Best Things To Do in Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan (ပုဂံ) or Pagan is the ancient capital city in Myanmar (Burma) from 9th to 13th century that lying along Ayeyarwady River. The glorious period contained more than 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries, but only 2,200 were survived through the time. Besides, Bagan Archeological area was listed as UNESCO Heritage Site since 2019 that filled with Buddhist art, architecture and a trace of Nats spirits that all included in Bagan travel guide 


Temples of Bagan, Myanmar

Taung Kalat

Mount Taung Kalat Temple (ပုပ္ပါးတောင်ကလပ်) is the Buddhist monastery that located on top of the inactive volcano on Mount Popa. The unmissable destination in any Bagan travel guide. Reach the summit by taking 777 stair-steps. You can expected to see souvenir and food shops, a group of monkeys and a crowd of locals in the temple

The panoramic viewpoint overlook a complex of golden temples, Burmese households with zinc roof lining along the street. Mount Popa Monastery is one of the prominent Nats spiritual sites in Bagan and has been the most important Nat worship center in Bagan. Locals travel from miles away to attain good luck from Burma’s most powerful Nats

Taung Kalat Bagan Myanmar
Taung Kalat Bagan Myanmar
Taung Kalat Bagan Myanmar


Shwezigon Pagoda

Shwezigon Pagoda or Shwezigon Paya (ရွှေစည်းခုံစေတီ) located in the centre of Nyaung-U town, near the Lion Gate. A golden Buddhist temple has been one of the largest and oldest temple in Bagan of the age over 2,500 years old, that constructed during King Anawrahta reign

Shwezigon has a bell-shaped Burmese stupa style, covered with gold plates that rise 99m on a hill over the city. At the very top of the pagoda enshrines with 76-carat diamond, the stupa tip also contain with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and other gems. The delicate details made Shwezigon one of the most important Myanmar heritage

A sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site that enshrines Buddha’s holy relics was listed as one of the four most famous pagoda in Myanmar. Locals and monks usually come to worship with beautiful flowers, some came to seek peace of mind and meditation on the site

Shwezigon Pagoda Bagan Myanmar
Shwezigon Pagoda Bagan Myanmar
Shwezigon Pagoda Bagan Myanmar


Shwesandaw Pagoda

Shwesandaw Pagoda (ရွှေဆံတော်ဘုရား) is the tallest Buddhist pagoda in Bagan that was built in 1057 by King Anawrahta (Bagan’s founder). The pagoda contains a series of five terraces, painted with white from the 3rd terrace to the top and topped with a cylindrical bell-shaped stupa

The view from Shwesandaw Pagoda offers a nice pagoda field landscape. Climb up from the stairway to reach the top terrace and soaking in a panoramic view of Bagan’s ancient city. We went there on the afternoon for sunset and it totally worth it!

Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide
Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide
Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide

Bagan Travel Guide

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Thatbyinnyu Temple

The tallest temple in Bagan in the height of 61m, Thatbyinnyu Temple or Sabbannu (သဗ္ဗညု ဘုရား) located in the archaeological zone that had been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2019

The temple was built in 1144 in King Sithu I reign and was badly damage by 1975 and 2016 earthquake. The temple has an ongoing restoration, the main shrines located on the upper terrace was closed and not allow visitors to visit

Thatbyinnyu is standing firmly on Bagan vast plains and can easily notice even from afar. One of the highlight in Bagan travel guide. The architecture of the temple is like a square box or a tower that painted with white color. Because of its height and uniqueness advantage made Thatbyinnyu standout from other temples

Thatbyinnyu Temple Bagan Myanmar


Dhammayazika Pagoda

Dhammayazika Pagoda (ဓမ္မရာဇိကဘုရား) is a Buddhist temple that was build in King Narapatisithu (King Sithu II) reign in 1196. Located in the remote area of Bagan in Pwasaw village on the Eastside

Dhammayazika definitely standout from the crowd because of the large bell-shaped gold stupa with the red clipped on the based from the restoration work. You can walk around the brick structure pagoda through the walkway to admire the craftsmanship of ‘terra cotta’ on the terrace (Jakata tale’s of Buddha previous lives)

Dhammayazika Pagoda Bagan Myanmar
Dhammayazika Pagoda Bagan Myanmar
Dhammayazika Pagoda Bagan Myanmar


Htilominlo Temple

A Buddhist temple that was built in King Htilominlo reign in 1218 in a massive structure. A three stories temple with the height of 48m was damaged from the earthquake in 1975 and had been well restored shortly after that

A brick structure of Htilominlo Temple (ထီးလိုမင်းလိုဘုရား) has a symmetrical floor plan, the greenery pathway leads to the inner sanctuary of four Buddha statues facing each other, the traces of old murals on the wall made Htilominlo even more charm. Historical enthusiastic or not, how could you afford to miss Htilominlo on your Bagan travel list

Htilominlo Temple Bagan Temple
Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide
Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide


Thambula Temple

Thambula Temple or Thonlu La (သမ္ဗူလ ဘုရား) is a small tall square structure temple, standing isolated from other major pagodas in Bagan

The temple was built in 1255 and was mainly influenced by Chinese. You can see from the traces of Chinese tale painting murals on the interior walls. The temple was well-preserved with beautiful structure that will worth your visit!

Temples of Bagan Myanmar
Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide
Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide


Dhammayangyi Temple

Dhammayangyi Temple (ဓမ္မရံကြီးဘုရား) is the largest temple in Bagan with the height of 77.7m that clearly visible from all Bagan city. The temple was built in 1170 in the reign of King Narathu (that had been said he became a king by assassinated his father Alaungsithu and his elder brother, presumably built the massive temple to atone a sins and avoid bad karma)

The construction of Dhammayangyi Patho was built similarly to Ananda Temple and Egyptian pyramid, with a wide square single story, topped with six pyramidal terraces. The temple was not fully completed as the king himself was murdered by one of his wives ; the Indian princess

The unmissable destination that will definitely worth your visit during Bagan Tour with the finest bricks work, the ground that was surrounded by a huge arched gates, the unsolved mystery as some parts of the temple was built with unknown reason that still mysterious until these days such as the bricked up on temple’s inner part

Dhammayangyi Temple Bagan Myanmar
Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide
Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide


Ananda Temple

Ananda Temple (အာနန္ဒာ ဘုရား) is a Buddhist temple that was built in King Kyansittha reign in 1084 (Pagan Dynasty). The temple is standing brightly with the white-painted large square plan, a place is also served as an active religious practice and has been one of the most well-known temples in Bagan

Ananda Patho is one of Mon greatest works, the architecture that influenced by his spirit and Indian culture as the evidence from the gilded top called ‘shikhara’

In the heart of the temple has a highlight of four standing Buddha statues in a grand square room face a direction from North to South. Buddha Kassapa (South), Buddha Kakusandha (North), Buddha Konagamana (East), and Buddha Gautama (West)

Temples of Bagan Myanmar
Ananda Temple Bagan Myanmar
Ananda Temple Bagan Myanmar


Burmese and Buddhism

Buddhism plays a crucial role in Myanmar and Bagan is famous for the vast number of Buddhist pagodas and temples in a plain landscape that was once a capital of Myanmar

The Bagan travel guide will walk you through the delicate works that came from ones believe, the craftsmanship’s reveals through the magnificent architecture and design that standout brightly as one of the most important cities in Myanmar

Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide


Bagan Morning Market

We went to Bagan Morning Market to observe how locals was living, there was not much travelers. The locals carried fresh food, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruits, herbs to sale in the market. It was refreshing to witness how lively the market was, people went out early to buy their daily supplies, greeting each others

The market was busy and lively, brighten up Bagan before the sun even rise

Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide
Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide
Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide

Traveling to Bagan

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Driving E-Bike in Bagan

We rented an E-Bike (electronic bike) to get around in Bagan. To visit Taung Kalat, you may need to book the a one-day trip as your convenience as the place is further away

*Check E-Bike conditions before taking off! such as tires, battery, lights, mirror, horn  and don’t forget to keep the shop’s contact info for the emergency – one of our friends bike battery ran out during temples visit

Bagan Myanmar Travel Guide

Book Hotel in Bagan

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