For first-time visitors to Burma (Myanmar), Bagan is a must-see destination. Spread across a vast plain, hemmed in on two fronts by the Ayeyarwady River and home to thousands of monuments, it's an evocative and fascinating place to explore, whether for two days or 10. While some of the monuments are fabulous, the accommodation is generally less so. Spread across three towns kilometres apart, it... Read our full review of Where to stay in Bagan.
These are really Bagan's most budget-orientated areas to stay. Nyaung U is also the area furthest from the monuments but remains our pick of the areas to stay, both due to the variety of local food found in the surrounds and the more reasonable prices. Wet Kyi Inn is roughly half way between Nyaung U and Old Bagan, so is closer to the monuments but a very long walk (or a 10 minute bicycle ride) from the restaurants in Nyaung U.
Set a little out of the way on Anawyahta Road, but a 10-minute walk from the market, this truly is a little Oasis. Made up of a narrow block running back off the road, Oasis has a frangipani studded lawn garden on one side and superior and deluxe rooms on the other. At the rear of the block is a moderately sized swimming pool that had about a week to go to completion when we visited in June 2013.... Read our full review of Oasis.
Formerly a budget crashpad called New Heaven, Zfreeti has been totally rebuilt from the ground up under new ownership to become something of a flashpacker’s paradise. The grand entrance to Zfreeti. Located a 15-minute-walk from the bus station in Nyaung U and five minutes’ from the main restaurant strip, Zfreeti is a breath of fresh air in a town full of old, grubby digs in dire need of an... Read our full review of Zfreeti Hotel.
Bagan Princess is the priciest of the hotel digs along this stretch of Nyaung U Road in Wet Kyi Inn, and while needing to walk through a fake cavern (complete with stalactites) had us scratching our head, the rooms are actually pretty smart. Beds are firm, but the rooms are otherwise well kitted out with air-con throughout and flatscreen TVs, minibars and so on. The spotless bathrooms are each... Read our full review of Bagan Princess Hotel.
While this isn't the cheapest of the guesthouses along this stretch, we liked the staff here. It's very backpacker orientated -- the staff declared that if we could find a cheaper room with the same facilities they'd give us the room for free! Rooms come in shared- and private-bathroom options but if you can spring for the private bathroom deal, it's a better deal as the shared bathrooms here are... Read our full review of Shwe Na Di Guesthouse.
Bagan Umbra (previously Golden Express) is the last hotel on the Nyaung U to Old Bagan road until you get to the outskirts of Old Bagan a couple of kilometres further down the road. Rooms are in a series of longhouse-style blocks set a little bit back off the road. At the rear of the hotel is a medium-sized swimming pool, which significantly adds to the value of the hotel. Rooms are just... Read our full review of Bagan Umbra Hotel.
May Kha Lar offers slightly better rooms for slightly lower prices than Inn Wa and is worth the extra legwork to reach. Rooms are clean and have an airier feel to them -- they're almost bright rather than dingy -- and they come in two flavours, though with shared facilities and those with private bathroom. The former are spartan but well kept while the private bathroom rooms are quite spacious... Read our full review of May Kha Lar Guesthouse.
You'll struggle to miss this bright blue and green multi-floor hotel on the road into Nyaung U and once you get inside you'll find the rooms are almost as sparkling as the exterior. They're very clean, quite spacious, and, given the location, not nearly as noisy as we expected. The hotel is newly constructed and it shows, with a solid feel, clean bathrooms and, well, everything seems to work. The... Read our full review of New Life Guesthouse.
New Park is set in two longhouses (along with some rooms out back) running parallel to one of the backstreets running off restaurant row. It boasts a comfortable lazing around area under the shadow of a beautiful shade tree. Rooms are clean and functional. They do actually look a bit better from the outside than the inside, and the front row rooms are certainly overpriced, but if you want to stay... Read our full review of New Park Hotel.
Aung Mingalar has a great location almost straight opposite the glistening Shwezigon pagoda, but the rooms unfortunately are not quite as bright and beautiful as the pagoda across the road. Cosmetically they look good, with reasonable linen with throws, what we think was an air purifier, air-con throughout, flatscreen TV and WiFi, but they've got very mediocre bathrooms that drag down the whole... Read our full review of Aung Mingalar Boutique Hotel.
If you're a very late night/very early morning arrival into Bagan, chances are you'll be dropped off just around the corner from the Inn Wa on Anawrahta Road, meaning this is the closest spot to hit the sack, and this convenience is reflected in their rates. This isn't a bad place to stay -- the rooms are well sized for the standard, with air-con throughout and the bathrooms (cold water only) are... Read our full review of Inn Wa Guesthouse.
This is, to our knowledge, the cheapest place to stay in Nyaung U. Unfortunately we were unable to see a room as the decidedly grumpy staffer advised they were full both times we visited. Nevertheless, at $8 for a single and $13 for a double (both with cold water, shared bathrooms), if you're travelling on a tight budget, this should be your first port of call. Staff speak very little English and... Read our full review of Pann Cherry Guesthouse.
Next off the rack after Inn Wa, but on the other side of the road, Pyinsa Rupa really doesn't look like much chop from the outside, but as long as you don't mind the slightly grotty shared-bathroom this is one of the cheapest places we found. Rooms are air-con and breakfast is included. If you're a solo traveller looking for a place just to rest your head before finding somewhere better the next... Read our full review of Pyinsa Rupa Guesthouse.
This is pretty much the last budget bet for a long way -- well until New Bagan actually -- though the guesthouse next door was being renovated when we visited in mid-2013, so it should soon be second to last. Upon our visit, Winner had two main styles of rooms: old and new. There were even newer rooms however still being built out back. The old ones, especially the bathrooms, are pretty dire and... Read our full review of Winner Guesthouse.
This is Bagan's luxury quarter, where you're permitted the privilege of paying through the nose for some of the most overpriced hotel accommodation we've seen in some time. Still, if you want to be right among the ruins, this is as close as you can get.
This is easily the best of the Old Bagan hotels and we'd go as far as to say if you can't get in here, not to bother with any of the others -- save your money and stay in Nyaung U or New Bagan. Rooms are lovely. Wooden floors and charmingly decorated without going over the top, the very well-sized rooms have chilled air-con, comfortable beds, roman blinds, excellent bathrooms and there is WiFi... Read our full review of The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate.
Tucked away by itself, the Aye Yar River View Resort encompasses a sizeable block of real estate to the north of Old Bagan's better-known properties. Rooms are in a series of two floor wings around the property and we thought the superiors were significantly better value than the deluxe offerings. Bathrooms come with separate shower and tub and the rooms were especially clean and polished.... Read our full review of Aye Yar River View Resort.
Not many hotels can claim an 11th century ruin within their grounds, but the Bagan Hotel River View goes even further and has two. As with the nearby Bagan Thande Hotel, the large grounds here are jungled, lush and run right down to the river's bank. Rooms however disappoint, with the river view ones in particular being poor value for money. They're housed in a collection of motel-like buildings... Read our full review of Bagan Hotel River View.
The Bagan Thande is the only hotel in the Old Bagan area that offers rooms for under $100 per night, and, viewed through that prism, their superior rooms are not bad value. As is all the rage in Bagan, rooms are in a duplex cabin configuration with each cabin having four rooms. It struck as a confusing layout and keep your fingers crossed for quiet neighbours. The fit out is decent, though the... Read our full review of Bagan Thande Hotel.
Outside the Old city walls and set beside a government house hidden away in a restricted area, the Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort has among the most expansive grounds of the riverside properties, but with much of it being a grass lawn running down to the river, it lacks the more jungled feel you get at some of the other Old Bagan hotels. Rooms come in aged duplex cabins in river-view and... Read our full review of Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort.
New Bagan was once Old Bagan, till the junta kicked the villagers out on their collective backsides to this dusty set of crossroads south of the major monuments that became New Bagan. Accommodation is a very mixed bag, attracting tour groups more than anything else. The accommodation generally is poor value, though at least rates are not as inflated as in Old Bagan.
Situated in the northeast corner of New Bagan, a solid 10-minute walk from, well, just about anywhere, the Kumudara is a bit of an anomaly. While we've never been to Palm Springs, upon arrival it made us immediately kind of think of there. The hotel overlooks a lawn with horizon pool and then onwards to the ruins -- you can see a number of sites from the grounds, and for some reason it really... Read our full review of Kumudara Hotel.
This newish hotel is on the main road through New Bagan, right by the Eight Faces Paya, and offers excellent flashpacker value for New Bagan. Rooms come in three flavours: standard, superior and deluxe, with the main difference being they get slightly bigger as you pay more, and the deluxe also have a bit of a view (though nothing to get too excited about). The rooms and bathrooms throughout are... Read our full review of Thiri Sandar Royal Bagan Hotel.
It doesn't look like much from the street, but this budget hotel has very clean, spartan air-con rooms with well-maintained private bathrooms along with a four-bed (two bunkbeds) dorm. The latter has an attached bathroom and security trunks for each of the four beds, making it quite an attractive deal for solo backpackers who (for whatever reason) have ended up staying in New Bagan. The rooms are... Read our full review of Mya Thida Hotel.
If you're travelling on a budget, New Bagan in general really is not a good option, but if the Mya Thinda (and everything else) is full, Bagan Beauty Hotel, on the main road and next door to Kyi Kyi Mya Guesthouse (who quoted us $35 for a single, which is, quite frankly, totally delusional) has habitable basic rooms with private bathroom at a more reasonable (though still inflated) priceline. The... Read our full review of Bagan Beauty Hotel.
This rather unusual hotel is set on the main road through New Bagan and has gone for a peculiar, almost Flintstones finish with frosted grass windows rounding out the look to the exterior of their rooms. Inside they're more typical -- a little dark but clean with reasonable bathrooms, quite firms beds, TV, WiFi, air-con and minibar. The rooms are set in a series of longhouses almost motel-style... Read our full review of Bagan Central Hotel.