The sun seems to rise more gloriously in Bagan, as if making a statement of its otherworldly beauty.
In Myanmar’s second-best attraction, everything revolves around silhouettes, sun rays, and shadows in the mist-shrouded early mornings. Bagan is a stage for all sorts of light play occurring among its 2,200 temples. But, it will take your breath away beyond the obvious, too. With the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist monuments in the world and countless inscriptions that bear testimony to ancient philosophical teachings, Bagan Archeological Zone boasts a UNESCO-listed treasure trove. It is a place not to be rushed, so savor every moment as each of these nested gems unravels before your eyes in a long day’s trip.
Bagan features epitomic examples of both the classical stupa-style and the lesser-known hollow-style Burmese temples. They diverge in terms of function as much as aesthetics, with the hollow temples more widely used for meditation and worship. The centerpiece and the crown jewel of this immaculate array are the magnificent Ananda Pahto, sheltering many images of Buddha under its massive golden stupa that acts as a loadstar in the dark. It is a symbol of “endless wisdom” and one of the major attractions in Myanmar. Among other famous Bagan temples is Shwezigon Pagoda. It harbors depictions of the Buddha’s past lives and poses as a stark beauty, especially at dusktime.
Temples and pagodas aren’t the only forces moving Bagan. Fresh produce markets, lacquerware workshops, and local villages constitute an astonishingly colorful scene away from the tourist hustle. While you are there, make sure to pay a visit to the traditional Taungbi Village. Another highlight activity of Bagan is hot air balloon rides at sunset, which will provide you with the best viewpoint over the gold-ladened plains of the region.
Tours visiting Bagan
Best of Myanmar
Best of Myanmar Small Group