Bagan

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Photo of Bagan

About Bagan

A spectacular plain studded with red-brick stupas rising from the mist, Bagan is amongst the world’s most striking sacred sites. Nestled close to the banks of the Irrawady River, this 26-square-mile area boasts the globe's largest concentration of Buddhist temples, stupas and pagodas. Whether you’re dreaming of romantic hot air balloon rides above ancient spires or adventurous cycles along age-old lanes, this is a magical destination. Ponder our Gurus’ pick of the best places to stay in Bagan as you plan your adventure to our Gurus' favourite part of Myanmar! Our favourite hotels feature all the mod cons, but also don't disappoint when it comes to character and period features.

Many of Bagan’s mystical temples — some white-painted and cavernous, others small, crumbling red-brick constructions topped with vines — date back to the 11th Century. Step into iconic Ananda Pahto or Dhammayangyi Pahto, both particularly well-preserved, or admire pyramid-shaped Shwesandaw Paya, which offers superb views of the vast plain. The Bagan Viewing Tower is another top-notch look-out point. For a real bird's eye view, take to the skies by hot air balloon; a wonderfully surreal experience. Back on land, discover traditional community life at Minnanthu Village, visit the Bagan Archaeological Museum, embark upon guided cycling tours and taste Burmese cuisine at the family-owned restaurants which have sprung up at the edges of the complex.

Most of the best places to stay in Bagan are clustered around Old Bagan — the original village which bordered the temples — or New Bagan — the area's more recent hub. There, you’ll find charming hotels and guesthouses with flavoursome eateries and hospitable hosts.

The Best Places to Stay in Bagan

For Traditional Charm

  • Bagan Thande is situated on the banks of the Irrawady River, and opened in 1922 to welcome King Edward. A local landmark, this riverside gem has characterful rooms with river views and traditional artwork. There's also a restful spa and restaurant serving delicious Burmese fare. A classic choice in the heart of Old Bagan.
  • The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate also has a timeless feel, with high ceilings and polished wooden floors in spacious rooms. The swimming pool and spa are ideal for kicking back after days of cycling and exploring Bagan's multitude of temples. Lovely.

FOR AN APARTMENT OR HOLIDAY VILLA

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Yangon International Airport, and catch a short domestic flight to Nyaung U Airport. Alternatively, journey by road from Mandalay in under four hours, or train in around seven hours.
  • It's brilliant to have the independence of your own transport if you're comfortable driving in Asia. Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Temperatures hover around 28-35°C for much of the year, with the heaviest rainfall expected between June and September. Travel between November and January for slightly cooler temperatures.

STILL NOT SURE?

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Best Hotels in Bagan

  • Bagan Thande Archeological Zone, Old Bagan 92 rooms from £78

    Total relaxation  -  The tranquil riverside setting & soothing spa makes this a rejuvenating retreat for those looking to unwind
    Local exploring  -  Well-located for exploring Bagan, which boasts the world's largest concnetration of ancient temples
    Cycling  -  Hire bicycles - Bagan is fabulous to discover on two wheels, individually or with an expert guide
    Ballooning  -  Hot air balloon rides above the temple spires at dawn are magical & a very romantic highlight
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsNo pets

    A picturesque hotel in 27 acres of tropical gardens on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River – with a swimming pool & a soothing spa to boot. Iconic, the hotel has been a Bagan stalwart since its opening in 1922 & rooms have characterful carved wood & traditional craft pieces. An old-school charmer. See More

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  • The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate Bagan (Nyaung Oo Township,) 80 rooms from £140

    Local exploring  -  Located in Old Bagan, ancient capital of the Burmese Empire, the hotel is ideal for walking, cycling & cultural explorations
    Cycling  -  Hire bicycles to weave your way along the dirt patsh between the thousands of temples which stud Bagan's red-dirt plain
    Hotel boats for hire  -  Sunset boat trips along the Ayeyarwaddy with snacks & drinks are a wonderful way to watch the sunset
    Romantic Break  -  A tranquil, romantic hotel with heaps of character - especially pretty on candlelit evenings
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Set in the heart of Old Bagan, this characterful hotel boasts spacious, high-ceilinged rooms with carved furniture and polished wooden floors set in leafy gardens. Unwind in the spa and stunning 20m pool after days of cycling and sight-seeing. A tranquil city base for guests of all ages. See More

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