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Bagan is an incredible archaeological area of over 2,000 pagodas and temples covering 38 square miles, and for many it's the iconic landscape that springs to mind when you think of Myanmar. This rural land of 11th century pagodas is a world away from the hustle and bustle of urban Myanmar - so much so that some of the surrounding villages have only just welcomed electricity.

The rulers of the era constructed thousands of huge stupas and temples, many of which are still standing today on the banks of the Irrawaddy River and best viewed from Tayokye Pyay, an elevated temple with a magnificent view of the plains. Nearby is Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jataka mural paintings and the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations.

Explore Bagan with a local guide who will explain the significance of the various shapes and construction techniques of the temples, exploring by bicycle, electric bike or horse and cart. Most are brilliantly preserved or restored by Unesco giving you a chance to discover beautiful frescoes and carvings as well as myriad Buddha statues of all sizes and poses.

Perhaps break the day with a teashop stop for a cup or two of cho seh; black tea sweetened with condensed milk and sugar (yes, both). This is the ultimate gossip and people-watching spot of the locals and no trip to Myanmar would be complete without taking part in this ritual.

Be sure to get up to one of the elevated temples to watch the sunset. Being such a large flat expanse, even the slightest elevated position gives the most magnificent panoramic views - any photographer's dream - and if hot air ballooning is on your bucket list, this is without a doubt the place to do it.

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Biking in Bagan
If You Do Three Things
1
An Archaeological Tour of Bagan

Comprising over 2,000 temples and buildings sprawled across the eastern banks of the Ayeyarwady River, the ancient city of Bagan is best explored by bike; explore alongside an archaeology expert who will unlock the history and cultural significance of its impressive architecture, towering buddha statues, gates and gilded stupa-shaped pagodas. Your guide will also know the very best (and crowd-free) view points for enjoying some truly spectacular panoramas.

Lacquerware
If You Do Three Things
2
A Lacquerware Class

In a region known for its lacquerware, take a fun-filled masterclass in crafting this signature souvenir. Meet the craftsmen behind a generations-old studio who create the finest pieces in Bagan. Watch the pros at work and learn the step-by-step process of weaving bamboo, polishing and etching. Then try your hand at painting a drinks coaster with the guidance of an expert artisan.

Sunset at Irrawaddy River
If You Do Three Things
3
Sunset Yoga

Take part in a monks' traditional blessing ceremony with a rare look into their holy lives. Step into a tranquil monastery where you'll present offerings of rice to each red-robed monk. In return you'll receive blessings of health and happiness. Then head to the iconic Irrawaddy River to take part in a yoga class set on an island; practise your downward-facing dog with views towards Bagan's ancient temples, romantically lit at sunset.

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Bagan
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A Note on Price

All of our holidays are completely tailor-made and prices will vary based on things like when in the year you will be travelling, how far in advance you book, the class of flights included and the level of accommodation you choose. The guide prices shown across this website are designed to provide you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your trip.

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