Bagan is glorious capital of First Myanmar Empire between 11th and 13th century. It is the land of thousands of ancient pagodas over an area of 42 sqkm flat land. Bagan is UNESCO World Heritage Site as well. During the time of Bagan period Kings, Queens, royal families and rich society donated over 4000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries. Bagan was hit by earthquake in the year 1975. Most of important pagodas and temples were renovated.
At the present time Bagan is well known tourist attractive place in Myanmar for both foreign and local visitors. Between October and February, Bagan is very crowded with visitors. March to May is quite dry and hot to visit Bagan as pagodas and temples are subjects to visit by barefoot. June to September is very green and fashionable to visit Bagan with green grass fields with reddish temples everywhere.
Generally foreign travelers know that monsoon in Myanmar is green season or low season and should not visit for the risk of heavy rain. Bagan and Mandalay get very low rain fall and there is no big problem traveling during raining season.
How to reach Bagan
Bagan can be reached from Yangon, Madndalay, Inlay Lake by road as well as by air. It takes just 3 and half hours drive by private car from Mandalay. There are several options to visit between Mandalay and Bagan : first option is Mandalay – Mt.Popa – Bagan. Second option is Mandalay – Myinchan – Bagan attract visitors as there is possibility to visit outstanding pottery village, artist village where they make different kinds of ornaments from petrified wood.
Every hour there are public buses between Mandalay and Bagan. Public buses make one stop on the way for short break. It takes around 4 and half hours.
Express boats between Mandalay and Bagan operate in open season. Government slow boat operates 3 days a week regularly.
There are several luxury cruises between Mandalay and Bagan.
There are daily buses from Yangon and Inlay lake to Bagan.
What to do around Bagan
There are many things to do around Bagan.
Walking tour among the ruins of Bagan talking with local villagers and pilgrimages who come from different parts of Myanmar is recommendable.
Visiting around Bagan by scooter is so funny and easy to move where you want to go, approach the villages around and can stop wherever you want to take picture.
One of the famous local products of Bagan is Lacquare product. After visiting some temples stopping at one of the families in one of the villages around Bagan should be a good idea. Sit with family and see how they make Myanmar traditional lacquare products that Myanmar lovely use in daily life for all kinds of eatable things and for decoration as well.
Sunset cruise with private boat sailing along Ayeyarwaddy River should try when you are in Bagan that give you fresh and full energy.
Nanmyint tower is of the place should visit for panorama over Bagan. It is quite crowded at the time of sunset, recommendable to go down by stair and third floor outdoor may better with less people.
Hot air balloon riding over Bagan is really amazing experience.
Yoga program on sand bank of Ayeyarwaddy River during sunset time is one of the recommendable activities in Bagan.
Dandaree show is the most beautiful show in Myanmar that will introduce you about Myanmar tradition, culture, songs and dance etc…. Dandaree show last for one hour and located inside the Bagan Royal Palace, show starts around 19:00pm.
Mt.Popa is famous place for Nat worship and good idea to make half day trip from Bagan.
Salay is small village which is one of the famous places around Bagan for salay yokesone monastery, and chirming village on the bank of Ayeyarwaddy River.