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Resting on the banks of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, Bagan is home to the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world, with many dating from the 11th and 12th centuries
Once the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, over 4,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed during the height of the reign, of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive today.
Known as ‘The Bagan Archaeological Zone’, this heritage-steeped area is a main draw for Myanmar’s nascent tourism industry, attracting thousands of visitors to the palm-fringed plains every year. The area’s most active town and chief transport hub is Nyaung U, a bustling river town where most travellers hang their hats to explore the handful of temples to see, including the Shwezigon Paya, and the lively market. Old Bagan forms the heart of the Archaeological Zone and contains several of the main temple sites, city walls, a museum, a reconstructed palace, restaurants, a few shops and a cluster of top-end hotels, such as the Aureum Palace Hotel. Resting between the two is Myinkaba, a village boasting a long-running lacquer ware tradition.
Aside from the spectacular spire-fringed skyline and plethora of stupas crowned with glitter-studded golden mitre-like sikaras, Bagan offers a languid serenity that seems to resonate the Buddhist way, from the sleepy moving bullock carts meandering along the dust-choked trails to the horse-drawn carriages lazily carrying drop-jawed tourists and longyi-clad men chewing betel nut in the shade of scented bougainvillea.
A Few of Our Favourites in Bagan
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