Bagan Guide & Tours

Bagan Myanmar is a must for all travelers planning tours to Myanmar. The land of over 2000 stupas and fantastic Air Balloon will impress all its visitors with enriched history and ancient relics. Active activities to explore remote ares such as biking or horse cart ride will be spotlights for some days stay there

1. About Bagan

Among cities in Myanmar, Bagan become prominent ancient city that was the capital of the first Bumese Empire with more than 2200 pagodas, temples and monasteries covering an area of 16 square miles on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady in the central Myanmar. Bagan is one of top attractions in Myanmar as “Bagan Archeological Zone” 

2. Bagan Climate & best time to go

Bagan lies in the middle of “dry zone” of Burma. The dry zone gets little precipitation as it is sheltered from the rain by the Rakhine Yoma mountain range in the west. The average temperatures at Bagan exceed 30°C year round, and over 35°C in summer months of late February to mid May.

3. How to get there

By plane
The flight to Bagan from Yangon on Air Mandalya, Air Bagan or Myanmar Airway. Air Bagan and Air Mandaly also fly from Mandalay. See the list of Myanmar domestic flights
 
By train
Trains run from Yangon to Bagan departing at 4pm and arriving in Bagan at about 9am the next day.
Direct train runs from Mandalay to Bagan with two departures daily. The trip takes 7 hours.
 
By bus
Buses from Mandalay to Bagan are available however due to the road conditions, the train is very bumping and commonly not recommend to regular tourist. Refer our staff's experiences in Aug 2014 with Myanmar train travel for details.
Night buses from Yangon leave in the afternoon and arrive early in the morning and cost 18000 kyat at the ticket counters north of Yangon train station. Here is information for bus travel around Myanmar.
 
By boat
A daily express ferry service runs from Mandalay to Bagan takes 5 hours.
A slow ferry has the same route with the express but it takes 14-17 hours. Although the long time to run but it is great opportunity to mix with the locals. Bring something to eat and enjoy the early hours.

4. Bagan tours and sightseeing

Nyaung-U areas:
The main centre for the site, with the most hotel, eating and transport options, is Nyaung-U. Just over two miles west is tiny Old Bagan, a sleepy village whose inhabitants were forcibly moved in 1990 to the workaday New Bagan, about two miles to its south. Old Bagan is closest to the temples, and contains sights of its own, but if you are on a package the chances are that transfers will be provided wherever you stay.
 
Temples and Stupas: 
A handful of the more popular temples see some coach tours and can become relatively busy, and will have vendors and children trying to sell you their drawings: this is especially true of Ananda Pahto, the single biggest draw, and Shwesandaw, the “sunset” pagoda, so-called because it is the one (with Buledi) most visitors climb to watch the sunset.
 
Bike and horse cart ride
It is easy to take a bike, taxi or horse and cart to quiet areas of the site, especially the central plain.
The temple site is too big to explore on foot, but is well suited to being seen by bike, being criss-crossed by gravel roads and paths. Most hotels in all three centres rent out bicycles. Hire a guide if you are worried about becoming lost, or want to see some of the best out-of-the-way temples. Guides will know where to find the key-holders for locked temples, though many temples are always open and access to most, for the time being at least, is simple.
You can explore at a more sedate pace from one of the area’s 250-odd horse carts that congregate at the larger or more central temples. Most drivers speak a little English and, again, can act as guides to less-visited parts of the site. Ask at your hotel for the latest going rate and fix the price and duration of the trip beforehand.
 
Balloon ride
The best initial way to see the temples is from a hot-air balloon. The roughly 45-minute flights leave at dawn and drift over much of the site, with glorious views of the river and distant mountains, hazed by mist, as well as a bird’s-eye view of the temples and rural village life. Sunset flights are also available.
Balloons Over Bagan is a privately owned Burmese (but British-run) company, and its balloons are state-of-the art and operated by highly experienced UK crew, along with ground and other staff recruited from the area.
Prices are $330 (£217) per person and flights can sell out many months in advance. Flights run roughly mid-October to mid-March, not year-round, and are weather dependent and cannot be guaranteed to operate. 

5. Beyond Bagan

Local trips if you are spending longer in Bagan include Mount Popa, a sacred mountain; Salay, 22 miles from Bagan, an active religious centre from the 12th century that also has numerous colonial-era buildings; and — unless you are already on a river cruise — one of the sunset or other short boat trips offered from the jetty at Nyaung-U.

 Suggested tours to Bagan Myanmar:
>> Bagan Cooking, Balloong and Cycling 4 days - Perfect combination of active activities in Bagan to reveal its natural beauty and amazing cultureal features
>> Cruise between Bagan and Mandalay with Road to Mandalay - A stunning link connecting two historical sites via water way by the top luxury cruise Road to Mandalay vessle
>> Bagan and Inle trek with Balloon 10 days - Experience the fame hot air balloon ride over the plain of Bagan and magnificient Inle

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