Southeast Asia has many architectural wonders such as Angkor wat, Ta Prohm or the temples in Bali. But if there is one temple complex not to be missed, it’s Myanmar-based Bagan. With over 4400 temples, a trip to Myanmar without a stop in Bagan is unthinkable. Here are some of the best Bagan travel experiences.
350 dollar is a lot of money for a balloon trip that will fly you over the archeological zone of Bagan. But if you want to tick it off your bucket list, you have no other option. Some travelers hope by booking a flight while they are there, they will find a cheaper rate. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. The 350 dollar price is a fixed amount offered by all three ballooning companies in Bagan (Balloons over Bagan, Oriental ballooning and Golden Eagle ballooning). If you have limited time in Bagan and you want to experience a balloon flight, it’s better to book in advance to make sure there are spots available. A balloon flight includes transfer from the hotel to launching site, early morning breakfast, flight (offcourse) and champagne celebration afterwards.
E-biking or cycling
Not everyone coughs up the huge amount of money to make a balloon flight over the pagoda’s. No worries, there are still other ways of exploring Bagan. The best way (and the one every, literally every, tourist uses) to explore the temple complex is by renting a bicyle or e-bike. These are available at pretty much every hotel or corner of the street. In contrast to ballooning, renting a bike is really cheap. It will only cost you a few 1000 kyat (1$) for the day. I recommend renting an e-bike (which is still very cheap) since temperatures in Bagan can rise over 30 degrees easily and the the combination with the sandy roads can make it a really hard experience. E-bikes however are electric motorbikes that are easy to drive with and make your exploring journey more fun and enjoyable.
Climb a pagoda and watch sunset/sunrise
Ballooning and cycling in Bagan are two top travel activities, but the most memorable experience you can witness is without doubt watching a sunset or sunrise while you are on top of a pagoda. One hour before sunset, when the temperatures have slightly dropped, travelers are racing to one of the nearest pagoda’s they can reach, climb the steep stairs and sit on the edge waiting for a nature spectacle of a lifetime. Don’t be mistaken, you will not be the only one there. Even better than sunset is going to the pagoda before sunrise. Not only is the view even better, the crowds (a little) smaller, but you have the chance to see the balloons flying over the temples of Bagan, making it one of the best photo opportunities.