Bagan is an area of 42 km² in Myanmar which is full of temples. There are more than 4400 temples! A trip to Myanmar without spending a few days in Bagan is unthinkable. The temples that appear throughout this area give a fantastic impression of the wealth that this place had to radiate almost a thousand years ago. Bagan is often compared to Angkor in Cambodia, but I undoubtedly prefer Bagan over Angkor. Bagan is bigger, prettier, the temples are more interesting and the atmosphere is magical. Visiting all of the temples in Bagan is an impossible task. Which are the best temples in Bagan?
My top 5 of the best temples in Bagan!
1. Ananda Temple
I found this the most impressive temple in all of Bagan. Unfortunately, more people have the same opinion on that and therefore it is also one of the most visited temples. From the outside the temple is already very beautiful, but inside the temple is very interesting by the mix of interior/statues. On every corner there is a golden standing buddha. The locals also visit this temple massively. The temple is currently being restored and unfortunately it’s not all done yet, but what has been restored looks very beautiful.
2. Shwe San Daw Pagoda
This temple is especially worth the visit because you can climb this temple and it is one of the tallest temples. The stairs to climb to the top are very narrow and steep, but fortunately they have recently attached a handrail. The view is beautiful and gives a good idea of how extensive the area is and how many beautiful sights there are in Bagan. I recommend watching the sunrise here because this is truly a spectacular view. The hot air balloons flying over Bagan every morning are beautiful to see from this temple. The sunset is also beautiful from this temple, but it will be very busy with tourists.
3. Dhamma-ya-za-ka Pagoda
This temple is a bit more hidden and there are only a few tourists. You can walk around here and wonder at all the gold that is on the domes. The sun creates a beautiful shine on this temple. The temple looks somewhat kitschy, but for me, this temple is full of mystery! Walk around the temple clockwise and see the unique architecture.
Dhammayangyi is the largest temple and a visit to this temple can not be missed. From outside this temple is beautiful and really different from the other temples. Inside the temple there is a lot to see. In every corner you’ll find giant buddha images. It’s almost unreal how this temple is still fully decorated with murals. It’s really a temple that surprised me!
This is a small temple, but the great thing about this temple is that you can climb all the way to the top. There are no tourists here and I discovered it by chance. At the top you have a beautiful view of Bagan. It’s a bit difficult to climb, partly because you always have to take off your shoes at every temple visit. The view is worth it though!
These are my 5 best temples in Bagan! What do you think are the best temples in Bagan?
A great place to stay is The Bagan View Hotel. The location is great in New Bagan. It’s easy to walk around and it’s just a 10-20 mins cycling/ebiking distance to beautiful pagodas. The rooftop has amazing early morning views! The staff is extremely nice and helpful and the breakfast included many delicious options. It’s a very pretty hotel, inside and out.
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