Choosing the right hotel in Bagan depends on your budget and preferences. Bagan offers a number of hotels in different locations. Bagan's accommodation is split across three main areas: Nyaung-U and Wetkyi-Inn to the northeast, Old Bagan to the northwest and New Bagan to the southwest. Broadly speaking, Nyaung-U has the bulk of the budget accommodation, New Bagan has the midrange places for groups and Old Bagan caters to the more upmarket travelers.
Independent travelers will probably stay around Nyaung U, which offers the most restaurants and more of the bustling local life and markets. Nyaung-U is most likely where your night bus will drop you, is closest to the airport but is also furthest from the monuments. Old Bagan is the closest to the monuments but this isn't as useful as it may sound as the rest of the monuments are still miles away. The main disadvantage is the expensive cost of hotels, and in many cases woefully overpriced.
Accommodation in Bagan
It's now possible to book many places online. Check Agoda for the best choice in listings and an excellent accommodation map to give you an idea of the area before arriving. Book in advance if you're heading there in the high season. Consider calling a guesthouse to see if you can secure a better rate than online.
Image sources: Internet