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The Temples of Bagan

Bagan has been on my mind since I saw pictures of it online. I wanted to experience walking inside and climbing up its temples.

I took the overnight regular bus from Yangon to Bagan for 15,000 kyats. Since the bus station was far from the city, I hired a cab to take me to the station for another 7,000 kyats. The bus was ok and cold at night. There was a stopover at a local restaurant for dinner and bathroom break. There was also a free water bottle and toothbrush for passengers. The 9-hour ride passed by quickly, I was now in Bagan.

The Ancient Temples of Bagan

There we go again, with only our past shedding its light on the steps we take.

I rented a horse cart for sunrise to sunset tour for 25,000 kyats the moment I arrived. It was only around 4:30 AM, I had plenty of time to kill before the illustrious sunrise in Bagan. I was excited to see it but was gravely disappointed. It was raining when I arrived. I thought that Bagan was an arid region, I did not know that it was affected by the rainy season in the southern part of Burma. There were dark clouds hovering over Bagan. Although the rain did not pour, it was way too cloudy to see the sunrise. I was still disappointed but still looked forward to seeing the ancient temples of Bagan (Pagan is the way the locals pronounced it).

The day broke slowly over the horizon. The sun cracked the skies open to take a peak and shed its light over Bagan. I had a quick breakfast and was off again to explore the dreamlike landscape of this ancient town.

Shwezigon Pagoda

The hotel I stayed in was walking distance from Bagan Bus Station and it was also walking distance from Shwezigon Pagoda.

Shwezigon Pagoda was built in 1102 AD. It was early so I was unable to see a lot of people coming to pray in Shwezigon. It was quite peaceful walking around this pagoda.

Shwezigon Pagoda was one of the best pagodas I saw in Bagan.


Htilominlo was one impressive temple. It's size and significance make it one of the must-see temples in Bagan. This temple was built during the reign of King Htilominlo in 1211.

Ananda Temple

Ananda Temple is one impressive temple that was built in 1105 AD. The architecture combines Mon and Indian design. Wandering inside this temple was quite an experience.

The Ananda Temple houses four Buddhas facing east, west, north, and south.

The Ananda Temple had impressive architecture within its walls. The grand halls were just as impressive as the structures within this temple. I was fortunate enough to wander in this temple with very few visitors. There were no crowds, I liked it.


This pagoda had a golden, bulbous structure as its most prominent symbol.

Gaw Din Palin Paya

This temple was another noteworthy structure in Bagan. But after seeing a lot of temples and the tiring bus ride, I was slowly getting templed out. 

Thatbyinnyu Temple

Mya Zedi & Gubyaukgyi Temple

Manuha Paya

Sulamani Pahto

Dhamma Yangyi Temple

The Dhamma Yangyi is the widest temple in Bagan.

It was surreal walking around and inside this huge temple.

Shwesandaw Pagoda

I was now at the threshold of temples visited in one day, thankfully Shwesandaw Pagoda was the last stop for the day. Shwesandaw was a simple pagoda, but its architecture was not the reason why people visit this temple, as I soon found out upon reaching the top of this pagoda.

Shwesandaw Pagoda provided the best view overlooking Bagan and its temples.

I was supposed to catch the sunset on Shwesandaw Pagoda, but due to bad weather, the sun did not set the way everyone expected it to. But still the view of the temples in person was captivating.

Bagan is a must-see place because of its rich culture, history, and architecture. Some of the temples reminded me of the other temples in Cambodia. The tiring bus ride and the all day tour were definitely worth it.


  1. Nice travel story in one corner of the world. Bagan temple cluster is beautiful to watch from the last temple picture you shot.

  2. wow ! Bagan is a dream for me to visit I love all your pictures/ Its looks all amazing shots.
    I was been in and out of Myanmar for work I even lived in Yangoon for 6 months but I never get a chance to visit Bagan I really regret! looking all to your pics they all echanted. thanks for sharing all of these.