Interesting activities for tourists in the ancient capital of Bagan - Myanmar
Posted By : Threeland Travel / Myanmar Travel Guide
The ancient capital of Bagan is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Myanmar, it is home to more than 2,000 ancient pagodas, temples and towers. Bagan was recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 2019.
1. Explore temples
The ancient capital of Bagan still has more than 2,000 temples, down from more than 10,000 in its glory days. The inhabitants of Bagan built stupas scattered throughout the plain as an act of merit. At the height of the Bagan kingdom, even the middle class built their own stupas.
Most of Bagan's temples are located in the Bagan archaeological site. And since temples are sacred places, visitors must show respect, before entering, they must take off their shoes, wear simple clothes, and follow proper behavior.
Read more: Myanmar - Explore the land of Buddha
2. Fly on a hot air balloon
The temples of the ancient capital of Bagan can be best viewed from an elevated vantage point, and there is no better perspective than you would get from a hot air balloon flying through the air. Unlike helicopter flights, hot air balloon flights are relatively quiet, creating favorable conditions for viewing the Bagan Delta.
3. Explore the local market
To the west of Bagan is New Bagan, to the north is the old town of Nyaung-U, where Bagan Airport is located. These are two densely populated areas. So you can't miss the Mani Sithu market in Nyaung-U located next to the main road near the central roundabout. Visitors can come here to visit, shop, enjoy food and experience the daily activities of Bagan people.
4. Explore Bagan by bike
When the weather in the ancient capital of Bagan is cool, cycle on the dirt roads around the temples and roam at your own pace. But because temples are widely distributed in the Bagan archaeological site, you can only visit a handful of temples in a day.
5. Buy high-quality lacquerware
The lacquerware here is hand-carved and crafted using traditional materials with a centuries-old recipe. Like many ancient crafts, lacquer has a beauty that few modern products can match.
The town of Myinkaba near Bagan has been a center of lacquer production for centuries, developed by Siamese and Lanna emigrants in the 1500s. Lacquerware workshops today use techniques little changed with their ancestors, from curing lacquerware in underground bunkers to carving designs by hand into lacquer with a stylus.
Unlike other handicrafts, lacquerware improves over time making antique lacquerware highly prized by collectors. Bagan lacquer artists prioritize black, yellow, green and red colors in their products such as jewelry boxes, coasters, mugs and jars sold in shops along the main road of Myinkaba .
6. Enjoy the food
Thanks to the large number of foreign tourists, Bagan's culinary scene has become more pleasant over the years. When traveling from New Bagan to Nyaung-U, you can find restaurants serving traditional dishes from all over the world, not only Myanmar and Chinese restaurants, but also Thai, Indian, even Tibet and England.
7. Join Bagan .'s biggest festival
The biggest festival in the ancient capital of Bagan, the Ananda festival, takes place in January, on a holiday that coincides with the full moon of the Burmese month of Pyatho and also the end of the harvest season. In the weeks leading up to the Ananda festival, the area around the temple of the same name is filled with bullock carts carrying pilgrims and their offerings.
Locals have set up a fairground near the temple, selling traditional Myanmar food and other pastimes to visitors. The festival offers Buddhists inside and outside the area the opportunity to accumulate merit by donating food and clothing to the monks.
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