The best things to do in Bagan are visiting the temples, hot air balloon rides, and exploring the local culture.

Visit the Temples

Bagan is home to over 2,000 temples and pagodas, making it a must-see destination for history and architecture enthusiasts. The most famous temples include Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi Temple, and Shwesandaw Pagoda. Each temple offers a unique experience, with some offering stunning sunset views and others allowing for an in-depth look at intricate carvings and frescoes. Be sure to dress modestly when visiting the temples and remove your shoes before entering.

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

One of the most popular activities in Bagan is taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. This experience offers breathtaking views of the temples and the surrounding landscape. The balloons typically fly at a low altitude, providing an up-close look at the temples and the opportunity to take stunning photographs.

Explore the Local Culture

Bagan is a great destination for those interested in experiencing the local culture. Visitors can take a horse-drawn carriage ride, explore local markets, and observe traditional crafts such as lacquerware and silk weaving. You can also visit nearby villages and interact with the local people to get an in-depth understanding of their way of life.

Rent an E-Bike

Exploring Bagan by e-bike is one of the best ways to see the area. Bagan’s flat terrain makes it perfect for cycling, and the electric assistance makes it easy to cover a lot of ground. With an e-bike, you can explore the temples at your own pace and take in the beautiful scenery along the way. Many rental companies offer guided tours and GPS-enabled e-bikes to make the experience even more enjoyable.

Take a Boat Ride on the Irrawaddy River

The Irrawaddy River is an essential part of Bagan’s history and culture. Taking a boat ride on the river provides an opportunity to see the temples from a different perspective and to learn about the role the river played in the development of the area. Visitors can take a day trip to nearby villages and observe traditional fishing methods, or take a sunset cruise for a different view of the temples.

Visit the Local Monasteries

Bagan is home to many monasteries, which are an important part of the local culture and history. Visiting one of these monasteries provides an opportunity to observe daily life and rituals of the local monks and to learn about Buddhism. Some monasteries also offer classes on meditation and teachings on Buddhism, which can be a unique and enriching experience.

Visit the Bagan Archaeological Museum

The Bagan Archaeological Museum is a must-see destination for history buffs. The museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and works of art from the Bagan period. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of the area and see some of the most important artifacts from the Bagan period.

Take a Cooking Class

One of the best ways to experience the local culture and flavors of Bagan is by taking a cooking class. Visitors can learn how to make traditional Burmese dishes such as mohinga, a popular rice noodle and fish soup, and samosas, a popular Burmese fried snack. These classes are typically held in local homes or family-run restaurants, providing an opportunity to learn about the local cuisine and culture from the experts.

Visit the Bagan Viewing Tower

The Bagan Viewing Tower is a great spot to take in the panoramic views of the temples and the surrounding landscape. The tower is located on a hilltop and provides a 360-degree view of the area. Visitors can see the temples, the Irrawaddy River, and the surrounding countryside. It’s a perfect spot to see the sunset and the perfect spot for photography.

Experience a Traditional Massage

Experience traditional Burmese massage, which is a mix of Thai, Indian, and Chinese techniques. This massage is known for its deep tissue manipulation and gentle stretching. It is believed to help with relaxation, relieve stress, and improve flexibility. Visitors can find traditional massage centers in Bagan, and it’s a great way to relax after a day of temple hopping.

Visit the Manuha Temple

The Manuha Temple is one of the most visited temples in Bagan and is known for its impressive Buddha statues. The temple was built in the 10th century and is believed to have been used as a prison for King Manuha. The temple contains three large statues of the Buddha, each one representing a different stage in his life. The temple is also known for its intricate carvings and frescoes.

In conclusion, Bagan is a destination that offers a wide range of activities for visitors. From visiting the temples and taking hot air balloon rides to exploring the local culture and trying traditional Burmese dishes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. With its rich history and culture, Bagan is a destination that should not be missed. It’s a perfect place for history buffs, adventure seekers and culture enthusiasts.