Bagan Travel Guide

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Shwezigon Paya in Bagan

Shwezigon Paya in Bagan

Bagan is one of the most amazing sight in SE Asia. In an area of 40 kmĀ², there are more then 1000 shipas and payas. You can spend at least a week here. At Bagan (Pagan) there are 5000 pagodas still standing, the remains of Myanmar's architectural Golden Age. Bagan was Myanmar's capital for 230 years. Bagan was founded in 849 AD and began to blossom in the reign of King Anawrahta (1044-1077), the 42nd ruler of the Bagan Dynasty. Anawrahta introduced Theravada Buddhism to the city; before the state religion was a mixture of Mahayana Buddhism and Brahmanism. Bagan's glory days ended abruptly with the invasion of the Mongul emperor Kublai Khan in 1287, after which the city was abandoned.

What to do ?

When your bus enters Bagan area, you have to pay 10 US$ to the MTT. With this ticket you can stay for 5 days, but nobody checks, and you can ask for the ticket of other travellers who only stay 3 days f.i.

Visit the temples

This is of course the main thing to do in Bagan. Relax and take your time to experience the beautiful area. You can rent a bike 80 cents pp per day or go by horse cart (2 to 3 US$ for 6 hours). You can visit some nearby payas by foot, but the area is so big you won't get far. Remember it gets very hot in Bagan, so leave early in the morning and relax at noon time and hit the road again (with torch) in late afternoon. Everybody has his own favourite temples in Bagan. We liked the Wi-ni-do group, not far from the airport. If you take this remote route, you can go from Nyangu to New Bagan and then to Old Bagan and return to Nyangu. It'll take you a full day and a lot of water, but the trip is fantastic. Don't forget to take some pictures of the sunset over the Bagan area. You can take these pictures from the mingalazedi on the Swesandow paya. It gets very crowded there. ONE TIP: simply wait till everybody is gone and you'll have a great night view all by yourself.

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December 11, 2005 change by wendy cuijpers

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