• a church with a mountain in the background

Bagan Holidays

Your holiday in Bagan will take your breath away, with its sight of over a thousand magnificent red brick temples and pagodas scattered across a vast plain beside the mighty Ayeyarwady River. In their shadow, Burmese people drive oxen through the fields and have fun playing the national sport of chinlone (cane ball), just as they have for centuries.

These ancient Bagan temples are the great legacy of the Paukkan kings, the first capital of Myanmar (formerly Burma), and were built between 1057 and 1287 AD. The temples are an enormous testament to the Buddhist faith and each pagoda displays impressive architecture, as well as interiors of colourful murals and exquisite statues.

Experience Bagan holidays your way

Travel from Yangon to Bagan with a short flight; or take the boat from Mandalay to Bagan for an unforgettable slow travel experience. Once there, you can choose to tour the Bagan temples by e-bike or bicycle, with an epic hot air balloon ride, by horse and cart, or by private car.

From the top of the pagodas the temple-dotted views of the city are spectacular, especially in the golden light of sunrise and sunset. Get here early for a good vantage point at the more popular sunset sites, or choose a more out of the way pagoda to climb for your sunset view. However you experience it, the magic of Bagan has inspired visitors to Myanmar for nearly 1,000 years and that’s not going to change any time soon.

During your time in Burma, combine your Bagan holiday with a trip to Inle Lake or Mandalay, the cultural capital of Myanmar. Of course, you’ll want to explore vibrant Yangon and perhaps extend your travels in the Far East with a few days in neighbouring Thailand.

Destination Highlights
  • Don’t miss the Shwezigon Pagoda, a huge gilded golden temple built by King Anawrahta in the early 11th century.
  • One of the finest Bagan temples is Ananda, with its 170ft shimmering gold spire and four huge standing Buddha images.
  • Visit a local lacquer craftsman's workshop to learn how this delicate artform is created.
  • Explore authentic villages during your Bagan holidays, in the land of the first Burmese Empire.
  • George, Destination Specialist

    George

    Destination Specialist

    “Take a hot air balloon flight: there is no better or more spectacular view of the ancient kingdom of Bagan than from a hot air balloon. This world-famous archaeological site of more than a thousand Buddhist temples scattered across the cityscape is at its best when seen from a bird’s eye vantage and as the sun comes up gently over the horizon.”

  • a woman in a red shirt

    Karen

    Destination Executive

    “Enjoy a stunning sunset cruise on the great Ayeyarwady (or Irrawaddy) River during your Burma holidays - the colours reflected in the water and sky are unforgettable.”

Events & Festivals

Mandalay boasts a couple of events and traditional festivals that are held throughout the year and can be enjoyed by everyone.

  • Bagan Ananda Pagoda Festival

    Held in January, Bagan Ananda Pagoda Festival is an ideal way to embrace the local culture, with its array of colourful entertainment, including traditional dancing, singing and open air theatre performances. Comedians often caricature current events in Myanmar - look out for the caravan of ox carts around the grounds of Ananda Pagoda.

Local cuisine

Bagan has a good range of eateries, with kitchens cooking up both traditional food and international cuisine.

  • Places to eat in Bagen

    Ayeyarwady River Terrace. Ayeyarwady River Terrace is just one of many restaurants on the riverfront that offers tasty food and pleasant river views.

  • Moon Vegetarian Restaurant

    Experience delicious vegetarian cuisine at Moon Vegetarian Restaurant, situated near Ananda Pagoda and set in a shady garden. We recommend the restaurant’s classic Burmese spicy salad and the tasty tamarind leaf curry.

Frequently Asked Questions

You must dress conservatively when visiting temples and pagodas by covering your shoulders and knees. 

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