Bagan is an old town, most concentrated in the number of temples and pagodas in the world. It has been the capital of Myanmar for over 230 years. Today there are about 2,000 temples and pagodas remain. These Buddhist works are the main reason to attract tourists to Myanmar.
The best time to travel Bagan
Bagan has a tropical climate, only rainy and dry seasons. The months you should avoid going to Bagan are from March to May – very hot months, and from June to October – when there is heavy rainfall. Therefore I recommend that the best time to come to Bagan is from November to February next year. We did in Feb.
How to go to Bagan
There is no direct flight to Bagan so we must fly to Yangon first, you can fly to Mandalay first as well. From there you will have many options to go on, like by flight, bus, ship. We moved among places in Myanmar by train due to I get the serious carsick.
Take the train
The train station in Yangon
However, the train system in Myanmar has not been developed very often and often starts slowly compared to the expected. There are three types of compartments: normal seating in wooden seats, first-class seating, and the compartment with beds. However, whatever you choose to sit in the cabin, you must be prepared for a long and rather bumpy trip ahead.
Vehicles in Bagan
What you need to do as soon as you reach Bagan is to find a map. Some hotels will provide free maps for guests to stay. If not, you can buy for only MMK1,000.
Once you have the map in hand, you can begin your journey to discover Bagan! These are vehicles in Bagan you can use: Take a taxi, take a horse, ride a bicycle or electric motorcycle, take the balloon. I and my boyfriend stayed in Bagan for 2 days then we have a lot of time to enjoy there, so we sightseeing around by taking the horse and electric motorcycle.
Horse ride: If you want to explore Bagan in a “traditional” way, you can rent a horse cart with around MMK15,000-20,000/ day. For sure, it is not so fast!
Electric motorbike: This is the most interesting way to travel in Bagan, and also the cheapest means. You can rent an electric motorbike with a price of MMK6,000-8,000. Remember to check whether the battery is fully charged and record the host’s phone number to call when something goes wrong.
How much money to bring to Bagan
You can spend US dollars (USD) or Burmese kyats (MMK) in Bagan. However, your US dollar must be new money (no stains, no wrinkles, no folds, no tearing) to be accepted.
If you bring USD, you can exchange money at the airport (the best exchange rate), or at the banks of Myanmar. DO NOT change money at hotels, restaurants or shops because exchange rates are not good. A small tip for you is that you will get a better exchange rate if you exchange US dollars in denominations of USD 100, instead of giving smaller denominations.
Alternatively, you can swipe your credit card or withdraw money at ATMs at hotels.
Culture and customs in Bagan
Most people in Bagan follow Buddhism. They are very warm and friendly, but a little shy. Don’t wear clothes that are too revealing if you don’t want to get noticed. In places of worship, your legs and shoulders must be covered, and you must remove all shoes and socks before entering. Couples should not express their feelings too openly in public. You should also avoid political and religious topics when talking to people here.
Wifi in Bagan
Although the hotels and restaurants all have wifi, the connection speed is very slow!
Places to visit when traveling to Bagan
To visit the temples in Bagan, you have to buy a ticket (valid for 5 days), priced at MMK25,000.
Actually, we traveled so many pagodas and temples in Bagan but I am so regret that I didn’t record their names with corresponding pictures. I’d just saved some.
Ananda Pahto: This is considered to be the most important temple in Bagan, so it is well preserved by regularly repairing and sweeping lime. This is the best and most intact preserved temple up to now.
And many other temples that I couldn’t remember their names now.
See the sunrise at Shwesandaw temple.
Each statue here has a different appearance, the influence of Indian and Chinese culture.
Hope you guys enjoy!