There are daily flights between Yangon and Bagan which take an hour and ten minutes. There are also regular flights from Mandalay and Heho to Bagan which take only 20 minutes. Regular express coach services take about 14 hours from Yangon and 6 hours from Mandalay. Bagan Express train runs across the countryside, which takes about 19 hours from Yangon. River cruise on the majestic Ayeyarwaddy River to Nyaung Oo and which takes about 8 hours from Mandalay.
Bagan is a highlight of any trip to Myanmar and a minimum stay of one night is essential in any itinerary. Clients wishing to include a trip to Mount Popa should plan on 2 nights in Bagan, a third night would allow time to go across the river or to visit Salay.
The Ananda Temple, completed in 1090, is King Kyansittha’s masterpiece and the crowning achievement of the early style of temple architecture. The plan is that of a perfect Greek cross. There are four huge Buddha images in standing position and a series of 80 relief’s depicting the final life of the Buddha from His birth to His enlightenment is notable. The Ananda Pagoda festival helds in January is a big event drawing pilgrims even from far away places.
This 12th century temple built by King Narapatisithu is about 60 metres high. From the upper terrace of the temple one can leisurely watch the sunset over the scenic beauty of the Ayeyarwaddy River with the backdrop of Tantkyitaung Hill and the panoramic view of ancient Bagan. The fading light gradually veils the ruined city of Bagan – a “Bagan Sunset”, and one will never forget the trip in Myanmar.
It is a 13th century temple with a spire resembling the Mahabodhi temple at Budh Gaya. It is known for its wall paintings depicting scenes from the Jataka.
The Bupaya Pagoda is a conspicuous landmark for travellers along the river. This pagoda with a bulbous dome resembling the “Bu” or gourd fruit is a favorite spot for visitors to watch the sunset.
This museum run by Archaeology Department is situated near the Ananda Temple. It has a collection of more than 2000 items including Buddha statues, stucco pieces, terra-cotta cups and pots.
Visitors to the ancient capital Bagan often make a 20 miles (15 kilometers) trip south to see Salay (pronounced Sa-lay), an ancient town rich in Myanmar culture. Salay is also on the great Ayeyawady River, like Bagan, another pleasurable way to get there is to go by one of the small motor boats available for hire and which usually leave Bagan from the Bu-Hpaya jetty.
It is worth visiting for it’s exceptional 18th century wood carving works at “Yoke Son” monastery. Near by one can observe antique 13th century lacquer-ware Buddha Image.