The Mystical Temples And Pagodas of Bagan, Myanmar

Updated: AUGUST 2021

Bagan has always been synonymous with Myanmar for me. The vivid imagery of hundreds of mystical pagodas rising out of vast misty plains or silhouetted against a gloriously golden sky has beckoned me for as long as I can remember.

The reality was, however, unexpectedly mixed. The temples are stunning from afar. Close up, the mystique gets eroded somewhat and you begin to understand why a few zealously restored and pressure cleaned facades have kept this unique heritage ensemble off the UNESCO list*.

The enchanting morning silhouette of Sulamani temple.

Roughly 2300 surviving temples, pagodas and shrines dot some 16 square miles (40sq km) of verdant Irrawaddy plains. The numbers were said to have been closer to 10,000 once! Most constructed at the peak of the Bagan empire between 10CE to 12CE, when much of South East Asia came under its purview.

Originally founded by King Thamudarit in the 2nd century, Bagan – then known as Pagan – grew into a fortified town under King Pyinbya in 850, and into one of many minor city states in the region. It was relatively isolated from the outside world until the reign of King Anawrahta in the late 10th century. The city’s rise to prominence closely followed this King’s ambitious conquests.

The first of the pagodas, commissioned by members of the royal household and wealthy individuals as offerings to gain ‘merit’, began appearing around that time. The building frenzy continued into the reigns of successors: Kyanzittha and Alaungsithu.

The Pagan Kingdom disintegrated as a result of repeated Mongol invasions at the turn of the twelfth century and never regained its glory thereafter.

Being on a cruise docked right in the Old Bagan Pier gave us easy access to the archaeological site. Our itinerary covered a fair mix of big and small temples over two full days.

I much preferred the grander structures as backgrounds in my photos. Ananda and Htilominlo pagodas in particular were jam packed during our visit. It was in the stark, lesser known shrines, however, and on the roof of a quiet, dilapidated stupa awaiting the dawn of a new day over that incredible field of pagodas, that we truly connected with the magic of Bagan.

View of Bagan temples and pagodas during golden hour - A guide to the best Bagan temples and pagodas to visit



The magnificent 11th century Thatbyinnyu,

‘Best’ is always relative. Here’s a comprehensive list of monuments in Bagan. The largest temples are also the most popular and teeming with people. Of the dozen or so temples we visited five were prominent ones that feature on most must-visit lists:

  1. Ananda Paya: considered the “finest, largest, best preserved and most revered of Bagan temples.”. The crowds are proof. Highlights are the four gilded standing Buddhas facing each cardinal direction, two of which are original. It was fully restored after the in 1975 earthquake.
  2. The pyramidical Dhammayangyi: a massive temple – circa 1167 – built by the evil king Narathu, who caused the death of many people including his own father and his Indian queen. His assassination inside this very temple by his father in law earned him the title ‘Kalagya Min’ (The king killed by Indians!)
  3. Htilominlo Pagoda: a beautiful 1218 temple built by King Nantaungmya to mark the spot where he was chosen (from among five siblings) as heir by his father in a tradition in which a white umbrella tilts toward him.
  4. Sulamani Pagoda: another striking and very popular temple with still visible stucco patterns and painted frescoes on interior walls.
  5. Gubyaukgyi temple in Myinkaba, south of Old Bagan, boasts some of the most beautiful Jataka frescoes. Next door is one of a pair of UNESCO certified, quadri-lingual (Pyu, Mon, Pali, and Burmese) Myazedi stone inscriptions that are considered the Rosetta Stone of Burma. The second is in the Bagan archaeological museum. The morning market in Myinkaba was also worth strolling through.

We witnessed sunset from the Shwesandaw, the highest pagoda in Bagan with five terraces making it the most popular spot for sunset viewing (now banned.). It is one of the first pagodas built by King Anawrahta in 1057

On our way out we popped into the Shinbinthalyaung Temple: a long, rectangular brick temple right beside the Shwesandaw with just enough room for a colossal (18 m long) 11th century reclining Buddha.

We also visited the following smaller pagodas that we enjoyed even more.

Upali Thein with well-preserved, original paintings, Nandamannya Pahto also with beautiful frescoes and the stark and tiny 9th century Pahtothamya shrine with its exquisite seated Buddha, shafts of sunlight from the high windows and fragments of some of the earliest frescoes in Bagan, my favourite of all.

The lone stupa across the Irrawaddy (see map) is the Tantkyitaung on top of Tan Kyi Mountain, one of the four that once marked the original edges of the city. It’s a splendid, newish looking golden stupa still in use and boasts panoramic river views.

The Nat-Hlaung-Kyaung, the last Hindu temple in Bagan was of interest to us for its (reproduction) murals of Hindu gods. It isn’t quite worth seeking out otherwise.

The map below will help you organise your route. I have included more of the prominent temples that are part of many must-visit lists. Tally them with the detailed descriptions on the site linked to above to help you shortlist temples to visit.

A mix of five to six of the bigger temples and an equal number of minor temples will make for a comfortable two day itinerary. Hardly any of the temples have true architectural merit, so time required for a visit is rarely more than an hour. Get to the larger temples early to avoid crowds.

Do allow time to explore the site at random. You’ll be sure to stumble upon some hidden gems.

*Update 2019: Bagan has since made it to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Climbing temples has also been banned since the fatal accident of an American tourist in 2017. No temples are currently open for sunrise or sunset viewing.

Scroll down for a detailed guide.

The exquisite Buddha in Pahtothamya Temple.
The exquisite Buddha in Pahtothamya Temple.
Monk in front of Htilominlo Temple.
Htilominlo Temple
The massive Dhammayangyi Paya, Bagan.
Dhammayangyi Paya
Random pagodas in Old bagan


With the higher reaches of temples off bounds for tourists, sunrise and sunset viewing just got harder.

If your hotel offers a rooftop with views you are all set. Many New Bagan properties closer to the balloon embarkation points do.

There are viewing mounds near several temples that provide fairly high vantage points. The Sulamani Hill View Point behind the Sulamani Pagoda is reputed to be the best of the lot.

For those who can afford the US$ 350 price tag, balloon rides are the best way to capture those famed postcard shots. You can book balloon rides here and here.

We didnโ€™t do it, however, opting instead to be driven to an old pagoda by our captain after the balloon riders had been picked up. Watching the balloons soar into the air from the rooftop of the (Pyathatgyi) stupa in the stillness of that dawn was beyond magical even though the sunrise itself wasnโ€™t all that great.

It was a still, cloudless morning and our cruise mates who took the ride returned a little disappointed that their balloon couldnโ€™t get quite as low or close to the temples as they had expected. Thatโ€™s a chance you take with balloon rides. Anywhere. But if youโ€™ve never been on one itโ€™s an experience I highly recommend trying at least once. Budget permitting of course.

Dawn silhouttes of a balloon and pagoda viewed from the top pf Pyathatgyi) stupa.
Sunrise from Pyathatgyi Temple

An alternative for those who cannot stretch their budgets for the balloon experience is the Nan Myint viewing tower.

The rather incongruous tower is a controversial structure (developed by a cartel close to the military) which, along with the Aureum Palace Resort it is attached to, exacerbated the delay in Baganโ€™s inclusion into the UNESCO Heritage list.

If you must have your birds eye Bagan postcard views you now have no other option but to battle busloads of tourists to the top of the tower. An elevator runs up to the 11th floor from where you have to use stairs to the 13th floor observation deck. Thereโ€™s a cafe on the 9th floor. Entry fee: US$ 5. (Not sure why this is quoted in USD. As far as I know it is payable in MMK.)

Pro tips from previous travellers:

  • The tower is far less crowded at sunrise than at sunset.
  • In the evening, grab a few quick pics from the thirteenth floor before the tour group stampede begins and then get down to the lower levels for a relatively peaceful sunset experience.

A more atmospheric and relaxing option for sunset is a boat cruise on the Irrawaddy. You might not have as many temples in your field of view, but the silhouettes of random temples against the setting sun can be pretty special. You can book a sunset cruise here.

Bagan Sunset
Sunset view II: The glittering Dhammayazika Pagoda on the horizon
Golden hour over the Bagan temples and pagodas viewed from Shwesandaw Temple
Sunest from Shwesandaw Temple
Sunest from Shwesandaw Temple


Browsing through the Nyaung U market was a much needed change of scene from temples. Even the most ardent of Buddhist temple fans will encounter temple fatigue at some point through a Burma itinerary…we lasted until our 7th day on the cruise.

Get a feel for rural life along the river on a village visit. We got to stroll through a couple of small villages while on the cruise that gave us a non touristy perspective. Shwe Pyi Thar was one of the villages upstream between Bagan and Yandabo. Yandabo is a lovely pottery making village to visit as well. With many of the boats from Mandalay to Bagan including a guided visit to Yandabo, it might have gotten busier. See transport section below.

Salay town famed for its teak monasteries and colonial buildings is a pleasant day-trip. The Youqson Kyaung Teak Monastery, designed as a copy of the Crown Prince House of Mandalay, is a must visit. Bagan-era monuments such as Payathonzu and the Shinpinsarkyo Paya are other attractions.

Overlooking Salay is Mount Popa, a volcanic plug with the Taung Kalat monastery perched on top. (We didnโ€™t visit Mt. Popa). Hire a taxi for the day. Or join a tour. Find tour options and prices.

A young girl tests rows of overturned clay pots by tapping with a wooden stick in Yandabo
Testing pots, Yandabo
Youqson Kyaung wooden monastery, Salay
Youqson Kyaung wooden monastery, Salay


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Summers are hot throughout Myanmar. June to September is the monsoon season in the plains with September being the wettest. November to February is the best time to visit.


Bagan Archaeological Zone Fee: MMK 25,000. It can be bought at the airport, at checkpoints along the way or at some of the larger temples like Ananda. This is a one time fee valid for five consecutive days. The ticket provided needs to be carried with you – even for the sunrise/ sunset viewing spots – although it might not always be checked. They’ll click a photo on the spot which will be associated with the relevant barcode on the ticket so the it cannot be shared.

Archeological Museum: MMK 5000.

Find fees for other attractions in Bagan and neighbouring towns here.


By flight from Yangon or Heho (Inle Lake) airports: Closest airport to Bagan is in Nyaung U (30-minute by road from Old Bagan). We took the Heho- Mandalay flight and spent a day in Mandalay (180 kms, 4 hours by road) before joining our cruise. There are 30 min flights from Mandalay to Bagan, but driving is a better option.

By train from Yangon: Overnight trains take 16 hours. There is no online booking facility but you can easily buy a ticket either the day before or on the day of travel. Or request your hotel to do it for you. All online booking agencies do just that for a fee.
Note: Schedules on this sector might remain disrupted until 2023 due to lines being modernised. Find more details at Seat 61.

By Bus from Yangon: JJ Express takes around 8 hours including comfort stops. Both day and night buses available.

By Train from Mandalay: Train journeys take nearly 12 hours. Not recommended.

By Bus from Mandalay: JJ Express from Mandalay takes around 5 hours and costs in the range of US$10. You can arrange for a pick-up or grab a tuk tuk to your hotel from the bus station.

By road from Mandalay: Takes under 4 hours. One way transfer price (per vehicle. Remember, train and boat is per person and not door to door.) is currently in the range of US$ 80-US$ 100 (depending on who you book with, hotels being the priciest.)

By Boat from Mandalay: This is the most scenic way to get to Bagan. It takes 10 hours so I suggest doing this one way and returning by road. If you are short on time take the road option both ways. There are no public ferries any more. Daily private boat services depart from Mandalay early mornings and take about 10 hrs to reach Bagan. Some include guided visits to Yandabo. Find schedules and prices here and here.

By all Inclusive Cruise From Mandalay (or even Yangon on the longer journeys): Cruises on this sector include Bagan as well as several other old Burmese capitals like Sagaing and Amarapura in their itineraries. Pandaw Cruises are the most reputed in Myanmar. We took the 9 day Treasures Of Golden Myanmar from Mandalay on the Irrawaddy Explorer with the Haimark group. The boat has since been taken over by Paukan Cruises.

We aren’t generally cruise people. I even go so far as to suggest not joining a Nile Cruise in Egypt for better utilisation of time and money . But with far less sightseeing on this journey we found the cruise a most enjoyable way to explore the sites all the way upto Pyay. A cruise is far pricier than doing it on your own though.

Glazed ceramic panels depicting stories from the Jataka Ananda Temple, Bagan
Glazed terracotta panels depicting stories from the Jataka Ananda Temple, Bagan


The vast size of the Bagan archaeological site as well as the humid weather do not lend themselves to exploration by foot.

E-Bikes (battery operated) are available for hire from around MMK 7000 – 12,000/day (depending on where you hire it from. Hotels are pricier). Regular bikes cost around MMK 2000. You can hire a guide to drive you around on your E-bike if you aren’t comfortable riding one.

A more comfortable option would be to hire a Tuk Tuk for the day for around MMK 25,000 for up to two people (MMK 3000 for a short trip and MMK 15,000 for half a day). This is my personal preference. Search on Trip Advisor for recommendations for Tuk Tuk drivers who know their way around and can take you to some little known temples.

Hiring an air conditioned car and driver will cost around MMK 36,000/day. Cars are fine for the larger temples but they will not be able to navigate the smaller tracks in the park and might not be ideal to hunt down random temples.

Hiring an ox cart is anther popular option within the park. Animals did seem better cared for here – during our visit – than in many other destinations.


Disclaimer: As mentioned before, we stayed on a cruise boat docked directly in Old Bagan. The suggestions below are based on recommendations from friends and fellow travellers. .

Staying within the archaeological zone in Old Bagan allows easier access to temples. But dining options will be limited to your accommodation. Bagan Thande Hotel is considered the best property within the walls (and not owned by the military junta affiliates as far as is known) but is well past its glory days of entertaining royal residents. The Hotel at Tharabar Gate is a newer property and closer to some stand alone restaurants.

Ananta Bagan and Heritage Bagan in Nyaung U come highly recommended. The latter is the newer of the two but also the farthest. The former seems to offer better food and service overall and is relatively closer to free standing restaurants.

New Bagan has a wider range of affordable accommodation. Find more properties to suit your budget and dates on


The closest spots for a coffee or lunch break while on the temple circuit are around the Tharabar gate in Old Bagan or in Myinkaba. Nyaung U and New Bagan have a wider choice of eating places.


  • Myanmar’s drone photography laws are unclear. As is the drone-fly map. While many travellers have reported taking drones in their checked baggage without incident, I advise extreme caution. Here are some basic guidelines to follow.
  • Bagan is a religious site. Tourists are expected to dress ‘respectfully’: Always cover shoulders and knees. Carry a shirt or stole to use inside temples. Or a cheap longyi (sarong like traditional Burmese garment) to cover shorts.
  • Wearing footwear and socks even into the most dilapidated of pagodas isn’t allowed. Deliberate and repeated flouting of this rule could have dire consequences. Keep that in mind while choosing footwear. Flip flops, sandals or slip-on shoes might be best. Wet wipes to wipe off your feet are useful. Also a pumice stone to give them a scrub at the end of the day.
  • You might need a light jacket for sunrise/sunset…early mornings can get particularly chilly.
  • Carry some loose change in case you need to tip caretakers of smaller temples.
  • Flashlights are useful to better view frescoes in the dark recesses of the smaller temples. (Mobile phone torches will work too if you carry portable chargers.).
  • All standard precautions for visiting a hot destination apply: sunscreen, hat, plenty of water.
  • Not a tip as much as a reminder: Bring back your litter.


World Heritage Site Status For Pagan: A thought provoking post by Paul Strachan, founder of Pandaw Cruises, on the indiscriminate ‘restoration’ of pagodas and what UNESCO status means for Bagan.

Bagan and the World: Early Myanmar and Its Global Connections:

Myanmar (Burma): Temples of Bagan (2019 Travel Guide)


Cover of Egypt Itinerary PDF for download.


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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

89 thoughts on “The Mystical Temples And Pagodas of Bagan, Myanmar

  1. You just put Burma on my bucket list!, dearest Madhu!
    The pics exude peace! Thank you for the literal
    depiction as well.
    Hugs and apologies for neglecting your blog. Been steeped in much

    1. That’s good, you will love it Ashu. No apologies needed. I have been guilty of neglecting my blog myself! And of not keeping up with all my lovely friends. Have been shuttling between Chennai and B’lore like a whirlwind on some personal work.

  2. Bagan always has a mystical influence with its ancient Pagodas, each picture is beautiful than the other! We can not stop imagining how beautiful it might be to witness this in person!

  3. this is deeply touching…I have the opportunity to visit the location of history and great history to explore…

    1. Thank you Kelly. You should plan a trip before the whole world descends there. They are posed for a huge boom.

  4. Wow, what a stunning region, Madhu! Alas, I will probably never see it for myself, so thanks for the images….stunning (especially the dawn and dusk)

    1. The entire country is so picturesque Sue. You would do an amazing job of capturing it. I am rather disappointed with my sunset/sunrise photos actually, the market and people shots turned out much better.

  5. Did you hear about the new government regulation banning tourists from climbing the temples in Bagan? I don’t know how effective it will be since most people come to Bagan exactly for that reason. As for the temples, I found the ones far from the main complex more interesting. Thambulla is definitely one of my favorites.

    1. Bama, I did. But I also read that it has been partly repealed to allow access to some pagodas! Finding the balance between conservation and tourist revenue must be quite the challenge. Banning outright might not work. Elevating a few minor stupas with the addition of inconspicuous protective railings might be the way. I fervently hope they aren’t considering concrete viewing towers!!

  6. Madu, such beautiful images, Burma must be so wonderful. Your post makes me to put this country on the top of my travelling list. I just came back from India, mainly in Rhajastan, it was the greatest experience ever. Keep on travelling. The best to you from Cornelia

    1. I can’t say enough good things about Burma Cornelia! Glad you enjoyed India. Rajasthan is one of the best regions for a first trip. Hope you can come visit me in the South some day ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Great read and very illustrative photos! Heard the climbing and watching of sunsets from the pagodas is gonna be banned from the 1st of March, so I guess you were lucky to experience that magic!
    Greetings, Ron

    1. Thank you very much Ron. Only a few select pagodas were earmarked for sunset/sunrise viewing even during our visit. The news item refers to a govt. decision to ban climbing of all pagodas. I read a later report stating they had repealed that order! Not quite sure what the current status is.

      1. Aaah, ok, yeah, just read it as well, maybe just a case where they want to control it and make sure no more harm is done! It wasnยดt too crazy touristy when you were there?
        Did visit Myanmar last year, but only traveled around in the South and heard stories from other travelers on the bigger impact of tourists on Bagan and Inle Lake!
        But you ahve a great collection of being there already ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Greetings from KL,

    1. Thank you Marie. It might partly be he absence of people in the smaller places. But I also feel small, stark spaces are more evocative of the intended spirituality than grand edifices most probably meant to convey the rulers status rather than his faith ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you very much Shy. Hope you get to visit soon. I can say with a degree of certainty that you will not be disappointed ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Stunning photos and writing in true Madhu style. These landscapes are intriguing and even decay has beauty. I suppose most will crumble back into the earth eventually.

    1. Thanks friend ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess some of the temples will eventually crumble to dust. I can’t seem to decide whether they should be left untouched or returned to their full glory. Judicious intervention, I guess, is the key.

      Have missed you Gilly. Hope I can stick to a reasonable regular schedule from here on.

      1. We all have busy, over full lives don’t we dear? You can only do what you can do and when you do its wonderful (although I do miss you too!) take care and see you soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. You have some beautiful photos Madhu. Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories. Bagan, and our whole time in Burma is definitely a highlight of our travels.

    1. Thank you Alison. I do not know of anyone who has come away underwhelmed by Myanmar or Bagan ๐Ÿ™‚ Truly a beautiful country. Shall be over to catch up with your travels in a while. Are you guys still in Turkey?

        1. How lovely! Hoping to go to Mexico later this year. Will be looking out for some tips. Enjoy your time in San Miguel Alison.

  10. The misty atmosphere shrouding those pagodas reminded me of time spent working in Thailand where atmospherics presented their pagodas in a similar way. I suppose Thailand has kept their pagodas clean but understand the army in Myanmar had more interest in pocketing money than spending it on upkeep of these national treasures.

    1. Actually the Junta did restore some pagodas rather zealously and that is the reason Bagan didn’t get inscribed into the UNESCO list sadly! Future restorations will hopefully be done by professionals. Thank you for your constant support Ian. I kind of fell off the radar for a while. Hoping to stick to a more regular blogging schedule from here on.

  11. Your writing and photos take me back to this precious place ~ a sight and history that I could stay there for a lifetime and still not understand it all. Your photos are tremendous and the morning silhouette of Sulamani temple superb (my favorite).

    1. Mine too. I know you share my fascination with this land Randall. Didn’t expect to like it quite as much as I did ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for reading and sharing. Much appreciated.

  12. Aaarghh… your amazing photos remind me of the beautiful Bagan I’ve visited a couple years ago. But I didnt know the Hindu temple, is it really there??? Hahaha… I wish I could go back right now… thank you for sharing those beautiful photos Madhu…

    1. It is an amazing place Ayla. But then all of Burma is. Plan a trip soon, before the entire world descends there ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Jeff, the Junta decided to restore some of the temples a few decades ago with private contributions and they did it without professional help. So some temples have spanking new exteriors, and new gilded Buddhas in the altars that aren’t as attractive as the older ones. They didn’t veer too much from the terracotta palette thankfully. Many murals have been whitewashed and pathways lined with ceramic tiles. Parts of the facade of the Ananda temple had been recently cleaned with high pressure water pumps! Pity, because Bagan certainly merits being inscribed into the UNESCO heritage list. I had assumed it was!

      Thank you for reading and for the share Jeff. Much appreciated.

  13. Love the photos, Madhu. Similar to my experience in Thailand, the obscure temples are typically rustic, I prefer those to the elaborately decorated ones.

    1. I guess anywhere unless one is looking at it from a religious perspective. I find the crowds in the more popular temples detract from the atmosphere. But strangely I enjoyed the vibe in the excessively crowded Shwedagon in Yangon as well as the Mahamuni in Mandalay! The show of faith was amazing to witness. Thank you for reading and for your lovely comment Kat. Happy weekend:-)

  14. Hey Madhu! Awesome photographs in this post. Every time I see and read a post like this I want to travel here so bad. Thanks for sharing your images with us! I remember you used to stop by every once in a while when I was posting quite often. I’m currently working on reviving my blog with new travel stories and photographs as well.

    Looking forward to catching up with some more travel stories from you!
    – Nate

    1. Great to see you back Nate! Look forward to catching up with your latest adventures as well. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I liked the simple Romanesque churches in the Pyrenees better than the admittedly fantastic baroque cathedrals of Barcelona. That’s the same, right?

    1. It is ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it depends on the circumstances of our visits as well. I remember how special an early morning mass at St. Marks in Venice felt, while a daytime visit with hordes of tourists was far less enjoyable. Pleasure to see you here Michael. Have a great weekend!

  16. This must have been such an amazing place to visit, especially the lesser visited temples. So full of history that it must be easy to imagine what it must have been like so long ago…

    1. It was Anette. But then all of Burma was as amazing for me. I don’t think I have clicked as many photos in any one destination before ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I agree – Burma was synonymous with Bagan for me too – and the best sight is that of the groups of pagodas gleaming in the sunrise or sunset

    1. I guess for most of the world Charukesi, considering information about the country has been limited so far. The sunrise/sunset visuals were indeed spectacular.

  18. You’ve put the concept of Bagan in a very nice context and light. I can see why you were more enamored by the Pahtotamya sitting Buddha, I would be drawn to that, also…more than glitz. Did you take a two-day boat trip? From where to where? I will be visiting Bagan soon, and don’t have plans on how to travel. Don’t really like tours, but then, some places it may be better to go with a guide???

    1. Apologies for the very belated response Badfish. Life got in the way and I kind of lost my muse.

      We were on a nine day cruise, but Bagan is easily done from land. You could take a taxi from Mandalay or even a flight direct to Bagan and stay there for a couple of days. We were docked there for two nights. James and Bama spent four. Any hotel should be able to arrange a guide or tour. I have a feeling you might prefer to mark the temples you want to visit on a map and hire a bike or an ox cart to take you around. Or you could do a mix of both: get the main temples out of the way with a guide and wander into the lesser temples at leisure. The sunset and sunrise visuals are truly spectacular. I heard some temples are now off limits for sunset viewing, so you might want to cross check with your hotel. I could email you some links for hotels and temples if you wish.

      1. Madhu…no worries, I totally understand about life getting in the way of things. I like your take on things. Ox cart and guide combo!! I would LOVE for you to email me links. I’m such a poor planner for things like this.
        Where are you now? STill traveling, home? Timbuktu?

        1. Ha, wish I could say Timbuktu! ๐Ÿ™‚ Very much home. Shall send you some links. I am generally an obsessive planner, but it felt good to go with the flow for a change. Have been meaning to set up some travel resource pages, but again life gets in the way. When I am not consciously procrastinating that is.

    1. All well now, thank you Brian. I appreciate your stopping by to express your concern. And thank you very much for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Wish we could go but the internet is not good enough for us to be able to work there! (At least that is what we hear..?)

  20. Madhu, I’m not sure how I neglected to comment on this post until now! Bama and I took thousands of photos in Bagan – contrary to our time in Java, we never did get up to see the sunrise. It was indeed magical, although our experiences of the major temples (especially Shwe San Daw) were marred somewhat by the dogged persistence of the postcard vendors. It is always difficult to maintain that balance between restoration and an authentic, partially ruined state. The Ananda Temple was gorgeous, but the exterior would have been even better left unpainted.

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