Myanmar (Republic of the Union of Myanmar)

Languages: Burmese

Currencies: MMK · Burmese kyat (Ks)

Capitol: Naypyidaw

Continents: Asia

Borders: Laos, China, India, Thailand, Bangladesh

More useful information

Area: 676,578km2

Population: 54,409,794

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +95

Timezones: UTC+06:30

Last updated on July 6, 2024

Bagan, a place where time seems to stand still amidst the thousands of magnificent temples and pagodas. It’s definitely one of the most amazing places I have visited across Southeast Asia, so I would allow at least 2-3 days to explore the complex, which is 104 sq kilometres big with more than 2500 temples. Here is my full guide on how to visit Bagan – the ancient city of Myanmar. 

How to visit Bagan in Myanmar?

Bagan is well-connected by road with the rest of the country and easily accessible from Yangon/the capital city. Bagan is accessible by air and road, however most travelers arrive via domestic flights to Nyaung U Airport, which is the closest airport to Bagan. From there you can take a short taxi or shuttle ride to the heart of Bagan. 

Bagan travel guide.

The question is how to visit Bagan to properly explore the area and see most exciting spots. I highly recommend puchasing a 3-day pass to explore Bagan. 

Bagan offers a truly mystical experience!! 

Bagan (also Pagan) the ancient city in Mandalay – the largest and formal toyal capital city of Myanmar (Burma). The New and Old Bagan is located in Nyaung-U District of Mandalay. The region covers 100 square kilometres with over 2500 temples, monasteries and Buddhist stupas, remaining one of the most popular tourist destination in Asia. 

Bagan entry fee.

Officially the entry fee to Bagan archeological area is 25 000 Kyats – which is less than 10USD.

Exploring the Temples.

Bagan is renowned for its stunning temples and pagodas, and the best way to explore them is by bicycle or electric scooter. You will not be able to rent a moped as this is a silence area! Many of the temples are off the main roads, and getting around by bike or scooter will be much more convenient to reach hidden gems and experience the beauty of the surroundings. Major temples include: Ananda Temple, Shwezigon Pagoda and Dhammayangyi Temple.

Bagan is one of the two most significant ancient cities in South East Asia, along with Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It used to be a capital city of Pagan Kingdom. Approaching such a massive tourist attraction it is good to have an itinerary, so here are number of useful things to know before you go, to make your sightseeing most convenient and adventurous. Entry tickets are valid for three days, so you have enough time to plan your touring wisely. I would advise to book accommodation in advance, it’s a centre of country’s tourist industry. I heard the standard and number of accommodations near Bagan has increased significantly over recent years, and more visitor are heading to top luxury places to stay.

Where to stay in Bagan, Myanmar?

On the bus to Bagan I met a very nice German girl and we agreed to share a room/cheaper solution. When you travel for months, maintaining your budget is imortant 😉 Besides travelers company is invaluable! It took as a while but we managed to find a double room for 15$ per day – two beds and a ‘shower’. Generaly the accommodation standard in Bagan is not great. Unless you are staying in 5 star hotels or spa resorts where the price per nights reaches $100. That’s why I’m dropping some recommendations from These are top rated, decent places with great reviews. 

BUDGET: 2 star hotels will cost you about €5-8 (very difficult to find) and be prepared the standard is very low. The only exception is fabulous Ostello Bello Bagan Pool – with a single bed in dormitory for 5USD.

MID-BUDGET 3/4 stars: €15-€35:

5 stars: USD 75-100+

To give you an idea our 3 star room was very basic, bathroom was old with a pipe shower and a toilet. I didn’t care much as I was out for the most of the day, exploring magnificent Bagan. 

Tips before going to Bagan.

There is number of usefull information to know before exploring Bagan, Myanmar. Bagan is under a zone of silence, which means you won’t be available to explore this huge area by noisy tuk-tuks. You probably wonder how to visit Bagan if motorbikes are not allowed – the only way to explore this huge area is by bikes, eco-mopeds and droshky, which are available for rent. If you are thinking of a bike, remember you need to be very fit enough to cycle long distances in a heat and high humid conditions. I wouldn’t recommend droshky, as as the horses are highly overworked. I am fit but the only solution for us was eco-motorbike.

  • One thing to carry with you BUG SPRAY – the amount of mosquitos is insane.
  • Try your eco-motorbike while renting, it drives differently from traditional ones and make sure all works well.
  • Mind your self-powered bikes battery – it is usually charged for max 8 hours.

Sunset over Bagan, Myanmar.

One of the most iconic experiences in Bagan is witnessing the sunrise and sunset over the temples landscape.

Magic sunrise over Bagan.

One of the things you can’t miss is sunrise over Bagan. This is one of the most memorable and mystic experiences ever. Firstly, you need to get a map of Bagan and ask for best sunrise and sunset view points. For sunrise majority of people will be heading toward Shwesandaw and Dammayangi temples. But there are other temples for Bagan sunrise – Bulethi or North Guni Pagoda (separate entrance fee apply). Your maps will be very useful when exploring the area. You need to wake up around 4 am if you want to make to your temple for the sunrise. Unfortunately my German friend reveled she’s not going, although we agreed on our plan. Well, that means I’m driving alone in a total darkness, trying to find the right way to the right temple. Try to reach your sunrise temple as early as possible to secure a good viewing spot!

The drive wasn’t that scary when I think about it now, but there were glowing eyes of wild animals hiding aside in the bushes. Even I checked the previous day how to visit Bagan temple, it was still quite challenging to locate it in the morning. It was almost 5am when I finally parked my eco-moped and the air was chilly. I was sure I’m the only person in the area, but while climbing the stairs I noticed several camera lenses on the top of the temple. 

Sunrise times depend on a season: March – July the sun rises around 5:30am, August to February 5:30-6:00 am. 

How to visit Bagan for best sunrise.

Sunrise over bagan is breathtaking! But it’s quite chilly in the mornings and you will need to leave your shoes at the temple entrance to remain bare feet for couple of hours. Day-time temperatures in February-March reach 32-40 Celsius degrees, to drop dramatically at night-time to 10 degrees. Dress warm for a motorbike and take socks to wear on the top of the temple. I learnt from my mistakes and my feet were frozen after few hours at the top. Remember about temples dress-code, always have a scarf with you to cover yourself if required in a sacred place. 

Explore the history of Bagan.

There’s fascinating history behind almost every temple in Bagan, Myanmar. There are some incredible history facts behind some of the Pagodas, while others would be a complete mystery like with Bulethi Pagoda, one of the best surise spots in Bagan. Imagine in the past there were 13 000 temples in this deserted area, while treasure thieves and earthquakes would significantly reduce the number of stupas overtime.

You can explor Bagan with one of the most popular full day tours:

Bagan in a hot air balloon!

One of the most fascinating ways of exploring Bagan is in a hot air balloon. travelers often opt for hot air balloon rides at sunrise, which provide a remarkable aerial perspective of the ancient city as it comes to life in the morning light.This is only available from October till March. There’s a maximum of eight people allowed in one balloon and keep in mind there’s no toilet. 😉 

Book your Balloon Tour here (45 min-1h).

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Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!

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