Photo: Quite a few temples to see.

A three- or four-day itinerary

Our rating:

Being home to some 2,000 to 3,000 separate temple sites, Bagan is the largest concentration of Buddhist religious monuments on the planet. If you have an aversion to Buddha statues and pagodas stop now. Otherwise, what to do and how best to do it?





We see no point visiting on a day visit, though some do. Conversely it would take weeks, and be a pointless exercise, to attempt to see every temple. Bagan is a bit out of the way to visit, and you’ll be paying for a compulsory 25,000 kyat entrance pass, which is valid officially for three days. We’d suggest a minimum of three days for Bagan but ideally four. This should allow you to see the big temples and some lesser known ones, but at a relativity relaxed pace, to reduce your chance of coming down with temple fatigue. An extra day would allow a side trip to Mount Popa. Do remember that sometimes it’s the smaller sites that make for the most rewarding visits anyway: a stop at that forgotten, unrestored chedi, the unassuming brick stupa offering stupendous views, or the average looking temple hiding spectacular interior murals, could be your favourite stop.

Enough for everyone to find their own favourite. Photo taken in or around A three- or four-day itinerary, Bagan, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

Enough for everyone to find their own favourite. Photo: Mark Ord

For conservation reasons, travellers are only permitted to climb up a few stupas. As of mid 2016, a total of five: Shwe San Daw Pagoda, North and South Guni or Taung Guni and Myauk Guni, Pyathet-gyi and Thitsar Wadi Paya.

Here’s how we’d suggest spending your three or four days.

A boat trip lets you see the temples from a fresh perspective. Photo taken in or around A three- or four-day itinerary, Bagan, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

A boat trip lets you see the temples from a fresh perspective. Photo: Mark Ord

Day 1 Check-in, get your bearings, see if your reception has a map handy -- you’ll need one -- grab some lunch and take an afternoon stroll around the surrounding area. If you’re staying in New Bagan, a few temples on the edge of town - north and south - can be visited, and you could check out Lawkananda as an introduction. If you’re in Nyuang U, then fabulous Shwezigon is a convenient start. A relaxing sunset boat trip could be a good way to spend a first day, as you’ll see some good views of riverside ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Location map for A three- or four-day itinerary

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Popular attractions in Bagan

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Bagan.



Best places to stay in Bagan

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Bagan.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Bagan.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Bagan.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Bagan.
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Bagan? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Burma_myanmar.


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