1. Here Comes the Sun
Bagan is a very special place, which means your day exploring the city should be equally unique. Today you will be met pre-dawn at your hotel, and transferred to the site of an unforgettable Dawn Champagne Balloon Flight above the pagodas of ancient Bagan. If you’re anything like me, you will have been dreaming about this moment for weeks. Trust me, there is nothing like gently floating above thousands of pagodas as you watch the sunrise. This picture perfect moment is not to be missed. Well worth the steep price point, the memories and photographs you will collect along the flight are priceless. Upon landing you will enjoy breakfast along with a champagne toast – the perfect way to start your day in Bagan!
2. Something Old
After a brief rest back at your hotel, set off for the day, exploring the huge archaeological site known as Old Bagan, over a thousand years old and home to some 4,000 pagodas. Begin your journey on a stroll through Nyaung U market. Stop to visit the riverfront where village women and fishermen go about their daily lives. Don’t miss nearby Shwezigon Pagoda; an original prototype for later Burmese stupas. Round out your adventure with a visit to Wetkyi-In-Gubyaukgyi temple, to observe the original 13th Century frescoes, and the Hindu figures engraved on the Indian-style spire. If you’re feeing adventurous, Old Bagan is very manageable by bicycle – a slew of which are available at many of the local hotels. Ask the front desk if you can borrow one for the day, it’s the perfect way to enjoy Old Bagan.
3. Something New
Bagan is well known for traditional lacquerware, and at many shops you can observe the artists at work. Make your way to Myinkaba to meet the local artisans and see first hand how intricate and time consuming the entire process is. The finished products are beautiful, and the perfect treasures to bring home to share with loved ones.
4. Sunset Views
How many days can you say you’ve seen the sunrise and sunset while admiring a temple studded plain in the distance? You’ll want to end your day at one of the prime sunset spots in Old Bagan, Pyathada Paya or Shwesandaw Paya. Both options offer equally stunning sunset views, it just depends on your adventure level (Pyathada Paya is a steeper climb). Assend the steps with local monks and tourists alike to find an available seat and prepare to take in the magical view. This moment of reflection and beauty is not to be missed.
5. All the Aromas
If there is one restaurant I recommend you try in Bagan it is Aroma 2. A family run establishment that has been around for years, this lively Indian restaurant is sure to be a highlight of your trip. The curries are fantastic, with both vegetarian and meat options available. However it is the charming, outdoor atmosphere that really draws you in, where the chatter of locals and tourists alike, discussing the details of their day in this magical city, lingers into the evening.
2. Old Bagan | Directions!
3. Myinkaba Lacquerwear Shops | Directions!
4. Shwesandaw Paya | Directions!
5. Aroma 2 | Directions!