City if Bagan, Myanmar
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  • Both are very similar in design, having painting on the wall that cannot be seen because it is dark inside the pagoda even in the day time, and taking pictures is prohibited
  • By chance I was offered 30.000 kyat for a half day, but I bought him lunch and he was very happy with that
  • Just head to a pagoda, there you will find a large amount of souvenir sellers
  • As for the price, you can get 70% to 80% of the nominal price if you negotiate
  • It is a copy of Indian style pagoda especially in the roof construction


by Pusaka

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    Perhaps there are more people who intend to visit Bagan than any other town in Myanmar, solely because this town has a lot more pagodas than you may think. After hit by severe earthquakes, the latest was in August 2016, more than 2.200 pagodas survived. You can see them almost anywhere in Bagan, ranging from a very well preserved tourist spots up to behind the slum huts. But only a few are worth to be visited. To my mind, small, or not very well maintained, or not beautifully designed pagodas, can be ignored.

    I spent one and a half day in Bagan and managed to visit 14 of them. Here is the result. Shwe Zigon meets all my requirements, i.e. large, beautiful, and well maintained. You need around 45 minutes to explore. Gu Byauk Gyi, there are two pagodas with this name. One is in Wetkyi-in village and the other is in Myinkaba village. Both are very similar in design, having painting on the wall that cannot be seen because it is dark inside the pagoda even in the day time, and taking pictures is prohibited. Not worth to see. Should you visit one of them, you can forget the other. Htilominlo is also large but not very beautiful. There is a corridor inside it, through which you can explore the pagoda by walking around on ground level only. Dhammayan Gyi is claimed to be the largest of its kind in Bagan. Similar to Htilominlo, you can walk around inside the pagoda following the corridor which is inhabited by bats. Ananda is the second meets my requirements. Although a number of paintings have been wearing out, some parts are still in good condition. That Byin Nyu, the locals pride it to be the tallest. As far as the interior is concerned, the design is similar to that of Ananda. It was damaged by the earthquake on August 24, 2016, and it has been renovated. Should you be an archeologist, you may be interested in learning it more. Myazidi is located side by side by Gu Byauk Gyi in Myinkaba village. On the contrary to Gu Byauk Gyi, this small premise is well decorated. Since it is small in size, then less than 10 minutes is adequate to spend there. Nanpaya, forget it. It is only a small pagoda, dark, and far from beautiful. Manuha Phaya is well worth to see. There you can see an exhibition room housing some beautiful statues, a very large golden bowl for collecting donation from visitors, and a very big and tall statue accommodated in a very narrow vertical cylindrical room having low opening so you cannot see his face unless you crawl near him. The management of Gawdaw Palin exhibits a drawing of this pagoda, making visitors able to compare between the present condition of the pagoda and its design. Architects may be interested in it. Although it is small, Bu Phaya is beautiful mainly because it is located on the banks of the Irrawaddy river. Mahabodhi may be the only pagoda in Bagan that copies the design of similar pagoda in India. Shwesandaw is a pagoda equipped with stairs enabling visitors to climb up to the top. Up there you can see numerous of pagodas large and small around Bagan. Apart from the suggested duration needed to explore a pagoda, all others need between 15 and 20 minutes.

    There is no public transport in Bagan. Many roads are not paved. In December when there is no rain, dust scattered everywhere so it is not suitable for pedestrians or cyclists. Hiring a car seems to be the only solution. There you will be charge 25.000 kyat (around 19 dollars) for a half day, or 40.000 kyat for a full day ride, gas and driver included. By chance I was offered 30.000 kyat for a half day, but I bought him lunch and he was very happy with that.

    Souvenirs are very easy to purchase in Bagan. Just head to a pagoda, there you will find a large amount of souvenir sellers. As for the price, you can get 70% to 80% of the nominal price if you negotiate.

  • City if Bagan, Myanmar
  • Shwe Zigon Pagoda. To my mind this is the most beautiful pagoda in Bagan. Look at the architecture of the roof, pillars, and walls. Fantastic!

  • City if Bagan, Myanmar
  • Htilominlo Pagoda. A very old structure that still functioning as a worship place. I am amazed that the ancients could build such a large and nice building.

  • City if Bagan, Myanmar
  • Ananda Pagoda. It is claimed to be the most beautiful pagoda in Bagan. Indeed, it has good both exterior and interior design.

  • City if Bagan, Myanmar
  • Myazedi. It is located side by side with Gu Byauk Gyi in Myinkaba district of Bagan. Unlike the second which does not worth to see, the former is nice in the details picturing rows of pupils when studying the teachings of truth.

  • City if Bagan, Myanmar
  • Mahabodhi Pagoda. It is a copy of Indian style pagoda especially in the roof construction.

    Every foreigner must pay a so called Bagan Archaeological Zone Fee of 30.000 kyat. I did and they gave me a kind of ticket. They say that upon requested, you must provide the ticket. But I was not asked at all when visiting all the fourteen places in Bagan.



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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in January, 2017. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 3811011657850331/k2311a0111/1.11.17
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