5 Awesome Things To Do In Bagan – Myanmar

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A trip to Myanmar is not complete without experiencing the temple town known as Bagan! There is no place on Earth quite as unique as Bagan, once a powerful ancient kingdom in central Myanmar, where 2000+ Buddhist temples and pagodas cover the vast African-like landscape and the Ayeyarwady River drifts down the northern and western sides.

I have put together this complete guide of 5 Awesome Things To Do In Bagan to help you plan your trip!

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5 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN BAGAN

BALLOONS OVER BAGAN

There are several Bagan hot air balloon companies to book a flight with, however, I highly recommend flying with Balloons Over Bagan, the most reputable hot air balloon company in Bagan.

You can book a Bagan Balloon Ride online in advance to get the best rates. The Balloons Over Bagan tour is the most top-rated tour with great reviews and hundreds of bookings.

This tour includes a 5 am hotel pick-up, pre-balloon flight refreshments, a hot air balloon tour in Bagan, champagne breakfast upon landing, a personalized certificate, and hotel drop-off around 8 am.

  • Bagan Hot Air Balloon Season: October – April
  • Bagan Hot Air Balloon Price: USD $330

Book Now → Balloons Over Bagan Tour

 

The hot air balloon lifted our basket off the ground with ease and barely any bumpiness at all. The Balloons Over Bagan pilot steered us swiftly across the tops of countless Buddhist monuments that covered the wide-open plains of Old Bagan.

The sun began to rise up slowly over the horizon in the far distance, emitting a magical orange glow across the entire region. I was honestly left speechless… This moment was definitely one of the most incredible sights I have ever seen!

The airspace was dotted with dozens of colorful balloons as we floated aimlessly across the Bagan Archaeological Area with distant views of Mount Popa and the Ayeyarwady River.

Balloons Over Bagan really put on a show, spinning the hot air balloon around in all directions to give you the best possible views of Old Bagan from your corner of the basket.

As the flight comes to an end you’ll float over peanut farms and rice fields being harvested by the local farmers. Don’t be shy, give them a wave and I guarantee they will give you a wave back!

The Bagan hot air balloon will then descend on the outskirts of a local village and land safely on the sandbanks near the Ayeyarwady River.

Awaiting on the sand upon landing are the crew members from Balloons Over Bagan with glasses of champagne and light breakfast snacks to celebrate! The courtesy bus will also be there waiting to kindly drop you back to your hotel.

Full Blog Post → Balloons Over Bagan

 

BAGAN TEMPLE HOPPING

Temple hopping was one of my favorite things to do in Bagan!

As there are more than 2000 Buddhist temples and pagodas dotted around Bagan, it is impossible to see them all in a few days. However, a few of my favorite Bagan temples that are not to be missed on your Bagan itinerary are listed below:

  • Ananda Temple
  • Shwezigon Pagoda
  • Dhammayan Gyi Temple
  • Dhammayazaka Pagoda
  • Sulamani Temple
  • Ta Wet Hpaya

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WATCHING THE SUNRISE IN OLD BAGAN

Catching a sunrise in Old Bagan has been on my bucket list for years and when I first arrived, that was the first thing on my list of things to do in Bagan!

Here is a list of the best sunrise viewpoints in Old Bagan:

  • Bagan Tower
  • Utrecht Temple
  • Sunrise Pagoda
  • Ta Wet Hpaya Temple
  • From a hot air balloon

Must Read → 2 Week Myanmar Itinerary

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SUNSET DINNER BY THE AYEYARWADY RIVER

The ancient temples aren’t the only Bagan attractions to be seen during your visit. A candlelit dinner while watching the sunset behind the mountains on the Ayeyarwady River.

I highly recommend having dinner at the riverside restaurant attached to Bagan Thande Riverview Hotel for the most unforgettable sunset views over the Ayeyarwady River.

Take your pick of a western meal or indulge in some local cuisine, complemented by a glass of wine or a cold beer.

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BAGAN E-BIKE ADVENTURES

Last but not least on this list of things to do is renting an E-Bike in Bagan which is one of the best ways to zip silently between all of the best Bagan attractions!

E-Bike Bagan rentals can be found in and around New Bagan, Old Bagan, and Nyaung Yu. If you can’t find a Bagan E-Bike rental in town, simply ask your accommodation and they will be sure to help you get some wheels.

Bagan E-Bikes cost around 5000-8000 Kyat per day and the battery only lasts from sunrise to sunset, so make sure you are fully charged before heading out to explore!

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HOW TO GET TO BAGAN

There are a few ways of getting to Bagan and that is either by bus, train, or plane.

Whether you are on a budget or not, I recommend traveling by bus throughout Myanmar. The main bus companies (JJ Express, Elite, Ok Express) are very efficient and will get you comfortably from A to B.

The cost of bus transportation between cities in Myanmar is on average around $10 to $30.

GET YOUR BUS TICKETS:

GET YOUR PLANE TICKETS:

I search and book all of my flights on Skyscanner which is the best online flight directory to find the cheapest and most convenient flights in Myanmar.

Search All → Flights to Bagan

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BAGAN MAP

old bagan map

 

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Each foreigner must pay a 25,000 Kyat entrance fee upon arrival to the Bagan Archaeological Area. You may be asked to present this ticket at the entrance to the main temples and pagodas in Bagan, so make sure to carry it with you at all times.

As of late, authorities are preventing the temples and pagodas in Bagan from being climbed by tourists. Most of the temples have now been locked, guarded by security, or fences put up around them to stop anyone from climbing them.

I did manage to find a couple of random pagodas to scale, which I thought were off the beaten track, but I was caught out by some locals who told me to get down and threatened to call the police. So just be mindful of this and respect the authorities should you get caught.

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WHERE TO STAY IN BAGAN

Bagan has dozens of accommodations to choose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to suit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.

See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

Luxury: Bagan Thande Riverview Hotel

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Mid Range: Bagan View Hotel

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Budget: Maya Bagan Hostel

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FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN BAGAN, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM

 

BEST MYANMAR TOURS

 

 

MORE MYANMAR TRAVEL GUIDES

 

TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!

  • BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
  • SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
  • VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
  • BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
  • RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
  • GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
  • TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free

Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you have any questions about Bagan, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can. For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.

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THANKS FOR READING

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