It’s hard to convey in words the experience of being surrounded by the temples of Bagan. But we’ll try…
Think. Hundreds upon hundreds of brick-red and honey-colored pagodas shimmering in the baking sun.
Feel the dust kicked up by horse-drawn buggies carrying shutter-happy tourists around the parched Bagan plains. Eye more massive Buddha statues inside temples – standing, sitting, reclining – than you ever thought possible.
Now imagine the “gilded city alive with tinkling bells and the swishing sounds of monks’ robes” that Marco Polo once encountered here.
Temples of Bagan – “One of the finest sites in the world”
This is the ancient city of Bagan – and it’s entrancing.
Marco Polo called Bagan “one of the finest sites in the world.”
So what’s the story of this city, the remnants of which rival Angkor Wat in their splendor?
From the 9th to the 13th centuries, Bagan was the capital of the kingdom of Pagan, the center of the country now known as Myanmar (Burma). During this time, its kings built thousands of pagodas, temples and Buddhist monasteries (up to 10,000). Today, about 4,000 remain.
The temples of Bagan are certainly one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world we’ve ever seen.
We hope these photos of ours impart some of the mystery and beauty of these remarkable temples.
Best way to see the temples in Bagan
- Hire a horse-and-buggy to see the temples of Bagan. It shouldn’t cost you any more than $10 USD for an hour.
- Sunset is a great time to go – tell your driver you want to stop at one of the temples that people are able to climb, so you can take pictures from above.
- We visited Bagan as part of a leisurely river cruise from Yangon to Bagan. You can read about our exotic 8-night river trip here.
Have you seen the Bagan temples? Were you also blown away by them?
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We’re Janice and George Mucalov, professional award-winning travel writers, sharing tales of luxury travel with a twist of adventure.