We took a night bus from Yangon to Bagan with Bagan Minh Thar Express which cost $16 USD. They depart the larger bust station at 7 and 9:30pm, we took the 7pm and arrived into Bagan new bus terminal at around 5 am. On arrival to Bagan all foreign tourists must pay a $15 USD admittance fee.
Things to do:
As suggested by my good friend SG you must see it by horse cart – it seems old and slow, but trust me… it is worth it! You can also rent motorbikes, E-bikes or ordinary bicycles from guesthouses which is also another fun way to get around. There is limited traffic so the roads are safe to drive on.
We hired a man named Mon Sien and his horse, whose name I couldn’t pronounce, who took us around on horse and cart. You can contact him on: 09402632106 and he charged us 30,000 Kyat for a full day 4:30-6pm. He collected us from our hotel at 4:30 for a private sunrise over looking the Dharmma Yi zi ka pagoda. He then proceeded to take us around Old Bagan to a bunch of wonderful temples, pagodas and shrines.
Sunset is another grand time to see the thousands of temples as it is peaceful and not as hot. You cannot wear shoes, shorts or singlets so dress accordingly and I would wear thongs which are easy to slip on and off upon entering monuments.
If you have time, do a boat ride on the Arrewaddy River, as it is a good story to tell people or if you have an extra day in Bagan, go to Mt. Poppa. SG says that this is fun and filled with naughty monkeys!
You can also see all the temples and pagodas via Hot Air Balloon. However, unfortunate for us they couldn’t fly when we were there so I cannot provide a personal account.
If you are on a budget I would recommend staying at the Thiri Sandar hotel which was clean, spacious and fresh. We paid $40/night for a double room with a king bed and one king single, air con, fridge and TV. If you have a higher budget for snoozing then my friend recommends Thande Bagon Hotel or the Amazing hotel which she says are both lovely and come with a good breakfast.
Foods, drinks and all that jazz:
We had a delicious lunch at The Green Elephant Restaurant. I would also recommend eating at the Starbeam bistro in Old Bagan and I can advise the Avocado and tomato salads and partisan chicken baguettes are delish.
For dinner I can recommend Ristorante Da Ignazio in New Bagan and I ordered the following dishes which were sublime:
- Cailledola (home made bread, tomatoes, onion, organo- 1800
- Allie verdure Grigliale Pizza with added Salami- 8500
What was your highlight from Bagan? Did you have the opportunity to view from Hot Air Balloon? I would love to hear all about it.