Bagan - A UNESCO World Heritage

Finally, on 06 July 2019, UNESCO had added to the World Heritage list some names that famous worldwide so far, among that, Bagan is honored to be chosen.

If Egypt got itself colossus solemn guardians – pyramid, which had driven the world crazy by a mysterious constructing technique; then in the largest continent in the global, Bagan from Myanmar has conquered millions of hearts with majestic archaeological temple land. Bagan – the sun of ancient time, is the prosperous hub of one of the mightiest Asian empire, and now, the area of silent beauty is in the top attractive destinations throughout Asia. So, does Bagan worth the title? Yes, without any doubt. We - Myanmar River Cruises is here to tell you why.


Spread over the arid plain on the eastern bank of the magnificent Ayeyarwady River, which is in the central of Myanmar, 145 km to the southwest of the central Mandalay, Bagan is an archaeological zone that sprinkles with charming ancient temples, stupas, monasteries and covers the area of 40 km square (about 25 square miles). A consequential area of Bagan holds over 2000 thousand temples and remains that had made Bagan one of the most famous places in Southeast Asia.

The most well-known tourist spots in Myanmar 


As many have described Bagan as a lost paradise that brought from the ancient time, this archaeological site had long been famous worldwide. In 1955, the archaeological land was first nominated as a World Heritage; but unfortunately, the country faced political problems; the temporary government didn’t give proper care to the rules. As an understandable fact, the title was rejected.  

But the country now acknowledged the important issue, this would open Myanmar tourism a new page. Myanmar is executing the plan of reducing hotels around the area and try to form a Bagan with only ancient beauty. Bagan is a significant historical place and is also where Buddhist worshiping maintain. Recognizing the value, in Myanmar delegation at Baku meeting, Myanmar diplomat Kyaw Zeya spoke his words: “Bagan is living heritage, having endured all forms of challenges for more than a thousand years”. 

Finally, on 06 July 2019, UNESCO had added to the World Heritage list some names that famous worldwide so far, among that, Bagan is honored to be chosen. 


Bagan reached its peak in 1057, under King Anawrahta rule (reigned 1044 - 1077), who conquered Ramannadesa kingdom (also known as Thaton kingdom) of the Mon in Lower Myanmar, uniting the lands that constitute Myanmar's territory today.

Through the annexation of Ramannadesa kingdom, King Anawrahta brought to Pagan capital many relics, Buddhist scriptures and many talented artists, architects. During the 11th century to the 13th century, Pagan kings built over 10,000 temples and monasteries in the capital city.

King Anawrahta - the man who brought prosperity to the land of Bagan

But it wasn’t long since the day of foundation, Bagan kingdom began to weaken from the 13th century. One of the main reasons was that the kingdom devoted too many resources to the construction of religious works.

The coming must come, from the beginning of the 12th century, the Shan people, and other outside reigns surrounded and defeated the kingdom. By 1287, the capital city Bagan was destroyed, ending 230 years of Bagan's dynasty in Ayeyarwaddy plains.


Lasted as the capital of the powerful Bagan dynasty for more than two centuries, Pagan focuses on massive architectural masterpieces, which value can rival those of two great Buddhist temples: Cambodia's Angkor Wat Temple and Borobodur temple in Central Java island (Indonesia). There are still more than 2,000 temples in the ancient land Bagan survive until the present, becoming a living museum demonstrating the golden age of the Bagan dynasty. As one of the first inhabitants in the Bagan area, the Mon has influenced their culture and style in many aspects that run through history.

Mon architecture of the temples in Bagan

"Mon" is a very popular architecture, in which a large number of temples in Bagan are followed. Most of the construction characterized by tight pen temples in the early stages. Typical for architecture Mon must include the golden temple Shwezigon - the first golden temple built in Burma, becoming a model for the later temple architecture. Apart from Shwezigon Pagoda, which is rated the most ancient, Bagan still has many famous constructions that worth being invaluable human work.


Ananda Phaya is considered the most beautiful temple in Bagan. The difference of Ananda temple compared to the rest is the gold-plated tower. In the middle of the plain of Bagan, the top of Ananda tower appears extremely prominent and unique.

Besides Ananda Temple, Shwezigon is one of the oldest sacred temples, which attracts the attention of tourists whenever traveling to Myanmar. The magnificent beauty of Shwezigon is ranked the first in Bagan. The entire outside of the temple is covered with gold. Inside, it is lined with thousands of large and small diamonds.

The alluring beauty of Ananda Temple 

Dhammayangyi Temple cannot be missed in Bagan. Dhammayangyi Temple was built from fired bricks, shaped like a giant pyramid, overwhelming all the remaining buildings.

Sulamani Temple is known as the only temple in Bagan with two rows of houses along the entrance, displaying stunning sand paintings and wood carvings. Sulamani means "jewel in the crown". At the same time, this is also one of Bagan's most beautiful mortar sculptures.


Capture Bagan Beauty while Cycling

What activities would be worth time-spending in Bagan? Like all the visitors, they like to come to Bagan to see firsthand the collection of ancient temples and it absolutely is one of the best things to do in Bagan. When strolling around the temples, we all get the feeling like we are returning to a lively past, where the ancient imprints and cultural, historical remains. To capture the beauty of the spacious zone of Bagan, the best way is to hire a self -bicycle, which is both inexpensive and accessible at most of the corner in the New Bagan. "E-bikes" driven by batteries charge more to lease but give a wider variety and a more pleasant experience.

Cycling through the plantation in Bagan to visit the temples

Contemplate the Magical Panorama on a Hot - air Balloon.

An interesting experience in Bagan is sitting on a balloon floating high above, the proud towers soaring into the sky in the early morning and blazing red bright when the Sun has just revealed. A ticket for a hot air balloon is expensive so it limits the tourists used, but if any chance that you can afford, don’t hesitate to try for once.

is myanmar safe for travel 2A paradise to go for a ride on the hot air balloon

Catch the breathtaking dawn

As Bagan is at the most stunning in dusk and dawn, visitors often prefer to climb the ancient temple to watch the sunrise, and when the afternoon is coming, they want to come back, just to watch the spectacular sunset. According to the newly enacted law, only 5 temples here allow visitors to watch the sunrise at the top of the temple: Shwesandaw, Thitsarwady, Pyathetgyi, Shwenanyinday, and Oah Chan Pae Kone. The way to see the sun is pretty far and exhausting but after all, you will be well-paid. One ever said that if you are watching the day ends and begins over Bagan, you just see one of the most beautiful sunrises and sunset on earth.

Breathtaking dawn over the plantation of Bagan

Cruise from Mandalay to Bagan

 On the Ayeyarwady River, many cultures and spectacular human works lie along with the flow. A cruising tour from Mandalay – one charming cruise between two ancient Royal capitals will reveal such wonders. Book a tour for at least 3 days, traveling on the boat and follow the guide instructions, you will be taken to local’s villages, workshops, farming zone and many magnificent palaces, temples that scattered on the way. This is such an easy way to catch a glimpse of rustic Myanmar, if you have a chance to try, just take it. In case you are still wondering why, find out more in our 6 reasons to experience Myanmar by cruise article.

anawrahta cruise 4Anawrahta Cruise on the Irrawaddy River

Bagan was and always will be a magic of human civilization. Through the existing of spectacular ancient works, our modern generation has a clarity of mind of how incredible the ancients were. A title from UNESCO is the approval of the historical constructions and top of it all, is the greatest tribute, admiration of the formers to the noble ancestors.   

Myanmar River Cruises could not be more proud to say that Bagan is well-deserved the title from UNESCO and above all to be the one who shared a hand in promoting the land of Bagan. 

Let's discover the beauty of the world-class site in Bagan with us today, contact us for more details! 

Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest

Let us help you find your suitable cruise

Could not find a suitable cruise in Myanmar? Just tell us your travel plan: departure date, favourite cruise itinerary, number of pax, budget and your special request (if any) and we will reply to you within 1-12 hours with the best option of cruise.