Interesting Places >> Bagan
Bagan is the main tourist attraction in Myanmar. One of the richest archaeological sites in Asia, it is located on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Also being the capital of first Myanmar Empire, Bagan covers an area of 42 sq. km containing over 2000 well-preserved pagodas and temples of the 11th -13th century.
How to get there
There are daily flights between Yangon and Bagan which take an hour and ten minutes. There are regular Express Coach services to Bagan from Yangon and Mandalay. There are also regular flights from Mandalay and Heho to Bagan which take only 20 minutes. Express Trains from Yangon and Mandalay stop at Thazi Junction, from where it is accessible to Bagan by a 3-hour drive. There is a double-decker steamer service between Mandalay and Bagan and a luxury cruise 'Road to Mandalay' by E & 0 Express.
Where to Stay
Bagan and Nyaung U have hotels and guest houses or motels with modern facilities at reasonable prices.
What to See
This golden pagoda was the first monument built in the Myanmar style, the prototype for later pagodas. It was first built by King Anawrahta and completed by King Kyansittha in 1087, 'Nat' (spirit) images can be found within its precincts.
The Ananda Temple built after the Shwezigon in 1090 is the masterpiece of the early style temple architecture. There are four huge Buddha images in the standing position and eighty reliefs depicting the life of the Buddha from his Birth to his Enlightenment.
The Thatbyinnyu Temple, a white stucco building, is the Bagan's highest pagoda. It was built by King Alaungsithu in mid 12th century. The view from its terraces is spectacular both at dawn and dusk.
This 13th century temple is like Thatbyinnyu, about 60 metres high with a fine view of the Bagan plains.
Bagan's most massive temple, Dhammayangyi Temple was built by King Narathu in 1167. This temple was not finished but it displayed the finest brickwork.
This early 13th century temple displays a strong influence of Indian culture. Inside are the wall paintings and 28 Buddha images in sitting position.
This pagoda built by King Anawrahta in early 11th century displays a strong Mon influence with a steep stairway directly to the terraces for a superb view from the upper level.
A temple built in 1181 by King Narapatisithu is known for its murals dating from 11th 12th century.
Other attractions in Bagan are Mingala Zedi Pagoda, Manuha Temple, Lawkananda Temple, Bupaya Pagoda and Bagan Museum.
Some 50 km southeast of Bagan, Mount Popa,1,500 metres high, is an extinct volcano. It is the legendary home of the 'nats' or spirits. The Mount Popa area has also been designated as a National Park, a perfect place for tourism.
It is a small town about 15 km south of Bagan, down the Ayeyarwaddy River. U Pone Nya Museum, formerly the Yoke Sone Monastery, exhibits antique laquerwares, wooden reliefs and a large standing gilded Buddha image. The figures carved outside the front of the building are worth seeing. Another place worth visiting is Tha- ta-na Kyaung (Keythar monastery) where Tipitaka texts are housed in a large red lacquered cabinet.
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