I’ve written a Beginner’s Guide to Bagan, however, if you want some quick information, I’ve also compiled a list of 10 things you should know before you go! This will give you a really good snapshot of travel tips and relevant information to prepare you for your trip.
1. There is a 25,000 kyat one-time fee to access all the Bagan temples.
2. The best time to visit Bagan is in November, due to the clear skies in the daytime. Even though peak season is between October and March, majority of the mornings can be quite foggy, except for in November.
3. Getting around on an E-bike will be less exhausting than on a bicycle, especially when you’re stuck in the sandy bits.
4. Make sure to wake up for every single sunrise that you possible can. You don’t want to miss it. Remember, Bagan is the city of sunrises, so don’t be lazy about it!
5. Know where you plan on watching the sunrise in advance and give yourself at least 30 minutes time to get there, including driving and climbing up the temples
6. There is no point in taking sneakers, because you’ll have to take off both your socks and shoes to climb up any temple in Bagan. Flip flops are key in this case, as you’ll spend majority of your day barefoot anyways!
7. Avoid the Shwesandow and Pyathada Pagodas for sunset viewings at all costs. Over 50 tour buses bring tourists to watch the sunsets there, and the rush was insane. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. However, if you’re a fan of being pushed and shoved around with no place to stand, then this is the experience you’re looking for. However, make your way there during mid-day to see the views. It will be less crowded at peak sun hours!
8. If you want to spot the magical moments where the herder is moving his cattle, make sure to be riding your e-Bikes at around 5:00 – 5:30pm. Yes, this is cutting it quite close to the sunset hour.
9. If you have the budget for it, go on a hot air balloon ride. It will set you back anywhere from $280-320, but if you’re looking for a more VIP experience, then be prepared to pay $480 per person. Also, make sure to book with Balloons over Bagan. They have the most reliable and user friendly website.
10. There’s more to Bagan than the temples. Go visit some of the rice fields along the river, and experience the serene farmer lifestyle.
News Alert: Make sure to check the news regarding scaling the temples in Bagan. I’ve read that there is a ban set in motion that will be effective as of March 1, 2016.