The Best Way To Tour Old Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan is quite famous place in Myanmar. Many tourists come to Bagan to enjoy the old and ancient side of the country. Bagan is the soul of Myanmar which is really rich and very important.

i love bagan

It can be explored in a day by renting a bicycle and some other renting electronic bike or private car. When you decide what to rent here, you can start it by planning where you will go for tomorrow. For us, we rent a bicycle for a day and the normal rate is 3000 kyat for 8hrs but we tried to convince the owner if it is okay that we will rent the bicycle for 24 hours and he just agreed to it. We just gave extra money on his condition.

old bagan bike

We just tour all over the new Bagan where our hotel is located and just asked information about the directions going to Old Bagan where there are lots of temples and they said "you cannot count it in a day". Set for tomorrows adventure, sadly we did not saw the sunrise because it is too early and our place is a little far to the area where you can see the hot air balloons.

missing hot air balloon myanmar

You can see the hot air balloons during sunrise only but it is not possible for us because we don't know yet the way and the road is not smooth all the way. You should be careful on the cars. The one day tour was awesome and i cannot asked for more. We planned to go on sunset since it is really hard for us to get to the Old Bagan on the sunrise.

old bagan hot air balloon

It is a little far from our place and it will take us 25-30 minutes bike ride. We set to go at 8 o’clock in the morning and we started to ride our bicycles according to the way where can lead us to the Old Bagan and visit many temples throughout the day. 

First stop is a hidden pagoda in the area, there is a Reclining Buddha in the area, it is plain and nothing much to see. Local Burmese kids told us the story of the pagoda, but we cannot understand it much. The words we understood were, “look at the pagoda on this side it will change her facial expression” and yes it’s true. The pagoda were happy, and smiling, but when you look straight in front of her she just don’t have emotions. You get amazed on that and their secret stories behind.

Reclining Buddha Bagan Sad Face

Reclining Buddha Bagan Smiling Face

We just stayed for a while and get back on track. We asked some locals there which is the correct way going to the Ananda Temple so we just follow it and go. To the places we have been we saw there is another famous temple that we also stopped by. Many foreign people come to the area so we planned to stop and see what we can. It is so amazing because it has an overview surrounding a lot of temples on the top. You will feel relaxed by looking those tiny temples.

temple overview myanmarmyanmar overview temples

sitting at the edge overview temple myanmar

myanmar travel buddy glenz tarriman

After this, we are still curious where is the Ananda Temple located. It is very far and the information we got is not that so clear. We tried to follow our instincts and go on. It is nearly lunch time, and finally we reached the Ananda Temple. Well, it is really famous one but nothing is very special. I think the architecture is the one that made it famous and also they said it is the biggest temple in Old Bagan.

Ananda Temple Structure

Ananda Temple Buddha

There are four exits and you should familiarized the place, we lost though. Funny! The pagodas are on the four exits with the same faces and size. We got crazy from the exit, and we continue the tour. We are very thrilled to do the temple hopping on one of the place where a lot of temples built. We climbed one of them, the ladder were so stiff you should be careful going upstairs. I climbed up high, taking photos of the breathtaking view upstairs. The sun kissed us when looking far from another temple. I am fascinated and just happy that I am able to experienced this.

ananda temple ladder

I stopped and feel the moment, nothing to think, to worry, I am just there at the top almost reaching the skies silently feeling overwhelmed at the moment that this is real and happening in my life. Well too much emotions.. hahaha!!! I just really felt that moment I am worth it, I am who I am, and I am at my present. Nothing to worry about anything else. 

ananda temple overview

Well, it is almost lunch time and our tummy is already demanding for a good food after a long sunny ride. My friend is a vegetarian and I considered myself also a vegetarian too for the whole travel period. Well, perks of having a veggy friend. We look for a restaurant that she searched in the internet.

The Moon Vegetarian Restaurant Bagan Myanmar

vegetarian restaurant old bagan

Vegetarian Restaurant at Old Bagan Myanmar

It is one of the best vegetarian restaurant in the place. After how many people able to help for the directions, whoah it is all worth it. 

After our lunch, we are set to go and ready for a few more temples. Before we arrived at the place where we will stop, relax and wait for the sunset. Going around we look for the nearest temple we can visit to check, it is too early yet and the sun is still up and very hot at the moment. But it did not bother us at all.

Bike Ride to Old Bagan Temples

surrounded by ancient temples old baganGlenz Tarriman at Old Bagan Myanmar


Smiling Under the Heat of the Sun Old Bagan Temples

Taking few more photos at the places and temples we reached.

But one thing is still on our minds at that time, we do not know yet the way going to out last stop, the Shwesandaw Temple so we asked another couple of people which way it is then finally we get it.

Shwesandaw Temple Old Bagan

We also followed some foreigners going to the temple and we are there. I described the temple as one of the most beautiful one, it is really huge and ancient. The stairs are quite challenging, it is very high, stiff stairs and my concern are for the older people going up. But then, nothing can stop them to go up because it is all worth it. 

When we reached the top, not so many people are in the top yet, still too early so we just had to feel the moment took some amazing photos. After we finished and fed up, we take our rest and just wait for the most amazing part, the sunset. People come and go on the top part, it will consumed a lot of time to see the beauty so we just sat and relax. I took photos of how many of us waiting and wanting to see it.

Waiting for Sunset at Shwesandaw Temple

The total hours we spent there is almost three hours at the top and stayed in one spot so that no one will intercept our place. We had a good spot to wait there and witness everything. 

Shwesandaw Temple Old Bagan Sunset

i love watching sunset old bagan

Time is up, we need to go back to our hotel, we got scared maybe the road will be difficult to see. Asking people again the way to the New Bagan. we got lost once again but then followed the directions given by a local Burmese. The hardest part of going back is that buses and cars are oncoming. Our bicycles don’t have headlights and dust are all over us. I felt very dirty already because it was a long way. Very difficult for us, that is the struggle after we satisfied ourselves from a while ago. That's it, we should face it, we don't have any choice at all to pray hard to be safe.

old bagan night bike ride

Do you know that when we survived that thrilled adventure we went up to is big breath beneath our lungs. The difficulties, the enjoyment and the priceless feelings we had that time is incomparable. I felt I will literally looking for this kind of adventures when I travel again. For me this is the essence of traveling third world country. Challenge yourself every time you feel you cannot do it, you feel scared and doubtful. Just trust yourself, enjoy the moment and after the wonderful day we had on our tour, we just gave ourselves a very special treat a delicious food from the nearest vegetarian restaurant in our hotel, and God really guide us throughout the tour.

Vegetarian Friend Rice

Vegan food at New Bagan Myanmar

Heavy rain just fell down when when we got to the restaurant and we just reminisce the moment we did on our day tour. We are just so blessed. And ready for our night bus ride going to Yangon. All in all, i cannot contain the feelings, we just survived the very wonderful adventure and God really gave us one of the list in our lives. 


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