When you travel to Bagan, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Bagan, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Bagan to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Bagan things to do can include exploring Bagan attractions and visiting the places of interest.
Bagan is a very beautiful place and an ideal destination for family vacation. This temple town has been in existence for past several hundred years and its effects can be seen scattered all over the place. The various temples and stupas will allow you to catch a glimpse of the past glory of this region. Back in the 12th century, when this region was in its peak, it attracted several monks and travelers from India and Ceylon, who contributed further to its rich culture.
It is very important for the younger generation to learn more about these cultures who have been very rich and prosperous once. The local government is trying very hard to restore these ancient architectural heritages so that the coming generations can know more about them. Kids who are more than eights years of age can go for hot air ballooning.
Bagan is located in the upper region of Myanmar. The Irrawaddy River flows very nearby this region. However, because of the presence of Rakhine Yoma Mountain Range, it is sheltered from the incoming rain bearing clouds. As a result, it is one of the dryer areas of this region. Throughout the year the climate is temperate without much drastic difference in the winter and summer temperature. It receives very little rainfall in the months from May to November.
Nearby, there is a national park known as Popa Mountain National Park. It is situated in the Kyaukpadaung Township which surrounds the Mt. Popa. It spreads over an area of 129 sq. kms. And it comprises of local Burmese specimens of flora and fauna. It was established in the year 1989 by the Burmese authority.
Amongst over 2000 surviving monuments in Bagan, this Pagoda is the one which has very close similarity with the Maha Bodhi Pagoda at Bodhgaya of India. Like the Maha Bodhi at Bodhgaya, this pagoda faces East and there is in the ground floor a Buddha image with the right hand in earth-touching posture and a similar one in upper storey. There are several niches on the faces of the Sikhara. Inside them are Buddha statues with different postures- standing, sitting, and reclining, totalling 469 statues.
It is the largest of all the Buddhist temples in the entire Bagan region. It was built in the 12th century by the King Narathu. It is an incomplete temple whose work was stopped midway as the king was assassinated by invaders. However, still it is one of the largest Buddhist temples in this country.
It is one of the oldest surviving temples in Myanmar. Built in 1105 AD, it is one of the four remaining temples from that period. This temple is an architectural marvel as it encompasses several architectural forms including Mon as well as Indian style. Inside there are four standing Buddhas each facing the four cardinal directions. Inside the temple complex, there is a monastery which is known as Ananda Oakkyaung. There is also a field museum which explains the artifacts present in the complex. In the year 1990, 900th anniversary of the temple was celebrated. On this occasion the temple spires were gilded.
It is universally accepted that nothing can relax us like Nature. The soothing ambience, the stunning sunrise and sunset and the rich cultural sites are sure to rejuvenate our senses and make our minds all the more peaceful. Besides this, there are several spas in Bagan. The Aureum Natural Spa is a wonderful place to relax and rejuvenate yourself.
An amazing experience for older children and adults is a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. Bagan is very often listed as one of the top places in the world for hot air ballooning. The ballooning season in Bagan runs between October and March, although flights are more likely to be cancelled due to weather in October and March.
One of the most famous local handicrafts is the Burmese lacquerware, which can only rarely be found elsewhere. These lacquer products are highly in demand among the international tourists. They always like to carry few pieces along with them as a souvenir, for their friends and family back home.
Burmese sand paintings are also very famous. There are several local sellers who can provide you with high quality articles.
The Star Bistro and Weather Spoon’s are the ones which have been around for quite some time. Not only they serve local Burmese cuisine, they also have some western dishes in their menu cards. These places are often thronged by the international visitors who would like to have a taste of their own cuisine from back home. Apart from these, there are hundreds of restaurants which serve traditional food. In most of the case, these eateries are family run and serve freshly prepared food. Few popular ones are Mahar Bagan on Khayee Road, Golden Myanmar Restaurant in New Bagan, Yar Pyi Vegetarian Restaurant near the Ananda Temple, etc.
The local cuisine is more about rice dishes and soups. There are several types of soups and broths which are part of the Burmese food culture. Rice, which is a staple of the locals, is often served along with a side dish of pork, beef or chicken. However, a sizeable local population is vegetarian, so there are several vegetarian dishes as well.