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This temple town is one of Myanmar’s main attractions. Once the capital of a powerful ancient kingdom, the area known as Bagan or, bureaucratically, as the ‘Bagan Archaeological Zone’ occupies an impressive 26-sq-mile area. The Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River drifts past its northern and western sides. The area’s most active town and main transport hub is Nyaung U, in the northeastern corner. About 2.5 miles west, Old Bagan is the former site of the village that was relocated 2 miles south to New Bagan in 1990. Between the two is Myinkaba, a village boasting a long-running lacquerware tradition. Bagan has been hit by earthquakes over the centuries. The most recent, in August 2016, damaged 400 temples; work on repairing them is ongoing. Bear in mind that Bagan is not a traveller destination with nightlife like Siem Reap (Cambodia) or even Luang Prabang (Laos). It's an overgrown village, so party elsewhere.

Bagan Weather Overview

Bagan has a tropical climate with two main seasons: rainy season and dry season with the high temperature most of the year. 

Average temperatures in Bagan vary somewhat. Considering humidity, temperatures feel hot for most of the year with a very low chance of rain throughout the year. The area is less temperate than some — in the 39th percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide.

If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Bagan, the hottest months are May, April, and then June. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally early to mid May where highs are regularly around 105.1°F (40.6°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 80.9°F (27.2°C) at night.

Check the below table for the general idea of Bagan weaher throughout the year.

Month High/Low (°C) Rain
January 29°/ 16° 1 days
February 32°/ 16° 0 days
March 37°/ 20° 0 days
April 38°/ 23° 5 days
May 40°/ 28° 7 days
June 36°/ 26° 14 days
July 33°/ 25° 14 days
August 32°/ 25° 23 days
September 32°/ 24° 21 days
October 33°/ 24° 13 days
November 32°/ 22° 7 days
December 29°/ 16° 0 days

Best time to go to Bagan

Bagan is hot most of the year. The best time to visit is between November and February, when temperatures hit 30C (86F). Avoid March to May, when temperatures can reach 43C (110F). Rainfall is highest in June and October. If you can, visit during a full moon, a popular time for local festivals.

Seasonal Weather Guide

October to end of March

The weather is generally at its best from the middle of October till the end of March, as during these months there is hardly a drop of rainfall and average daytime temperatures don’t get much higher than 30 °C.

Due to the excellent climate it’s the most popular time of year for visitors to travel to the area and thus considered high season.

This can mean finding hotel availability harder than in other periods (particularly when trying to book close to departure) as there is not a huge amount of accommodation on offer, especially when comparing to some of Asia’s other top temple sites like Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.

A highlight for many is the unforgettable experience of a hot air balloon trip over the different temples, stupas and the famous Irrawaddy River. It is though important to know that these memorable trips only operate between October to March (because of high winds and less reliable weather in other months), so if this trip is a must for you on your visit (as it rightly is for many) then these months are obviously the time to travel. Visiting at the end of October is our favorite time to travel in high season, as hotel availability will be better than in other times of the season , the balloon trips are running and the site will be looking at its best from the months of rainfall between June to September (more about this below).

April and May

In April and May the temperature is at its hottest, with average highs of over 40 °C in the middle of the day.

Though for those who don’t mind the heat the benefits of traveling at this time of year are great; there are plenty of hotel deals about and you will often have many of those amazing temples all to yourself!

Whatever the season, we always recommend getting up early and visiting the site at daybreak, as Bagan looks at its beautiful best in the early morning light.

Due to the high daytime temperatures in April and May, getting up early to visit in these two months really is a must, as temperatures at dawn are much more bearable, around 30 °C.

At this time of the year we would also suggest booking a hotel with a swimming pool, like the luxurious Bagan Lodge, so you can cool off from the afternoon heat!

June to September

From June to September is the rainy season and it will rain on most days.

It does though rain less at this time of year than other parts of the country, including Yangon, and if you can put up with the odd shower it is an exceptionally rewarding time to travel.

The temperatures are lower than the preceding months, with average highs no more than about 30 °C, you should find some good deals on hotels and you won’t have to share the wondrous spiritual site with masses of other travelers.

The rain that does fall will also make the site look at its very best as the surrounding plains will be at their greenest and the Irrawaddy’s banks will be full of water.

Bagan Current Weather & 7-Day Forecast


Many people visit Myanmar just to take a trip to Bagan which is the home of an amazing 200,000 different temples.

These in turn sit on the dust plains that are caused by the Ayeyarwady River and many visitors liken the dusty and arid atmosphere to something from another planet.

One of the biggest issues in Bagan is knowing where to go first and you really need to check everything out in advance to make the best of it. Then you will need to make sure that you have a local driver who can take you around, or you can hire your own set of wheels.

Either way, organization is key on a visit to Bagan if you want to cram in as much as possible in a short space of time. If possible however, try to spend at least three days here so that you get to take it easy and don’t miss out on seeing any of the premium sites, pagodas, stupas and ancient villages.

Here are the best things to do in Bagan:

1. Shop at MBoutik

There is no better place to show in Bagan than MBoutik if you want to buy some local handicrafts that also support the community.

This shop is run by the NGO ActionAid and the items sold here are made by over 600 craftswomen who live in the villages around Bagan.

The money that you spend on the amazing clothes, toys, jewelry and handicrafts here is all funneled back into the local community, so you can shop for souvenirs and know that the money is going to a good cause.

2. Explore Shwezigon Paya

Located close to Nyaung U is Shwezigon Paya which is known for being a large stupa that is the main religious building in the town.

If you can, try to visit around dusk as the stupa is illuminated at this time and you can see the pretty gilded monument atop three stacked terraces.

Make sure you also take in the plaques brushed with enamel around the bottom of the stupa that show scenes from the Jataka or the past lives of the Buddha.

3. Visit Nan Paya

Close to Manuha Paya is another small shrine called Nan Paya which legend has it was once used as a prison.

The story changes according to who you ask, but the shrine is said to have been Hindu in the beginning, so instead of ripping it down or trying to get the local Buddhist community to convert it, it was thought that it would be better suited as a prison.

The main reason to come here now is to check out the sandstone brick work which is said to be some of the most ornate in all of Bagan which is high praise indeed!

4. Tour the Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum is part of a large complex and is the best museum to visit in Bagan if you want to get a quick look at some of the background of this amazing sight in one go.

You will also find a huge number of pieces taken from around Bagan such as Buddha images and stone with ornate inscriptions and you will also even find some modern paintings of the various temples.

As well as antiques and art work, you will also be able to check out a range of textiles and even a gallery that features different ancient hair styles.

5. Walk around Nandamannya Paya

Nandamannya Paya dates from the 13th century and is known for its pretty frescoes which are the main reason to visit.

There is also a small image of the Buddha here in a seated position although this is crumbling gracefully and is not particularly noteworthy.

If you like murals however then make sure not to give it a miss and many scholars claim that it has been painted in the same style (and perhaps even by the same artist) as Payathonzu.

6. Visit Dhammayangyi Pahto

You can see Dhammayangyi Pahto from all over Bagan as this is a large temple complex that dates from the 12th century.

It is known for its haunting alleyways which are impassable in parts and it is claimed that this temple was built by legendary King Narathu.

As well as its size, this temple also has the claim to fame of being one of the best preserved (but not restored) so it is really not to be missed on a trip here, especially if you are short on time.

7. Shop at Mani-Sithu Market

Located in the main town in Bagan is the Mani-Sithu Market which is a typical Burmese market that is well worth visiting if you want to see some of the local produce and pick up some snacks for a long day of temple visiting.

Here you will find gleaming fruits, vegetables flowers and a range of textiles as well as some good street food fried snacks.

You can also buy souvenirs here such as lacquer ware for which Bagan is famous as well as woodcarvings.

8. Check out Shwesandaw Paya

If you want to catch the best sunsets in Bagan then you need to head to Shwesandaw Paya which features a gorgeous pagoda built in the pyramid style out of white stone.

There are steps cut into the temple which then lead up to five terraces which end at the top of a large stupa and from here you can experience panoramic views all over Bagan.

Bear in mind that it gets crowded at sunset as it is known for its vistas, although the upper tier is quite spacious.

If you want to check it out without the crowds however then just visit in the daytime when it experiences much less foot traffic.

9. Tour the Thanakha Gallery

The Thanakha Gallery is said to be the only one of its kind in the world and is basically a small museum that tells the story of the thanakha tree.

This tree is used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes in Myanmar and all parts of the plant are harvested including the leaves, roots and bark.

The galleries here have collections of pieces made from the tree such as brushes and prayer beads and you can also walk through the history of how it was used by former royal families in Myanmar.

10. Check out Nathlaung Kyaung

Nathlaung Kyaung is a small and squat building which otherwise wouldn’t be very remarkable.

The reason to come here however is that it is the only Hindu temple which is still standing in Bagan and is also known in English as the ‘Shrine Confining Nat’. It is so named as this was the spot where King Anawratha would have consigned Hindu images when he tried to promote Buddhism in Bagan, making it something of a prison for non-Buddhist art work.

11. Take a hot air balloon ride

If you want to see Bagan in all its glory then you really need to take to the air.

With that in mind, consider signing up for an elegant balloon ride where you will soar into the sky and glide gracefully over the complex which offers you a completely different vantage point where you can look down on the glorious temples here.

If you don’t have a head for heights, then you may still want to watch the colorful balloons taking off and floating over Bagan as this is a sight in itself and makes a great photo opportunity.

12. Visit Sulamani Pahto

This temple in Bagan is also called by its local nickname which is the ‘Crowning Jewel’ which tells you everything you need to know about its design aesthetic.

This temple dates from 1181 and was designed under Narapatisithu and it is widely claimed to be one of the prettiest temples in all of Bagan.

It also has a surrounding wall which leads to a wide complex so it never feels too crowded.

13. Explore Gawdawpalin Pahto

Gawdawpalin has the claim to fame of being one of the largest temples in Bagan and stands at a height of some 197 feet.

It may have the size however, but much of the interior has been rather heavy-handedly restored so you can expect a more modern style throughout.

It originally dates from the time of Narapatisithu and although it is built on a grand scale, it is not one of the prettiest temples in Bagan.

14. Buy some local art work

Bagan is known for its art work and its local handicrafts so it makes a great place if you want to stock up on local souvenirs.

Bagan is primarily famous for its ornate lacquer ware but you will also find local textiles as well as other pieces like traditional jewelry.

Some of the quirkier finds here also include sand paintings which can be quite intricate and are a nice nod to the dusty plains on which Bagan sits.

15. Walk around Ananda Pahto

Ananda Pahto has a large spire called a ‘hti’ which is covered in gold leaf and rises to a height of 170 feet.

This is widely claimed to be one of the prettiest and most important temples in Bagan, so if you don’t have much time then this is one building that you don’t want to leave off the itinerary.

This is also one of the oldest temples in the region and is said to date from either the 11th or 12th century when it would have been built under King Kyanzittha.

16. Eat and shop at the Night Market and Carnival

There is a nice night market in the town in Bagan and it also has a kind of carnival feel after dark.

There is a small stage here where there are local music concerts held, as well as a typical Burmese Ferris wheel which is powered by local men who push it around with their bare hands and climb all over the structure to make it rotate.

A trip on the wheel is not for the faint of heart but it is an amazing sight to see.

17. Explore Payathonzu

Payathonzu is made of three shrines and actually means ‘Three Stupas’ in Burmese.

The real reason to come here is to take in the delightful murals that date from the 13th century and marvel at the design work.

Strangely, many people claim that the design here is similar to that of Khmer temples in Cambodia so it makes a good change of pace to some of the other spots in Bagan.

18. Take a boat trip

If you want to watch the sunset in style in Bagan then consider renting your own private boat and floating down the river.

You can easily charter a small local boat which will seat around four people and then go for a cruise that takes between one and two hours.

Just head down to the central jetty in Bagan where you will find a number of vendors who will take you upriver.

19. Visit Lawkananda Paya

In the days of old, boats that were operating on the waterways of Arakan would stop off at this pagoda in Bagan which is one of the few riverside buildings of its kind.

You will know the temple when you see it as it has a large dome which is shaped like a cylinder and it is thought to have been built in the 11th century.

The reason for its fame is that it was is said to have been the place where a famous replica of the tooth of Buddha is housed, although this is not on display.

20. Admire Htilominlo Pahto

This temple is an impressive 150 feet high and would have been built in the 13th century.

This is also a very significant spot in Bagan as it said to be the place where King Nantaungmya was chosen as the new ruler.

The inside of the temple has a large terraced section but you may want to skip the front which is filled with hawkers selling souvenirs at inflated prices.

21. Take a cooking class

Near the central market in town you will also find a number of cooking schools which have sprung up in recent years.

Almost all of these include a trip to the local market so they usually start early in the morning but give you the chance to check out the local produce at the source.

You can then go back to the cooking school where you will be taught to whip up a number of local dishes.

There is also usually the chance to dine in a communal setting with your fellow classmates and sample the fruits of your labors.

22. Explore Gubyaukgyi

Gubyaukgyi means Great Painted Cave Temple in Burmese and this is also one of the most popular temples in Bagan.

People flock here to check out the gorgeous paintings inside the cave structure which is said to have been built in the 12th century.

This would have happened in the time of Rajakumar who was the son of Kyanzittha and it is mainly designed in an Indian style which makes it a little different to many of the other temples in the area.

23. Stop by Tharabar Gate

Tharabar Gate would have one marked the entrance to the former royal palace in Bagan although little of this still remains.

The gate was part of a wall that would have been built in the 9th century but now you will have to squint to make out how it would have looked in times gone by.

There are also two compartments on each side of the gate which are the home of the guardians of the gate and this is a top spot if you want to see a historical site that is a little different from the typical temples.

24. Visit Thatbyinnyu Pahto

If you want to check out the highest temple in Bagan then you need to make your way to Thatbyinnyu Pahto which stands at a height of over 200 feet.

Here you will find two stories which have three terraces each that are also topped with large spires and a gold sikhara.

Most scholars date the temple from around the 12th century and the time of Alaungsithu, and you should also make sure to check out the 500 images of the Jataka here which tell the story of the different past lives of the Buddha.

25. Admire Nagayon

Another temple in Bagan that was built during the time of King Kyanzittha is Nagayon which is known for its Buddha image.

The sculpture is twice the normal size of the Buddha and is notable as it is presented under the figure of a fearsome dragon, called a naga in Burmese, which is where the temple gets its name.

This is a nod to a local legend that says that Kyanzittha built the temple in the 12th century when he was trying to run away and hide from various family members who did not want him to be the ruler of this part of Myanmar or the head of the royal family.

As more and more travelers venture to Bagan’s spectacular temple-studded landscape, more and more restaurants are popping up. From traditional Myanmar food alongside a cultural show to international fare with an ancient view, here are ten restaurants with rave reviews in Bagan, Myanmar.

Sanon Training Restaurant

The Sanon Training Restaurant in Bagan is a non-profit social enterprise organization aiming to train and assist local students in gaining employment within the growing hospitality industry of Myanmar. Not only does every bite taste good, it feels good to enjoy supporting such an initiative. Sanon’s inviting open interior and delightful outdoor garden area pair well with its excellent service. Definitely try the caramelized pork stir fry or the giant Irrawaddy prawn and catfish curry.

Address: Pyu Saw Hti Street, Old Bagan, Myanmar, +959451951950

Bibo Restaurant

Bibo Restaurant’s relaxed atmosphere provides a great locale to wind down for the night. Friendly staff and a happy hour with cocktails such as a gin and basil concoction keep travelers coming back again and again to this simple yet tasty establishment found just off the main restaurant drag in Nyaung-U, Bagan. Bibo’s avocado salad is a must (Burmese-style guacamole), as are the Thai curries.

Address: Thiri Pyitsaya 4 Street, Nyaung-U, Myanmar, +959793555241

7 Sisters Restaurant

7 Sisters Restaurant is a spacious, open venue with a clean and comfortable setting run by seven sisters, as the name suggests. Built like an authentic Buddhist adoration hall, the framework of this striking structure is made up of massive teak pillars and beams. Situated on a corner near the Eight-Faces Pagoda in New Bagan, 7 Sisters serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner in a serene setting. Choose from a variety of Asian and European dishes – the roasted duck with steamed whole fish and lemon sauce is a popular choice.

Address: 79 Nwe Ni Street (Corner of Nwe Ni Street and 3rd Street), New Bagan, Myanmar, +956165404

Sharky's Garden Restaurant

Sharky’s now brings its farm to table/nose to tail culinary concept to Bagan. The popularity of its two Yangon locations has allowed this locally owned and operated restaurant to branch out. Set within an old theater near the famous Shwezigon Pagoda in Nyaung-U, Sharky’s Bagan Deli and Café offers a spacious and delicious dining experience with a garden growing many of the ingredients featured in its dishes. Sharky’s hummus platter, pizzas and gelato are musts. Additionally, Sharky’s partners with Balloons over Bagan to bring made-in-Myanmar deliciousness to the skies – topped off with wine upon landing, of course.

Address: Lanmadaw 3 Road, Near Shwezigon Pagoda (Formally Aung Mingalar Theater and Cinema Hall), Nyaung-U, Myanmar, +95973030679

The Moon Vegetarian Restaurant

Located on a dirt path near Ananda Paya, The Moon Vegetarian Restaurant (Be Kind to Animals) comes with a lovely garden area complete with beautiful Burmese umbrellas for shade. This popular hub has an extensive menu of vegetarian options, including flavorful tamarind leaf curry, classic Burmese salads and a wide range of fruit juices. Patrons often go back to The Moon for seconds because the reasonably priced food served alongside an authentic, local vibe is very inviting. Check out The Moon’s second location in New Bagan as well.

Address: North of Ananda Paya, Old Bagan, Myanmar, +959420709847

Nanda Restaurant and Puppet Show

Nanda Restaurant in Bagan is mostly known for its traditional puppet shows. Expect colorful and lively environment since this place caters to touristy groups pouring in for the unusual performances. Make reservations and arrive early to avoid a long wait, especially for evening showings. Burmese cuisine served in lacquerware adds to the overall adventure, but focus on the puppeteers and the handmade wooden puppets in action – not necessarily the food.

Address: Main Road to Nyaung-U, Nyaung-U, Myanmar, +959253936662

La Terrazza

La Terrazza is ideal for travelers looking for a filling Italian meal after a full day of exploring Bagan’s stunning sights. Specializing in homemade pastas, wood oven pizzas and garden-fresh ingredients, La Terrazza is perfectly situated in Nyaung-U, Bagan, along the popular Restaurant Row (Thiri Pyitsaya 4 Street). Get the pumpkin ravioli served with cream sauce or the baked eggplant special in tomato sauce with parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Service is good, and the ambiance is a mix of traditional Burmese with an Italian twist.

Address: Yarkhintar Street, Nyaung-U, Myanmar, +959402630878

Kyaw Kitchen

If dining at a joint tucked slightly off the beaten path sounds appetizing, give Kyaw Kitchen in New Bagan a try. Natural scenery complemented by Myanmar-inspired décor sets the tone for a delectable meal even before the first taste. Staff members at Kyaw Kitchen are attentive and conversational. A mouthwatering array of options are available on the menu parmigiano-reggiano cheese from fusion to hints of French. The risotto, butter fish curry or grilled river prawns won’t disappoint. Kyaw Kitchen also hosts Burmese cooking classes, sunset cocktails near the Irrawaddy River and village home lunches. Sign up for an added dash of cultural fun!

Address: 4th Street, New Bagan, Myanmar, +959259754811

Weather Spoon's Restaurant and Bar

Weather Spoon’s Bagan Restaurant is a bustling little place with an eclectic feel right off of “restaurant row” in Nyaung-U. By far one of the more affordable touristy eateries in Bagan, the writing on the wall says it all. People from far and wide have come for Weather Spoon’s beef burger – tantalizing with its big juicy bite of familiarity. Sip on a Myanmar Mule or two for a sweet cocktail with a kick; the extremely friendly and accommodating staff will make you feel like old friends in no time.

Address: Yarkinthar Street (Restaurant Row), Nyaung-U, Myanmar, +959452707742

Sunset Garden Restaurant

Sunset Garden Restaurant in New Bagan isn’t necessarily recognized for impeccable service or noteworthy Burmese, Chinese and Thai dishes. The real draw to Sunset Garden is its incredible view of the Irrawaddy River complete with a mountainous backdrop. Arrive just before the evening dinner rush to get a table overlooking the Irrawaddy for a truly memorable sunset or go in the late afternoon to beat the lunch crowds (as well as heat) and have a refreshingly crisp Myanmar beer to re-energize after sightseeing.

Address: New Bagan, Bagan, Myanmar, +959789710910

While some of the monuments are fabulous, the accommodation is generally less so. Spread across three towns kilometres apart, it can be a little difficult for travellers to initially decipher. Here's our primer on the best places to stay in Bagan, for both budget and the more upmarket traveller.

New Bagan

Arthawka Hotel

Add: 160 Cherry Road New Bagan

Nice comfortable hotel with a large saltwater swimming pool .Very clean rooms with nice bathrooms . Breakfast served in the restaurant .Beautiful lobby /loung area . WiFi . The staff very friendly . Shops and Restaurants 5 minuets walk away .

The Arthawka B&B is just across the road, and guests may use the hotel's swimming pool. The e-bike rental shop just beside is very reliable and affordable. 

Ostello Bello Hostel

Add: Hkan latt Qtr, Main Road, New Bagan, Myanmar 

Newly opened in December 2014, Ostello Bello Hostel is the only hostel in the Bagan Archeological Zone. In the very centre of town it is surrounded by restaurants and travel services and e-bikes can be easily rented to see the sunrise and sunset nearby. 

Floral Breeze Hotel

Add: New Lawka Nandar Pagoda, Chauk-Nyaung Road, Anwratha Ward, New Bagan 

Newly rennovated with beautiful outdoor grounds, a great breakfast spread, and clean/comfortable rooms. Free wifi. A great place higher-end place to stay with bike rental and helpful staff to arrange visits to Mt. Popa. 

Kumudara Hotel

Add: Corner of 5th & Daw Na St., Pyu-Saw-Htee Qtr., New Bagan, Myanmar 

A bit of a dated hotel with nice pagoda-style rooms and a great pool to relax at after a long day biking. Internet is not included. Cheap bike rental and northern location make it a great spot for starting on a ride to Old Bagan and the Northern temples. Considering that New Bagan is so small (can traverse on bike from one side to the other in 5min). 

Thazin Hotel

Add: Hninn Pann Street, Kyansittha Quarter, New Bagan

Bungalows and rooms overlooking a (rebuilt) pagoda. There is also a salon, expensive internet access, a limited library, billiards, a scenic pool and a nice breakfast room. Summer may be more expensive of the year.

Thiri Marlar Hotel

Add: Ingyin Street - New Bagan

A mid-range hotel in New Bagan, well maintained, recently renovated, with friendly and knowledgeable staff that can help organize things efficiently. The premises are well kept, very neat and with a welcoming terrace on which the bar is situated. Breakfast/Meals are served in an upper terrace with nice views of the surroundings, including some pagodas nearby. Taxis, Poeny cart can be organized through the reception, bikes are for rent at 2500 Kyats per day. Superior Rooms are large, very clean, well lit, with wooden floors, well furnished with 2 large luggage racks and a very nice bathroom attached. Standard rooms are in a separate building but very clean too and with decent if somewhat basic furniture with bathroom attached also (water heater included). Free Wi-Fi in the reception and terrace, and in Superior rooms too; the signal may be received also in some of the Standard rooms. There is a computer with internet access also in the hall. 

Bagan Nova Hotel

Add: No. 87, Yuzana Street, Khan Lat Yet Quarter, New Bagan

A mid-range hotel in New Bagan, very new. One o the smaller hotels with fewer rooms. The staff is super friendly and will be helpful with organising anything you need in Bagan. The rooms have a small balcony, are quite big with their own bathroom. Everything is very clean. Breakfast is included and let you pick between some traditional dishes and omlet/scrambled eggs and toast. 

Mya Thida Hotel

Add: No. F-55, Corner of Nwe Ni Street & School Street Kyan Sitt Thar Township, New Bagan
More of a hostel, with nice 4-bed dorm rooms and other private rooms. Definitely the best option for solo travelers, despite the lack of common areas. Breakfast is pretty basic. WiFi is free and the bathrooms are kept clean. Friendly staff you should not be serious with, jokes enlighten everyones mood.

Nyaung Oo (Nyaung-U)

Amazing Bagan Resort

Add: Adjacent to the Bagan Nyaung Oo Golf Club 

A luxury resort at a bargain price. It's located a bit outside "everything", so to get to the nearest town or even shop it's necessary to rent a bike or take a taxi. It's a very quiet, beautiful and tranquil place. They can arrange horse cart rides to see the temples with pick up from the hotel for 13 000 - 15 000 Kyats for a full day. Bikes can be borrowed free of charge. Nice and large swimming pool. Wi-Fi is free of charge as well in the lobby. The restaurant serves excellent food and isn't too expensive. Main dishes can be had for around 5-10 USD. The reception staff is very friendly, polite and helpful. The rooms are big, only problem with that is that the small air cons in the rooms have a hard time cooling the rooms. Owned by a local Chinese businessman. 

A1 Guesthouse

Add: Nyaung U to Bagan Road. 

Opened in February 2014, brand new room really clean, slow free wifi, staff really nice and helpful. 15000 (bargained to 13000 without breakfast) for a twin room with air con and shared bathroom, 25000 with private bathroom and TV. Breakfast included.  

Eden Motel

Add: Nyaung U (Near Nyaung Oo Market)

Staff is very friendly, the rooms are nice, dorm is 10.000 for 6 or 8 beds but no bunks, the beds are good and the dormitory is huge. This place is about 30 mins bike ride from the popular sunrise/sunset pagoda. Breakfast consists of 1 egg, toast, butter and jam, fruit, tea/coffee. In the store right next you can rent a bicycle for 1000 kyat. Wifi is provided but works very bad you can send and receive some messages.

New Life Guesthouse

Add: Northern Nyaung Oo-Nyaukpadaung Rd 

Comfortable and clean guesthouse with ensuite rooms (w aircon, fridge, tv and good beds). Staff is friendly and helpful. Price for a twin room including breakfast $40 (November 2013). Free wifi. Good value for Bagan.  

Pann Cherry Guest House

Add: Nyaung-oo to Bagan road 

No breakfast. Basic but very clean and luminous rooms (at least 104 on the right side of the corridor). There is WiFi but it rarely works. You can refill your water bottle and they rent bicycles for 1500k/day. Staff is super friendly, and there is a local tea shop next door to grab an early morning chai.  

Shwe Nadi

Add: Nyaung-oo to Bagan road

Very friendly owner, amazingly helpful and genuine. The new building out the back has large aircon rooms with a fan (twins and doubles), onsuites bathroom, fridge and a lcd tv. In case of a power outage there is a generator that will run the power points and lights (no air-conditioning) as a back up until power is restored. Breakfast is included and it's great. 

Thante Hotel

Add: Northern tip of Nyaung Oo-Nyaukpadaung Rd

Clusters of rooms set in bungalows all located in a garden around a central pool. Close to the market. Excellent service.

View Point Inn

Add: Nyaung U 

Just at the intersection of the road to mount popa and the road to old bagan past oasis guesthouse towards mount popa; next to Large Golden Pot Hotel). Basic but OK guesthouse; rooms and dorm are clean and some of the rooms were renovated recently. Dorm beds especially are good value. Breakfast included, free towel, wifi (though not always working). You can rent bycycles and e-bikes. 

Saw Nyein San Guest House

Add: Nyaung U to Bagan Road. 

Convenient location to the bank, rent a bike and buy bus ticket. All rooms are new and modern, with green walls. Single room attached bathroom prices now raised to us$ 25, low season $17. Double $ 30.

By flight

Nyaung U’s airport (NYU) provides direct daily links with Heho (for Inle Lake), Yangon and Mandalay. It’s served by at least six airlines: KBZ, Asian Wings, Golden Myanmar, Myanma National Air, Yangon Airways and Yadanarpon Air. KBZ is the most expensive. Their published prices should be about: Heho $94-$104, Mandalay $73-$83 and Yangon $113-$123.

Shopping around and digging out off-peak discounts a very helpful travel agent came up with the rates of Mandalay, $40-53, Heho $60-64 and Yangon $75-83. Yadanarpon are usually the cheapest but check on the airlines’ websites or a Bagan travel agents for up-to-date costs.

The airport is around 3 kilometres southeast of town. A taxi should set you back 5,000 kyat for Nyaung U or 7,000 and 8,000 respectively for Old and New Bagan. Do try to snare a window seat on the plane since views over the temples at landing and take-off can be spectacular.

By train

Trains depart Bagan for Yangon in the south or Mandalay to the north. For Yangon, the official schedule has a train departing at 17:00 and arriving the next morning at 10:30. Posted rates as of mid-2016 are 16,500 kyat upper class sleeper, 12,000 kyat upper class and 4,500 kyat ordinary class.

For Mandalay, two trains run at 04:00 and 07:00. The early one is a slow train, ordinary class only and takes a minimum of 11 hours while the express takes approximately eight hours. First class is 1,800 kyat, ordinary class 1,300 kyat.

Nyaung U’s station is a way out of town, a couple more kilometres past the airport, and the official taxi rate is 7,000-8,000 for destinations in Nyaung U, or New and Old Bagan.

By bus

Bagan’s main long-distance bus station is a couple of kilometres up the airport road outside of Nyaung U. Of main interest to visitors will be the Mandalay, Yangon and Kalaw/Inle routes. A small local bus station is situated on Main Road in Nyaung U and services Magwe, Pakokku and Monywa.

For Mandalay, you have a choice between minibuses, 24-seaters and full-sized 45-seater coaches. Ticket price range is 8,000-10,000 kyat range; minibuses are usually slightly more expensive and larger buses a few kyat more again. Standard transit time is around five hours but the larger buses stop more and will take longer. Plenty of departures leave between 05:00 and 09:30 but late morning and afternoon services are much scarcer.

For Yangon, the choice is between morning and evening departures, split between regular air-con and VIP coaches. The former are priced at around the 13,000 mark while VIP night buses cost 18,500 kyat. Departures are scheduled between 07:00 and 08:30, and 19:00 and 20:30, with the VIP one (run by Bagan Minn Thar) leaving at 20:00. All should take nine hours or so.

Buses on the Thazi, Kalaw, Inle run leave at 07:30 and 08:00, then 19:30 and 20:00. The first morning one is an air-con bus with tickets 11,000 kyat and the second is a shared taxi at 15,000 kyat. The 19:00 is also a bus, costing 11,000 kyat, and 20:00 is a VIP sleeper. The more expensive shared taxis shave two hours off an otherwise 10-hour trip.

Unscheduled shared taxis for both Inle and Mandalay (10-seaters, not saloon cars) tend to leave whenever they can find enough passengers. Ask your hotel reception the day before and they can check for you.

Other destinations include a Naypyidaw night bus at 18:00 for 11,000 taking 8 hours, or fan and air-con buses for Pyay, both leaving at 13:00 and costing 11,000 and 13,000 respectively (takes 9 hours). Monywa shared taxis take 3.5 hours via Pakokku for 4,000 kyat.

With the exception of the Pyay bus, all services will include pick-up from your lodging and all can be booked through your guesthouse or hotel reception. Commissions are usually minimal and less than a taxi fare to the bus station. We saw several guesthouses selling for example the 11,000 bus tickets at 13,000 kyat, so that’s a $1.50 fee for sorting it out for you. If you are quoted what you consider an exaggerated service fee, wander down the road and ask somewhere else – you’re never far from a travel agent. Bear in mind too, before you get grumpy with your receptionist, that different companies’ prices do vary a bit, as do bus types.

By boat

With improving roads, river travel in Burma is waning slightly these days among locals, though government boats do still ply the Ayeyarwady between Bagan and Mandalay and private companies organise regular boats. For Chindwin services you will have to travel overland to Monywa first as there are no boats there from Bagan. For shorter distances and for example sunset cruises you can hire boats from one of the jetties in Nyaung U as well as Old and New Bagan.

Bagan to Mandalay via a day cruise down the mighty Ayeyarwaddy can be an opportunity to avoid bumpy roads, crowded buses and second-rate lunch stops. The public boat services on the Ayeyarwaddy are determined by two factors: ticket demand and water levels. In the high season months from October onwards services are daily, but come the quiet months from June to October and schedules are reduced to once or twice per week. Though it varies year to year, low water levels during the dry, hot season from February to May often means that navigation is not possible. The wide river is shallow and as water goes down, myriad sandbanks emerge.

We’d recommend instead of the public boats one of the more modern, faster boats offering tourist services. Boats depart and arrive at the central riverside stretch in Mandalay or the beach at Nyaung U. The duration of a trip again of course again depends upon water levels and flow. Going downstream from Mandalay with a 07:00 departure, the best case scenario would be a 15:00 arrival, while during drier months this could well be 18:00 or 19:00. Expect upstream to add a few hours.

The scenery is good for an hour after departure and an hour nearing arrival in both directions. Early morning or late afternoon the boat will either be running past the sandy, stupa-topped cliffs approaching Bagan or passing the spectacular temples and golden spires of Sagaing. Between times, bearing in mind the width of the river, you won’t see a lot apart from some passing river traffic unless you have some binoculars or a high powered camera zoom. Beers and soft drinks are sold on board. Be warned that after some 10 hours drinking in the sun we have seen passengers having to be carried down the gangplank by the time the boat reaches its terminus.

Different boats vary in specifications, so some are a bit roomier, others a bit faster, but all are generally comfortable and offer a choice of downstairs air-con seats or upper deck plastic or cane chairs. You will be given a seat number but as passengers migrate up and down decks, free seats usually seem to be available. If you want to get a well-placed, non-assigned deck seat then you’ll need to board early. All the boats we’ve travelled on provide free breakfasts of unlimited coffee, tea and toast and jam, and serve simple lunches on board. With an early departure, many hotels will provide breakfast boxes of varying quality. On the larger boats you order in a restaurant and on smaller ones they’ll come round and take your order. Expect fried noodles or fried rice for 2,000-2,500 kyat, while some boats throw in a free lunch. Snacks are usually available on board and boats occasionally stop enroute – for example at Myaung, where we assume they drop off or pick up passengers for Monywa – and where vendors will wade out into the river to hurl samosas or bananas at the boat. It will be the most exciting thing you see all day.

You’ll need to check your baggage. Bags will be ticketed, you’ll receive a stub and crew will stow the luggage. Be careful of unsolicited porters grabbing your bag out of a tuk tuk, dumping it on the boat and then demanding 1,000 kyat. Carry your bag yourself and leave it with a crew member. Arrival by gangplank on the beach at Nyaung U can be particularly chaotic. Upstream Mandalay boats leave at 06:00 while Bagan-bound boats depart at 07:00.

Schedules can be unpredictable but in rainy season 2016 government slow boats were departing on Thursdays and Mondays from Bagan and Wednesdays and Sundays from Mandalay, with foreigners charged $18 to $20. A private, fast service was run on Fridays only from Bagan to Mandalay at $32 and Thursdays in the reverse direction for $42 per person. More departures were planned for the August mini-high season but you will need to both check and book in advance. All hotels, guesthouses and travel agents ought to be able to provide you with up-to-date info and tickets.

In busy periods boats will alternate between the Shwe Keinnery and Malikha. The former is a larger three-deck craft while the latter is smaller and more streamlined. They also have a funky looking new wooden boat too. Prices are similar. If we’ve understood correctly, though different boats have different owners, all travel is organised by Myanmar River Cruises. Check schedules and prices.

In short: If you have a day to spare it does make a relaxing change from the often arduous travelling in Burma. The scenery is not however non-stop brilliant. And travel times can be a lot more than scheduled.

Myanmar River Cruises: T: (01) 294 669, (01) 901 0757, (099) 7296 2028; [email protected].


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Inle Lake
Inle Lake

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Mergui Archipelago

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Taking a cruise on the fascinating Mekong River offers a unique and memorable travel experience. The Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia, flows through several countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each destination along the river offers its own distinct cultural, historical, and natural attractions. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when cruising the Mekong River. 


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian countries has taken the cautious approach to inbound travel and has had some of the strictest border restrictions and closures. At the moment, the nations of the region are in the beginning stages of reopening their borders for tourism, with every country introducing its own regulations.

The “unlocking” statuses vary widely. Travelers entering Asian countries may be required to do everything from going into quarantine, submitting negative COVID-19 test results, presenting proof of health insurance, and proof of vaccination (known a vaccine passports).

There is an understandable uncertainty with how you should travel to the Asian region if you are planning to. This is why we present you the list of 19 Asian countries, along with details on the current travel situation. As each country applies precisely defined regulations, you should always check the official websites listed in the article below for the latest government announcements.


Myanmar will resume international passenger flights from April 17, the military said on Saturday, lifting a two-year ban on foreign tourists.


Thanaka or  thanakha is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of the culture of Myanmar, seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls, and is used to a lesser extent also by men and boys. The use of thanaka has also spread to neighboring countries including Thailand.

Within this article, we will learn everything about Thanaka and the benefits of its powder in making a secret beauty ingredient of Burmese women.


Burmese Longyi, along with the country’s longtime history, art, and heritage sites has contributed to the richness of the local culture that will grasp your attention whenever you find yourself in strolling around the streets of Myanmar. With just a piece of fabric grasping on the lower part of the body through time, the longyi has made it become an incredible pattern of Myanmar traditional costume for both men and women. In this article, we are going to find out the secret of Myanmar quintessence through Longyi, about why it has been worn for centuries by the Burmese people.

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Friendly and food-obsessed, hedonistic and historic, cultured and curious, Thailand tempts visitors with a smile as golden as the country's glittering temples and tropical beaches.
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There's a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. In Cambodia, ancient and modern worlds collide to create an authentic adventure.
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