Myanmar’s temple town of Bagan has a string of popular experiences that can add excitement to any holiday to the city. From natural landscapes, to bustling markets and from splendid architecture to sumptuous cuisine – you can find it all here.
Looking forward to visiting this quaint city, here are top five experiences that you cannot miss in Bagan:
Take a Cycling Tour of Temples and Pagodas
Bagan is home to a plethora of Hindu and Buddhist temples. Many of these stunning temples are surrounded by lush landscapes and picturesque mountain scenery. You can hire an electric cycle or a bicycle and set out on the exploration of these beautiful temples via winding lanes and homes of locals. Some of the most popular temples that you must visit include Ananda Temple, Shwezigon Pagoda, Shwesandaw Pagoda as well as Thatbyinnyu Temple.
Take a Guided Tour of Archaeological Ruins of the City
A 26 square-mile of area in Bagan has been declared The Bagan Archaeological Zone. The area boasts many significant ancient ruins, some of them listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, belonging to significant ancient kingdoms of Bagan. Taking a guided tour here is one of the best ways to be familiarised with history and culture of the city. The ruins of Bagan Palace are incredible and leave visitors with a sense of being transported to another time.
Try Authentic Burmese Cuisine
Bagan is just the right place if you are looking forward to sampling some of the most authentic Burmese dishes including Mohinga, Burmese Biryani, Burmese Curry, Burmese Naan Flat-bread and Pe Byouk, Khaosay Thote and more. Some of the best restaurants to go looking for these dishes and a range of other international cuisines are Sanon, Black Bamboo, Weather Spoon’s Bagan, Kyaw Kitchen, 7 Sisters as well as Starbeam Bistro. Besides, there’s an array of street food stalls that you can visit for a taste of authentic Burmese cuisine.
Visit the Mani-Sithu Market
Mani-Sithu Market, located in Nyaung U, is one of the few places in Bagan where you can get acquainted to the local way of living. As soon as you enter, a colourful display of fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish as well as a range of handicrafts greet you. Some of the things that will grab your attention include thanaka, a face mask and faux lacquerware items. One can also grab woodcarvings as well as clothing items to be taken back as souvenirs. Snacks can be relished at one of the many stores. The market remains open from 6 a.m. until about 5 p.m.
Ride a Hot Air Balloon at the Sunset
You just can’t leave Bagan without ticking off this one experience from your list. Watching the sun setting over a cluster of more than 1000 temples, pagodas and shrines, set against the backdrop of stunning mountain scenery is an experience that will be etched forever in your mind. Better still, take the ride with your partner for a romantic moment several feet up in the sky.