- Nature, Adventure & Sport
- Place or Religious Monument
- Archaeological Site
- Place or Historical Monument
Bagan, a veritable journey back in time. In this ancient imperial Burmese city, temples, in their thousands, extend as far as the eye can see! I spent two days there, which I felt was sufficient. I was lucky enough to be able to admire the sunrise from atop the ruins of a small temple: an unforgettable experience!
It is possible to visit the site in either a horse-drawn carriage, by bicycle (for the more audacious) or by electric scooter. I chose the last option, and this enabled me to get around between the temples without too much difficulty.
Some of the temples have been left to go to ruin, and you can pretend you're an adventurer and give free reign to your imagination as you clamber around the ruins, whereas others are well maintained. You can therefore tour the insides of these.
Bagan is not to be missedduring your trip to Burma.
It was between the 11th and 12th Centuries that more than 4,000 pagodas, temples and stupas were built. Today, more than 2,800 remain - enough to take a least a day to visit by foot, bike or caleche!
The first time I went was about 15 years ago. Back then tourists were few and I could make the most of my trip. During my second visit, two years ago, I was surprised by the number of tourists. If you don't want to have to jostle to take a photo, ask a guide to show you the temples where fewer tourists go - that way you can fully enjoy the sights and sounds!
It has to be one of the greatest wonders in south-east Asia. The temples at Bagan are stunning and of all the historic sites I've visited, this one is definitely implanted in my memory.
For those of you who have seen the temples at Angkor, I can tell you that Bagan left me even more overwhelmed by its almost infinite number of stupas and pagodas. To really appreaciate its size and ambience, climb to the top of the Shwezigon Pagoda, where you can watch the sun go down against the jungle backdrop. An unforgettable experience.
During the day I rode around the temples by bike, as do a lot of visitors. And I suggest you spend at least 3 days here, if you want to explore the site and immerse youself in its magic. I'll also remember my arrival at Bagan, coming by boat from Mandalay along the Irrawaddy River. It was nightfall and the temple stupas cast oriental shadows across the land - an image that will stay with me forever.