The ancient, dusty city of Bagan is known for its unrivalled magic, beauty and otherworldly landscape. With over 3,000 ancient temple, stupa and monastery ruins to explore, it’s no wonder Bagan is often referred to as an ancient gem of Asia.
Exploring the atmospheric ruins of Bagan are often high on visitor’s bucket lists. And, for good reason. The rolling, hazy plains of Bagan are home to a mystical ancient kingdom. This UNESCO Heritage Site was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom between the 9th and 13th centuries. Today it offers visitors the opportunity to transport themselves to an ancient world and explore a time gone by.
It’s no wonder that visitors to Bagan often refer to leaving part of their heart behind to this fascinating land.
It’s with no doubt that one of the best times to explore Bagan is sunrise. When the sky turns an array of golden colours and the haze lifts on the day ahead. The atmosphere feels fresher and cooler than in the heat of the midday sun and the dusty plains seem to resemble another planet.
Although Bagan is slowly closing its temples to being climbed by the public in order to protect the ancient relics, a few remain open and accessible to the public. Any temple at sunrise promises a breath-taking experience as the comes up and the haze moves over the thousands of temples as far as the eye can see.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy the magic of Bagan is by hot air balloon. The increasingly popular sunrise trip is available to visitors between the months of October and April. The opportunity to soar high with birds across Bagan’s unique and unforgettable landscape promises memories you will never forget.
Even if you don’t make the hot air balloon ride, the sights of hundreds of balloons elevating into a golden sky is still a wonderful spectacle to enjoy.
In downtown Naung-U, just outside the main archaeological zone, you’ll find the region’s biggest, local market. Head down early in the early morning to shop for local delicacies, betel nut, dried fish, fresh fruit and a few locally produced handicrafts. It’s also a great place to purchase Bagan’s famous lacquer wear and some traditional wood carvings.
Held every day, Man Sithu market is a local market that doesn’t cater for tourists. With this is mind, there isn’t much in the way of souvenirs but it does offer visitors the perfect opportunity to immerse themselves in daily life and watch local people going about their day to day activities. A great way to learn more about the rich Burmese culture.
For the ultimate magical adventure, join us 290 kilometres south-west of Mandalay in the ancient city of Bagan. This breath-taking UNESCO world heritage site boasts an impressive 67 square kilometres of picturesque plains, littered with the ruins of almost 2,500 ancient, sacred temples. Quickly becoming Myanmar’s most visited attraction, the archaeological zone of Bagan straddles the scenic Irrawaddy river and was once the country’s most powerful capital of an ancient kingdom. With endless opportunities for exciting trekking and infinite exploration, Bagan most definitely should be on every adventure seekers bucket list.
Offering incredible, fairy-tale like landscapes, Bagan is beautiful any time of day, but the region is at its best at both sunrise and sunset and offers adventure seekers the perfect hiking and cycling opportunities. The memory seekers amongst us will surely not be able to resist enjoying these spectacular scenes from the comfort of a hot air balloon, meandering between temples as the sun comes up, or relishing magical sunset views from the top of a dazzling temple.