Bagan, the Valley of the Temples, is one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. The remains of the ancient city extend over an area of 42 km² and it is filled with more than 2,000 pagodas. The numerous monuments recall Myanmar’s golden era and are evidence of the country’s deep-rooted faith in Buddhism.
If you are thinking of traveling to Myanmar there is an emblematic place that you should not miss for the world. It is difficult to conceive a route without stepping on Bagan, the Valley of the Temples. This stunning plateau on the banks of the Irrawady River is dotted with temples capable of impressing even the most seasoned travelers.
The Bagan Temples Archaeological Area, which spans several square kilometers between Nyaung-U, New Bagan and Old Bagan, was built between the 11th and 13th centuries. In its most glorious time there were more than 4,000 structures. But time, together with inclement weather, neglect and earthquakes have acted against the temples. Today just over 2000 remain.
Do not miss the Ananda Temple, Shwezigon Pagoda and the Thatbyinnyu Temple. Moreover, some of our recommended hotels offer incredible vistas of the temples, perfect for a romantic cocktail hour over this legendary landscape.
Take to the skies with a balloon ride for a breath-taking bird’s eye view of the Valley of the Temples in Bagan. Take part in the oil lamp lighting ceremony, a sombre and distinguished event that is steeped in Buddhist belief. Enjoy a cold drink while admiring the spectacular scenery of the ancient structures and finish off the night with a delicious Burmese dinner.
Head to the Shwezigon pagoda to take part in the oil lamp lighting ceremony. This somber and distinguished event is steeped in the Buddhist belief of earning merit through performing good deeds. Sit on the floor and observe the Buddhist monks chant ancient Pali scriptures as 1000 oil candles twinkle around the pagoda. You will feel the genuine warmth and sincerity of these blessings.
In the late afternoon, transfer from your hotel to the jetty for a beautiful sunset cruise on a private wooden boat. It’s perfectly relaxing after a full day exploring the hot and dusty plains of Bagan. You’ll float leisurely along the river, observing local life from a different perspective. The cruise will sail about 30 minutes upstream then turn to glide downriver while watching the sun set over the Ayeyarwady River. Cool drinks including soft drinks or beer with light Burmese snacks will be available on board. Afterwards, arrive at a sandbank where a private and exclusive dinner awaits. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and capture the changing colors of twilight over the temples while savouring the delicious meal before heading back to your hotel.