The Bagan Temples of BurmaTake the road less travelled and see The Bagan Temples of Burma, one of the world’s secret treasures. The historic and inspiring site rivals its more renowned Cambodian counterpart, the great Angkor Wat, and yet it remains remarkably unknown and unspoiled. Take advantage of the nascent Tourist industry and see one of the beautiful sites of the world before the crowds inevitably discover it. The Bagan Temples were built nearly a millennium ago and served as the religious jewels of the Pagan Empire that thrived there in the 11th century. Over 4,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were erected in the Bagan plains alone, making the site a truly stunning archaeological location. The close concentration of the site means renting a bike is one of the best ways to visit the main temples. Alternatively, take to the sky in a hot-air balloon to see the array of Temples and the surrounding mountains in all their majestic glory.
Where is it? The Temples surround the ancient city of Bagan deep in the heart of Burma. Burma, or Myanmar to use its official name, itself lies in South-eastern Asia and its borders with India, China and Thailand make it very accessible as part of a wider Asian experience.
What is it? The religious Temples and monasteries themselves hold the key to a significant Asian history lesson. The ancient city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom for approximately three centuries, before it was repeatedly invaded by the remarkable Mongol Empire and stripped of its power.
Best time to visit? Bagan is humid and hot for most of the year, so the ideal time to visit is between November and February, when temperatures and humidity levels are lower. March, April and May are the hottest months, when temperatures can reach a scorching 43C.
Must See?If feeling brave, climb to the top of the Shwesandaw, or ‘sunset’, Temple one evening to witness an incredible sunset which sets alight the incredible temples and landscape in golden sunlight. The only temple tourists are officially allowed to climb makes this Temple one of the more populous attractions, but the stunning and unique views thoroughly atone for this.
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