) and Ey Shey village with its cotton weaving factory. After seeing the rural side of Bagan, travel to Taunt Kyi Taung pagoda which was built by King Anawrahta and dates to the 11th century. Explore the pagoda complex and admire wonderful views of the Irrawaddy River. On a clear day you can see the temples of Bagan on the opposite side of the river. Come back to your hotel by jeep, boat and car in the late afternoon.

Cycling Through the Ruins of Bagan

A charming way to explore ancient Bagan’s some 2,000 temples and pagodas..one of SE Asia’s most spectacular archaeological sites, is to lose yourself biking (regular or electric bike). Located on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, Bagan houses the world’s largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins. While the Angkor ruins are comparable to a Chinese Lauriat banquet tucked away beneath dense forests, the ruins of ancient Bagan are akin to a Spanish Tapas style feast..smaller and visible. Cycle to the astonishing temples of ancient Bagan via villages and fields..to centuries old temples, including the beautiful Ananda temple; cycle dusty tracks to magnificent temples and towering pagodas with beautifully painted old murals; visit a traditional lacquer-ware workshop, observe the process. Pedal betwixt iconic temples and pagodas; soak up sights and sounds; experience phenomenal moments and unforeseen discoveries.

Visit to Pakokku Town & Ma U Village from Bagan

Journey to Pakokku Town and Ma U Village along the Irrawaddy River; drive 30-45mins past farms, markets and villages. In Pakokku visit a Tobacco plantation and Cigar making factory; visit the blanket weavers factory famous for blankets called ‘Anyar Saung’; also see produces like palm sugar jaggery, Thanaka logs and longyis. Drive 2hrs to Ma U Village to see family workshops like Bamboo Scales and Incense Sticks; walk amid the 16-18th century Pagoda Complex; see authentic Myanmarese life.

Excursion to Mt.Popa from Bagan

Take a day trip to Mount Popa, located 60 kms from Bagan and home to the 37 Nats, the old spirits of Myanmar. Trek up this extinct volcano that houses many temples and pagodas and enjoy some stunning views from the top.

Cycling Through the Ruins of Bagan

A charming way to explore ancient Bagan’s some 2,000 temples and pagodas..one of SE Asia’s most spectacular archaeological sites, is to lose yourself biking (regular or electric bike). Located on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, Bagan houses the world’s largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins. While the Angkor ruins are comparable to a Chinese Lauriat banquet tucked away beneath dense forests, the ruins of ancient Bagan are akin to a Spanish Tapas style feast..smaller and visible. Cycle to the astonishing temples of ancient Bagan via villages and fields..to centuries old temples, including the beautiful Ananda temple; cycle dusty tracks to magnificent temples and towering pagodas with beautifully painted old murals; visit a traditional lacquer-ware workshop, observe the process. Pedal betwixt iconic temples and pagodas; soak up sights and sounds; experience phenomenonal moments and unforeseen discoveries.

Bagan-City Highlights

Visit the largest temple complex in Southeast Asia, with its numerous pagodas and temples, including the famous Ananda Temple. Take a stroll through the unique and one-of-its-kind market of Nyaung U, and the view the imposing Shwezigon Pagoda. Appreciate the wall paintings in the Kupyaukyi Temple, and admire collection of artifacts in the Bagan Museum.

Included activities at Amara Cruise I (Bagan-Mandalay)

Enjoy a two night/three day relaxing river cruise along the Ayeyarwaddy River on the Amara 1, a beautiful cruise ship of the Amara Group. Set sail from the Bagan Jetty at 0800hrs and cruise to Yandapo, where you will alight to explore this small rural village, renowned for the 1826 treaty signed between the British and Burmese and famous for its handmade terracotta pots produced in traditional ways. Enjoy dinner and overnight on board. The following morning depart at 0600hrs and cruise to Ava (Inwa) by afternoon, where you can visit Nan Myint Watchtower, the only remaining palace building nicknamed the ‘leaning tower of Ava’; Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, built of brick and stucco; and the all-teak carved Bagaya Monastery. After dinner and a good night’s sleep, sail out early the next morning to arrive at Mandalay at 0800hrs.

45min-Hot Air Balloon Ride in Bagan (Oct-Mar)

Experience the sheer magic of floating over the ancient city of Bagan. Hot Air Ballooning will give you an exclusive birds-eye view of the various Buddhist temples, pagodas and stupas. The flight takes place at sunrise or at sunset giving you the best views of this historic city. The ‘sunset’ rides will be especially dependent on the prevailing weather conditions of that particular day, hence the evening rides are entirely ‘held ransom’ by the climate!!

Sunset Cruise 2 Hrs in Bagan

Complement the days’ sightseeing with a relaxing sunset cruise along the Ayeyarwady River in a wooden river boat, enjoying magnificent views of the temples of Bagan as the sun begins to set. Fabulous views of Shwezigon Pagoda, scenes of life on the water, small villages on the river banks, fishermen, local boats and many riverside temples are a treat for the eyes.

Sunset Horse Carriage Ride in Bagan

A relaxing, pleasant, fun and easy way to spend the evening is with an evocative and time-honored traditional Horse Carriage/Cart ride through the streets of Bagan. Although a much slower transportation tool, it really does allow one to appreciate the scenery and atmosphere along the roads, with interesting glimpses of Myanmarese life in a primitive, rustic lifestyle sense. The carts are slow..even a bit bumpy in places, but leaves one with a feeling of going back in time. This is an ideal way to unwind after a hectic day sightseeing.

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