Ox cart at Bagan

Ox cart at Bagan

Ox cart at Bagan

Ox cart en route to a temple festival in Bagan, Burma

Taken on: 21st March, 2012. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See Mark Chiang Mai's page of Flickr

Read more about Bagan

The highlight for many first-time visitors to Burma, Bagan is a collection of more than 2,000 religious monuments dotted across a sprawling dusty plain backing onto the Ayeyarwady River to the north and west. It is a memorably evocative place to visit and explore -- be it for two days or 10.

Set at the heart of Burma's "dry zone", on first impression Bagan seems to be a particularly inhospitable spot to develop a major centre. This is the driest part of the country and can be brutally hot in April and May before what little rain that does fall arrives. Wrapped on two sides by the Ayeyarwady River, the dusty plain, dotted with brick ruins interspersed with sparse outcrops of straggly trees, Bagan is almost the polar opposite to the lush, heavily forested stone monuments at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Between the 11th and 13th centuries, a series of Bagan's ... Read our complete Bagan travel guide

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