Bagan is an ancient city situated on the bank of the Irrawaddy River in the Mandalay region of Myanmar (Burma). It was rightly known as ‘The Land of Thousand Pagodas’ as it was the home to around 10,000 brick temples till the 13th century. This was the Golden Era of the then capital city of Burma. However, several causes like natural calamities (earthquakes), time-period, and external forces like the Mongolian invasion led to the demolition of the pagodas, which couldn’t be recovered to date. So, before talking about how to get from Yangon to Bagan, let's check what you should know about this fantastic city. In the middle of planning your Myanmar trip? Check here our Myanmar backpacking itinerary What to Know about Bagan Bagan is said to be built in the 9th to 13th centuries by Burmans. It was the then capital of Burma, being the wealthiest of all. It was ruled by the Pagan Empire back then, which contributed to building no less than 10,000 pagodas or temples and 3,000 monasteries. However, due to the frequent attacks of Mongols, the Pagan Empire was demolished in 1287. Bagan is also known for being a hub of religious and cultural learning. Scholars from all over Asia still come to Bagan for their research and education. Bagan, over the years, has managed to survive around 2220 pagodas spread around 40 square miles, now referred to as Bagan Archeological Zone, which still persists in nourishing the essence of the Burmese culture intact and is mulled over to be a sacred area. The destroyed ruins are being restored by the government. The regular restorations are the major reason, while Bagan has still not been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Things To Keep In Mind While Traveling To Bagan Bagan is a fairly friendly city to travel to. Life in Bagan is quite simple, and once you find a perfect vehicle suitable for you to travel, the journey won't stop. However, if you’re completely new to the city, there are some points that you need to keep in mind while traveling to the city. These include: \tIt is hotter compared to most of the other countries. Therefore, we advise you to keep drinking a good amount of water, else it might dehydrate your body fully and ruin your trip. \tYou will notice that the same routes and temples might be called different and sign-boarded differently in many places. Hence, it is advised to know the city well. \tRoute planning is a good way to make your travel easier in a city like Bagan. \tBagan is a religious city. Therefore, short dresses like skirts, frocks, shorts, and strapless tops are prohibited in temples. Also, wearing shoes and socks in temples is forbidden too. \tIt gets chilly in the morning. So for visiting temples like sunrise temples, dress up warm because the stones at temples get really cold before sunrise. \tThe 2016 Earthquake has ruined the city completely. The city is under reconstruction. You’ll find some scaffoldings made of bamboo. Do not enter these areas as they might lead you into areas that might be life-taking. \tThere are thousands of pagodas in Bagan. You cannot cover all of it. Hence, it is advised to be specific. Many temples are famous but do not forget to cover the unexplored ones as they might be more eye-catching. \tDon’t miss the chance to watch the sunrise and sunset at Bagan. Best Time To Visit Bagan Summer Months Being in a tropical country, Bagan has a hot and dry climate almost throughout the year. Unfortunately, there happens to be a minimal probability of rainfall throughout. The summer months in Burma include April, May, and June, with May being the hottest month. The average temperature during summers goes as high as 45˚C as low to 25˚-27˚C during the nighttime. The scorching heat gets unbearable during the noontime. Therefore, it is not favorable to visit places after 12 PM till the evening time. So, it is advised not to visit the city during the summers. But, if in case you do, wake up as early as you can and start exploring the city from 6 AM in the morning till 11 AM. Relax for the rest of the day and resume your visit from 4 PM onwards. Monsoon Months There’s fairly less precipitation that takes place during the monsoon months in Bagan. Even if it rains, the climate turns too humid to enjoy traveling. Monsoons are unfit to visit due to the hot and humid weather. The monsoon months are at the end of June, July and August, and September. However, the most humid month is said to be October (75% humidity). Therefore, if visiting during Monsoons, go out during the evenings. Winter Months Winters are the best suited to visit a country like Bagan, preferably in November, December, January and, February. Though the chilly winds’ intensity is too strong, the sunshine compensates for the weather. The winter months are the most popular and bearable months among the visitors, the peak ones being December and January. Therefore, one can enjoy the complete day wholeheartedly without being troubled by the too hot or dry climate. How To Travel From Yangon To Bagan It is around 630 kilometers or 390 miles from Yangon to Bagan. However, there are various traveling options equally convenient. You can opt for the ones according to your budget and travel preferences: Yangon To Bagan By Bus The road distance from Yangon (Rangoon) to Bagan is around 615 kilometers. The road conditions are pretty good, and it takes anywhere around 7 to 10 hours to reach Bagan by bus. If you do not wish to pay high traveling costs, a bus is the best option for being convenient and cheap. You can either go for a luxury VIP bus or a local bus, both being perfectly air-conditioned. VIP Buses VIP buses are more luxurious and comfortable. These VIP buses are named 'Elite Express.' They provide standard recliner seats with enough leg space and 2+1 seatings, toilet options, small TV, snacks, and even steward services. The price is almost the same as the local buses, but VIP buses are more comfortable than the latter. Local Buses Local buses in Myanmar are popular but crowded, which makes them uncomfortable to travel in. However, they are the cheapest and most convenient of all. They, too, are air-conditioned and have recliner seats just as the VIP ones. Moreover, the bus schedules operate overnight. There are many traveling companies, the most popular being Bagan Min Tha and JJ Express. Both provide luxury as well as local buses. Night buses are the best because you tend to spend the whole journey sleeping and it doesn’t get hectic at all. Also, unlike day buses where you need to book a hotel to spend the rest of the night after the hectic journey, there is no extra hotel charge. Therefore, you do not waste your daylight hours traveling. However, if you like traveling during days, Bagan Min Tha departs at 8 in the morning and reaches at 6 in the evening, taking 10 hours in total. Bus stops and costs Yangon Bus Stand is Aung Mingalar Highway Bus Stop, and Bagan Bus Stop is Shwe Pyi bus station (at Nyaung U) The busses would cost you €10 to €20, which is cheap and cost-efficient. Yangon To Bagan By Train Trains are somewhat equally cost-effective as buses. It, however, takes more time, that is, around 17 to 18 hours which is even more than buses' duration. If you need full seats to sleep on or you're traveling with family, trains are the best option to opt for. The number of trains available to travel from Yangon to Bagan is less in number than busses and flights. Yangon Central Railway Station is here. The railway station at Bagan is here (at Nyaung U) The only train available between Yangon and Bagan is 'Myanmar Express' that leaves at 16:00 PM every day. It is bookable on Myanmar Railways. Yangon To Bagan By Flight A costlier option, it takes just a couple of hours to reach Bagan by flights, most comfortably. If crowded, time taking and an uncomfortable journey by buses and trains is not your thing, the flight is the ultimate option. Board a plane at Yangon International Airport and land at Nyaung U Airport. While landing, the mesmerizing view of numerous pagodas can be seen. Precisely speaking, it takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to fly to Bagan. A few of the airways that take you to Bagan are Air KBZ, Asian Wings Airways, Mann Yatanarpon Airlines, Myanmar National Airlines, and Yangon Airways, which costs you about €100. Depending on the distance of your hotel, book a cab service that'll take you to your destination. What to do when you arrive at Bagan Bagan is not just the Ancient Capital of Myanmar, but it has more to it. It is still home to around 2000 temples of all types and sizes dating back to the 10th century. The tour to Bagan always turns out to be the most captivating one in Myanmar. It would take around three days to cover the Bagan Archeological Zone, which is the main attraction at Bagan. The entry fee for the Bagan Archeological Zone is €16, which offers to visit all the temples in the zone. The ticket is valid for five days. Getting around in Bagan Interestingly, there are many vehicle options that you can opt to travel to the town. Means of Transport \tBicycle: The cheapest option, bicycles come really handy to travel to the town. It costs just €1.28 per day to rent the pushbike. However, no matter how pocket-friendly it is, keeping the sunny weather in mind, it gets tedious to opt for this option. \tTaxis: The coziest way to travel the city charges anywhere between €13 - €20 per day. \tElectric Bike: One can get e-bikes for €5.8 per day. The only drawback is that it might run out of charge, and it will be the most troublesome situation in between a tour. \tHorse carriage: A unique way of traveling, Bagan offers Horse carts to travel the city costing around €12.78 for the whole day. It is a budget-friendly option and is an experience in itself. What you should visit Visit temples like Ananda Temple (the most famous Temple of Bagan) and Dhammayan Gyi Temple (largest temple of Bagan), Alodawpyl (has a roof made up of gold), Shweshandaw Pagoda (famous for sunrise), and Pyathetgyi Pagoda (famous for sunset). These temples are at a height, so you need to climb uphill, which is an experience in itself. Try to cover as many temples as you can. Visit Nyang U markets for buying traditional Burmese articles. Shop until you drop. Book a cruise at Ji Harmony to chill and wait for the sunset time. Few attractions which are not included in the entry ticket of the Archeological Zone include The Archeological Museum, which has information about the history of the city and various famous temples. The entry fee for the same is €3.20. The Golden Palace of Bagan offers you traditional food, music, and cultural shows of Burma, the entry fee of which is €2.5. Maha Bodhi is a white-stoned temple with carvings of Buddha. Apart from temples, Bagan possesses the most beautiful view of Sunrise and Sunsets. Though these venues are fairly crowded, do not miss a chance to watch the heavenly view. Few of the temples from which you may enjoy the Sun are: Best Sunrise Spots in Bagan \tShweshsandaw Pagoda (known as Sunrise Pagoda) \tBeludi Temple Best Sunset Spots in Bagan \tLa-Kha-ou-shaung \tPyathetgyi Pagoda \tShwegu Gyi Ballooning in Bagan While enjoying the trip to Bagan, take a trip to the skies. Ballooning in Bagan should be a must on your to-do list. Explore details of the ancient city from heights. It is an experience to be. One of the most famous firms that provide the best ballooning experience is 'Ballooning over Bagan.' A 20-year-old firm, it provides a great package which costs €315 per person. The package includes pick-up, breakfast, and refreshments paired with wine while floating. The balloons usually fit 10-15 riders at most, accompanied by a trained crew. In all, it is one of the most mesmerizing experiences. So, if your pockets allow, rent a hot air balloon at least once. Map of Bagan Here is Map of Bagan with my chosen attractions. In addition, you will find what temples you should visit and where you can eat or spend the evening. Map of Bagan How to choose your hotel Booking a hotel in Bagan depends on your budget as well as your preference of hotel type. All types of hotels are available, mostly Grand and luxurious and even at not very high prices. There are three options to stay at Bagan: Old Bagan The main ancient town of Bagan is the place where the Archeological Zone of Bagan lies, that is, a 40 sq miles area. It is home to thousands of temples, pagodas, and monasteries. This area has the Burmese cultural flavor all over and isn’t as urban as New Bagan. You’ll find many excellent options to stay in Old Bagan, where temples are in the vicinity of the hotels. Moreover, you can find many luxurious resorts at Old Bagan, which is the best place I recommended. You will for sure admire the grandness of the hotels. Hotels at Old Bagan are available at an average cost of €30 to €60. New Bagan We know that New Bagan was built to resettle the affected families during earthquakes while Old Bagan was being restored. It, later, became a small town in itself. It is, however, away from the temples and tourist attractions but has plenty of shopping and food spots. Booking.com New Bagan, unlike Old Bagan, has new hotels at cheaper costs. However, not many hotels are nearby the temples. Therefore, it is Old Bagan that gets the upper hand in staying over New Bagan. Hotels at New Bagan are comparatively cheaper than Old Bagan. The average cost of hotels at New Bagan is 25€. Here is where you should go next: how to get to Inle Lake in Myanmar Nyang U Nyang U is the area where the airport and bus stand is located. It has much of an urban setup. It is around 20 kilometers away from Old Bagan city. There is no nightlife in Bagan lest in Nyang U. Many luxury and cost-effective hotels are available at Nyang U with eating points that can be found everywhere. You can even get luxurious hotels at lower prices of €20 to €30. All the options are apt to stay. However, I recommend you stay at Old Bagan as that is the area with the real essence of Bagan culture, unlike the other two. Cheaper options are available in Old Bagan too. Nyang U is another option that has urban luxury hotels. Foreigners will like Nyang U more than the formers. A few hotel recommendations are Amata Garden Resort, Innwa Motel, Aureum Palace Hotel and Resort, Morning Star Guesthouse, Aye Yar River View Resort, and Heritage Bagan Hotel.