There are numerous stirring sights in Southeast Asia, but few are more spectacular than the ancient city of Bagan. Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, it is home to the densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world.
Comparisons are often drawn between Bagan and the temples of Angkor in Cambodia, but the two vast archaeological sites are very different in appearance and character. The Bagan temples are located on a large and fairly open plain, differentiating them from the ones in Cambodia, which often appear to be on the verge of being reclaimed by the jungle.
During the 19th Century when Bagan was a central powerbase, it is estimated that as many as 13,000 temples and stupas once stood here. Approximately 2200 remain today, still an impressive number for any visitor to get their head around.
FEATURED TRIP: BAGAN EXPLORER (3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS)
Be captivated by the spirituality, history and culture of Bagan. Explore the iconic temples, taking in the most famous monuments as well as many lesser-known pagodas. Then go beyond the temple zone to discover Bagan’s mélange of traditional villages, beautiful landscapes and ancient customs.
- Explore Bagan’s archaeological zone. See a selection of the 2000 pagodas that fill Bagan’s plains, learning about their history and cultural significance
- Take a local pilgrimage. Follow in the footsteps of a historic legend and visit four sacred pagodas along with local worshippers
- Witness timeless traditions. Visit local villages untouched by the modern world and see the skilled handiwork of Bagan’s traditional craftsmen
FULL DAY TOUR: SWE DAW LAY SU LEGENDARY TOUR
Follow in the tracks of King Anawrahta and his precious white elephant as you discover one of Bagan’s most famous legends. Traveling by boat, car and local pick-up truck you will visit four auspicious sites; Shwezigon Pagoda, Tu Yin Taung, Lawka Nandar, and Tant Kyi Taung. Journey amid rural villages bringing the legend to reality while getting a chance to see local Burmese life.
HALF DAY TOUR: BAGAN COOKING CLASS
Local market. Local food. Local chef. Get a taste of Myanmar cuisine with an exclusive Bagan cooking class. Shop for produce at the market, learn traditional cooking techniques and prepare a tasty local lunch with the assistance of a master chef.
PAKOKKU: THE RIVER LESS TRAVELED BY BIKE
Get a deeply intimate view into the culture and atmosphere of Myanmar with this exciting adventure through Bagan’s outskirts. Cruise along the striking scenes of the Irrawaddy River to discover very local markets where you will be gazed upon with curious eyes, and interact with the local farmers growing tobacco, cotton, chili and peanuts, in the fertile lands of Pakokku.
HALF DAY TOUR: BALLOON EXPERIENCE OVER BAGAN
Float above Bagan’s temples and the mighty Irrawaddy River during an unforgettable hot air balloon ride. Travel to the launch site in darkness and climb aboard. Take-off just in time to watch the sunrise over the plains, being mesmerised by the site of thousands of pagodas appearing below.