What to do and where to go for 1 day in Bagan? Bagan, formerly known as Pagan, is a province located in Central Myanmar. The city has more than 2200 pagodas, in a foggy and magical landscape. This is a must-visit destination when you discover the mysteries of Indochina. Let us give you the best advice on your trip to Myanmar.

Best time to go to Bagan

If you are planning to spend 1 day in Bagan, we advise you to choose to travel between October and March. Indeed, at this time of year, the weather is hot (average 30 degrees), with very little chance of rain. This is the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of the site!

April and May are the hottest months, temperatures are often above 40 degrees. If you want to spend 1 day in Bagan during this period, you had better take all the necessary precautions to avoid sunburn and heat stroke.

Finally, between June and September, like all countries in Southeast Asia, Myanmar is affected by the monsoon. Although it does not rain every day during these months, the humidity still gets high. Therefore, you should prepare yourself a raincoat.

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Getting to Bagan

You can make your decision to travel to Bagan in a lot of ways:

By plane

The closest airport to the city is Nyaung U, which is a domestic airport only, about a 30-minute drive from the entrance to the former capital. This airport offers service from three local airlines: Myanmar Airways, Air Mandalay and Air Bagan.

By train

There are night trains departing from several surrounding cities: Pyay, Yangon and Mandalay. This is an economical but time-consuming choice for your trip to Bagan.

By bus

Traveling by bus allows you to travel even at night and buses seem usually to be the best solution (quality/price ratio) to travel in South East Asia.

You can take a look at these bus service provider in Myanmar:

  • JJ Express
  • Famous Express
  • Elite Express Bus Station
  • Bagan Bus Station

Our suggested itineraries for 1 day in Bagan

Itinerary 1: Full-day temple tour and chase the sunset on the Ayeyarwaddy River

Itinerary 2: Trekking Mount Popa and half-day temple tour, and enjoy the sunset at Shwesandaw Pagoda

Gorgeous Bagan from above view

Gorgeous Bagan from above view

Itinerary 1

Visit the temples

Shwezigon Pagoda
1 day in bagan

Shwezigon Pagoda, Bagan

This is one of the most impressive temples in Bagan and surely the favorite spot of tourists and locals. This pagoda, entirely covered with gold, is surrounded by four pavilions like the traditional palaces. At this temple, you will have a chance to admire its secrets and works of art about an unequaled cultural richness during 1 day in Bagan.

Ananda Temple

Its Indian-inspired architecture, recognizable in particular with its Sikhara roof, is one of the most tourist attractions of Bagan. You can also discover the fairy legend behind the construction of this temple in the 12th century.

Gubyaukgyi Temple
Gubyaukgyi Temple, Bagan

Gubyaukgyi Temple, Bagan

Built in 1113, this is a remarkable temple because it contains the largest and oldest collection of Burmese murals. You will be prohibited from taking pictures inside and you had better bring along a flashlight.

Thatbyinnyu Temple
Thatbyinnyu Temple, Bagan

Thatbyinnyu Temple, Bagan

This 65-meter-high temple has been recognized as the highest building in Bagan. Unlike other Buddhist temples, it does not have a central pillar but a vaulted room, in which you can observe a seated Buddha statue. This majestic temple, which sits in the middle of the plains of Bagan, is a must-visit destination during your trip to Myanmar.

Htilominlo Temple

You can admire the elegance of this temple through its three floors that will not leave you in rest. It was named according to King Htilominlo and the legend has it that this temple was built on the exact spot where the King was chosen. Therefore, you should spend time visiting this unique site on your 1 day in Bagan.

Thambula Temple

This temple contains wall art treasures, has its own square structure that will attract the eyes of yours on 1 day in Bagan.

Dhammayangyi Temple

This pagoda is also known as the haunted temple because of its lugubrious history. It has a special pyramidal form and a sad history. After King Narathu being murdered, the temple remained mouth-to-mouth being haunted by its ghosts.

Khay Min Ga Temple

It is said that this temple is one of the most beautiful sites in Bagan. It owns dozens of stupas that contain many different treasures.

Watch the sunset from the Ayeyarwaddy River

Poetic sunset at Ayeyarwaddy River

Poetic sunset at Ayeyarwaddy River

After walking through different mystical and magical archeological site, you should spend time relaxing and chasing the sunset on Ayeyarwaddy river. Your eyes will be filled with wonderful colors and your soul will get refreshed on your 1 day in Bagan.

Itinerary 2

Trekking Mount Popa and half day temple tour

On this itinerary for 1 day in Bagan, you will see an ancient volcanic chimney, of which houses summit a Buddhist temple. There are 777 leading to Mount Popa. Visitors are not allowed to wear black or red customs. If you want to understand deeper the mysteries of this pilgrimage site, you had better book a local guide.

Mount Popa, one of the most famous attractions in Bagan

Mount Popa, one of the most famous attractions in Bagan

As you only travel in 1 day and will not have time to visit all of more than 2000 temples of the site, here is a list of those that we strongly advise you to take a look at. There are the Ananda Temple, the Shwezigon Pagoda, the Gu Byanuk Gyi, the temple Htilominlo, and the temple Thambula.

Enjoy the sunset at Shwesandaw Pagoda

This is the perfect place for you to watch the last light of the day for 1 day in Bagan. Shwesandaw is one of the largest pagodas on the site, of which terrace architecture is breathtaking for enjoying the sunset.

What to eat for 1 day in Bagan?

Unlike Vietnam or Thailand, Myanmar is not widely known for its gastronomy. The Burmese cuisine reflects its seasons and each dish includes variety of fresh ingredients.

Here are our recommendations for what you should taste on 1 day in Bagan:


Burmese curry is the most-used spice in Burmese cuisine, so you will find it very often in various dishes such as fish, meat, or vegetables. It tastes differently from other flavors that you used to know and it will delight your taste buds on your 1 day in Bagan.

Lahpet thoke

Lahpet thoke salad

Lahpet thoke salad

Myanmar is almost the only place on Earth where citizens use tea not only for a drink but also in making a dish. Lahpet thoke is one of the country’s national dishes and nothing more than a salad of tea leaves, adding some roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, and fried garlic. You must spend time tasting the dish that you will not find anywhere else on your 1 day in Bagan.

Tamarind flakes

The featured Tamarind flakes

The featured Tamarind flakes

These small pellets are made from tamarind fruit and cane sugar, in the form of very light and very crisp lozenges. You will easily find this food everywhere on your 1 day in Bagan.

Hopefully, you find this article helpful for your plan to travel to Bagan. Customize your Myanmar tour so that we can help create your amazing trip for 1 day in Bagan with the most long-lasting memories!

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Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.

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