If you want to visit and learn of Myanmar’s history, you must go visit its historic cities. One of Myanmar’s historic cities is located in its center. Bagan is located near the Irrawaddy River, south of Mandalay and north of Yangon. Considered as the Angkor Wat of Myanmar, the city of Bagan is named as an Archaeological Zone. In this city, you can experience where the country’s golden age began.
In the 9th century, King Anawartha unified Burma that eventually led to the Myanmar that we know of today. Through Buddhism, King Anawartha built Bagan as a central base in which history and culture flourished.
There are many options to get to Bagan. From Mandalay or Yangon, you can rent a car and drive to the New Bagan for about 20-30 minutes. Some hotels provide shuttle services from the airport located in Yangon to Bagan. You can also take a train from Mandalay directly to Bagan which takes about seven to ten hours daily. There are also buses from Mandalay and Yangon traveling for six to seven hours daily. Or you can take a boat via the Irrawaddy River. Here you can either take a direct boat from Mandalay or Yangon, or take a luxury cruise to take in the sights and culture of Myanmar.
Accommodations are readily available in the city proper so you will not have any problems settling in. Once you’ve checked in your hotel, you can begin to visit the many historical structures the city has to offer. There are over 2,000 historical structures to enjoy. A popular way to see Bagan is via air. Get on a hot air balloon to see the city’s beauty from the top. You can also rent a bike or go on a walking tour to see the temples.Or you could rent a horse cart to get into the city’s ancient feel. However, it is still best to rent a car to be able to visit as many historical sites as you can within the limited time.
Make sure to go visit the Ananda Temple, considered as the holiest temple in Bagan. Another must-see is the Shwe Zigon Temple. It is a golden pagoda made as a model for the famous Shwedagon Pagoda Temple in Yangon. Head to the Shwesandaw Temple before you end your day to get a spectacular view of the sunset. If time doesn’t permit, Shwegugyi Temple also offers a wonderful sunset view.
After a day of sight-seeing, spend your nights in the Night Market and get yourself some souvenirs with great bargains. Beside the Night Market, you can indulge the child in you by going to the carnival. Locals get on a makeshift stage and perform nightly for everyone’s entertainment.Take this opportunity to mingle with the locals.
When in Myanmar, it is impossible not to drop by Bagan. Rich in the country’s history, you will surely enjoy exploring every corner the city has to offer.