Bagan is one of the most fascinating destinations in Myanmar. Its beauty is unique and fulfilling with more than 2,000 pagodas and temples of the 11th century. Your Myanmar tour will be incomplete without 3 days in Bagan to discover the greatest archeological sites, maybe a sight to rival Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat here. So what to do and where to wander in this UNESCO Heritage Site of Myanmar? Let’s take a look!

Gorgeous Bagan from above view

Gorgeous Bagan from above view

Best Accommodation in Bagan

In Bagan, visitors have the choice between a wide range of high-quality accommodations as a temporary residence after a day spent wandering majestic pagodas and hiking through the breathtaking and remarkable landscapes.

There are 3 main villages including Nyaung-U, Old Bagan and New Bagan. They surround the temples area in Bagan, Myanmar. This is also the most expensive area. While Nyaung-U is the village where most backpackers live, New Bagan plays a role as a booming area for pretty inns.

Suggested Itinerary for 3 Days in Bagan

Day 1: Shwesandaw Pagoda – Htilominlo Temple – Upali Thein Temple – Thatbyinnyu Phaya Temple

Upon entering Bagan, you will need to purchase an entrance ticket to the temple complex, valid for 3 days. It will be more than enough to explore the main temples, pagodas and shrines. You will visit four beautiful temples and learn more about their history. Take your time exploring the temples and end your day watching the sunset at the last stop.

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1. Admire the sunrise at Shwesandaw Pagoda

3 days in Bagan

Magical sunrise at Shwesandaw Pagoda, Bagan

Shwesandaw Pagoda is a good place to watch the dawn in Bagan. This pagoda has 5 terraces and was built in 1057 in terracotta tiles. This sacred site organizes very important Buddhist ceremonies.

2. Visit the Htilominlo temple

The site is an 11-minute drive from Shwesandaw Pagoda. It was named after King Htilominlo with three floors and 46m-height above the ground. This temple is famous for its Buddha statues located on the ground floor and facing different directions.

3. Discover Upali Thein temple

This charming temple was built in the 13th century by a monk named Upali. Most of the wooden pieces that made up this monastery no longer exist and only the ordination room is still standing. This temple also contains various attractive colorful paintings that you will see nowhere else on your tour to Indochina.

4. Chase the sunset at Thatbyinnyu Phaya temple

Thatbyinnyu Phaya is one of the most beautiful temples in the Bagan area. The highest tower of the temple is about 61 m above the ground. There are paintings on the walls of the tits that you can buy and bring home as souvenirs. Head to this temple to watch a beautiful sunset or participate in a Buddhist ceremony on your 3 days in Bagan.

Day 2: Shwezigon Pagoda – Ananda Temple – Dhammayangyi Temple – Pyathetgyi Pagoda

On the second day of your 3 days in Bagan, you will not need to get up early for sunrise. However, be sure to start your day early enough to explore the most famous and largest temples located in the southern part of Bagan (Nyaung U and Old Bagan areas). These four temples are the main Buddhist buildings of this region and very important to the history of Bagan and Myanmar.

You will also have the chance to see monks praying and sitting with them for lunch. Make sure you have your ticket on you. Finally, remember to be respectful by not wearing shorts, short skirts or showing off your shoulders.

1. Visit Shwezigon Pagoda

This pagoda dated from 1090. It is one of the oldest pagodas in Bagan. It is a one-story pagoda with a gold-plated roof that can be seen from a distance. This sacred place is home to various Buddhist relics and is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Every year, in October or November, this pagoda organizes its own festival which attracts many visitors.

2. Explore Ananda Temple

The temple of Ananda is a must-see destination because it is an immense temple of white stone with another golden roof. Inside of the main attraction of Ananda Temple, you will have the chance to see four 9.5 m high Buddha statues, very detailed and representing four Buddhas.

3. Discover Dhammayangyi Temple

The majestic Dhammayangyi Temple, Bagan

It is the largest temple in Bagan. It was built in 1170. This temple has never been completed but it contains many important Buddhist statues and paintings that have been very well preserved. From a distance, this temple looks like an Egyptian pyramid. If you want to know more about the temple, you can pay a small fee to get a guide to discover more about its history.

4. Visit Pyan Thet Gyi Pagoda

Pyathetgyi Pagoda is famous for being a perfect place to watch the sunset. This pagoda is very crowded, so try to come early to find a good place on your 3 days in Bagan.

Day 3: Thitsar Wadi Pagoda – Archaeological Museum – Golden Palace – Puppet Show

1. Enjoy the sunrise at Thitsar Wadi pagoda

If you missed the sunrise on your first day in Bagan, do not worry because you can admire it on the last day from Thitsarwadi pagoda. This place is the perfect place to watch the dawn and get a close-up hot-air balloon photograph. This pagoda is also the only one that allows visitors to climb to the summit to admire the view of the sunrise.

2. Visit the Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum is a popular museum where you can learn more about Bagan and its temples. There are 10 exhibition halls devoted not only to Bagan’s history, literature and arts, but also to examples of Buddha images, period frescoes (murals) and architecture of Buddhism. Bagan. You can easily spend a few hours in the museum. Also be sure to walk outside the museum building, which is very beautiful and symbolizes the traditional architectural style of Bagan.

3. The Golden Palace

Gorgeous Bagan Golden Palace

It is a reconstruction of the destroyed royal palace and is still under construction. If you wish to enter, you will have to pay admission fees as they are not included in the Bagan archeological zone ticket. Indoors, you can watch a traditional show or live music while enjoying delicious traditional cuisine.

4. Enjoy a puppet show at Nanda restaurant

Every night, Nanda Restaurant hosts a puppet show that tells short, fun and historical stories. You will learn about Myanmar myths and some very interesting historical facts. In addition, the costumes are very colorful and breathtaking. Besides puppet shows, the Nanda Restaurant serves very good traditional cuisine that is well worth a visit.

In short, 3 days in Bagan promise to create your most unforgettable moments. Customize your Myanmar tour now to make your own trip of a lifetime to the ancient city of Bagan!

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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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