"Historical wonderland." Top 5 Page for this destination Bagan by planxty
Bagan Travel Guide: 323 reviews and 1,285 photos
OK, let's get it out of the way early, Bagan is everything you have heard about it, and then some. I'll try and get all the superlatives out of the way here, so I don't bore you with them in inidvidual tips.
Bagan is awe-inspiring, magnificent, incredible, jaw-dropping, mystical, magical, vast, other-worldly, wonderful and just about every other adjective or superlative you have heard about it.
I have been lucky enough in my life to have seen some fairly incredible places - Angkor, Everest, the Corinth canal and so on, but this really is very high on my list of places that everyone should see before they die.
So what's the attraction? I realise that Bagan draws continual comparison with Angkor, and I wouldn't like to say which one is the "better" site to visit. I'm certainly not scholarly enough to draw comparisons about the relative architectures or importance historically or sociologically.
To my untrained eye, the thing that struck me about the Bagan complex, and it is huge, was the comparative lack of people there (comparative to Angkor, that is). Obviously, both Myanmar and Cambodia are still relatively unvisited places, but I think that Bagan probably attracts far fewer visitors than Angkor, with the result that you can walk, cycle or cart round vast tracts of the site without seeing another person for hours on end. The act of "discovering" your own temple (out of about 3000, I believe) is really quite special.
I can't really hope to describe to you what it is truly like, although I hope my amateur photos may give you some idea. All I can realistically hope to do is fire your imagination to either visit yourself or, if that's not possible, at least investigate the place further either online or by way of literature.
I took a few notes as I was travelling around the Bagan site, and I took a huge amount of photographs. As VTer's will appreciate, the problem now comes marrying the photos to the text. I have worked hard on this, and I hope I've got it right, but if anybody spots any glaring mistakes (i.e. the wrong photo with the wrong piece of information), please get in touch with me and I'l amend it with suitable credit given.
It all seemed so simple then with just the bicycle and the camera!
Just on a slightly technical note, I haven't put many "practical" tips like hotels, restaurants, transport etc. on this page. This is for a couple of reasons.
The traveller really has three options of places to stay whilst visiting the Bagan site. Like the majority of backpackers I chose Nyaung U, which tends to be the cheapest of the three (and probably the livliest, although it's all relative as none of them are "party" towns) so please check out my Nyaung U page for other tips.
The other two options are New Bagan and Old Bagan and, whilst there are still a few budget optiions, they tend to have more of the upscale hotels and complexes with all that imples in Myanmar.
The second reason is purley the way the VT site works. I could either have made all the temples "off the beaten track" tips for Nyaung U or do it this way. I thought this way was best.
- Pros:One of the "must see" sites of the world.
- Cons:Perhaps the persistent vendors.
- In a nutshell:See it before you die!
Along with Ananda, this really is a "must see". For sheer scale and grandeur, it is, in my opinion, unsurpassed in the... more travel advice
Many people will include a visit to the Nagayon Guphaya in their itinerary of Bagan, and rightly so (see seperate tip),... more travel advice
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Bagan Travel Guide
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