Top 5 Must-see Places for A Day Trip in Bagan

December 20, 2023 - 697 views

Bagan, Myanmar is an ancient city that attracts a lot of tourists to discover its unique charm every year. If you have not had any ideas for the interesting and famous places here, then let us suggest you the list of top 5 places to visit within a day in Bagan.

Bagan, Myanmar is an ancient city that attracts a lot of tourists to discover its unique charm every year. If you have not had any ideas for the interesting and famous places here, then let us suggest you the list of top 5 places to visit within a day in Bagan. With this list, you will have a chance to explore the masterpieces and local life such as Nyaung U Market, Ananda Temple, Shwezigon Pagoda, Shwesandaw Pagoda and Gubyaukgyi Temple. Don’t miss out the chance to experience these places when you travel to Myanmar.

To reach Bagan, you will have different means of transportation like flights, overnight trains or hiring a taxi, private car. The most popular way to get to Bagan is by taking a bus. It will save your time a lot and also the money. It would be great if you visit Bagan from November to February since the weather is pretty dry and temperature is not a big difference between day and night. After this period, from March to May, temperature would rise up high due to the sunny season. Rain would fall heavily around August – October.  

1. Nyaung U Market

Start the trip with a visit to the colorful Nyaung U Market. Nyaung U Market (or Nyaung Oo) is a local market in Nyaung U Village in north-east of Bagan. With the development of tourism in Myanmar, this once tranquil riverside village has now emerged and shone, and has become one of the busiest areas.

Nyaung U Market must visit in Bagan

Nyaung U Market

Even just a local market, tourists can find many interesting things about the local life to explore. The market is divided into different areas for selling different types of goods and the tourists can find everything fresh here especially at the seafood market. Some types of goods that tourists can find here in this market are Longyi (traditional Burmese sarong), modern clothes, variety of veggies and fruits, fresh seafood, fish, meat from products made from rattan to tea leaves – one of the famous specialties of Myanmar. Besides, you can find many excellent local ceramics handmade by the local here and may bay you can buy them for your friends, family as a souvenir.

It is such a great idea to begin a day trip in Bagan from the early morning at Nyaung U Market. It is the most favorable time for taking photos of local trading activities and local people at the market. Nyaung U is not far from the main road. Therefore, tourists can easily have access to horse-drawn carriage or taxi from the airport.

2. Shwezigon Pagoda

After the Nyaung U local market, a day in Bagan isn’t complete without a visit to Buddhist temples. We can continue to the famous Shwezigon Pagoda which is the most important reliquary shrine and houses 37 Nats in Bagan. The Shwezigon Pagoda, also called Shwezigon Paya, is a Buddhist temple located in Nyaung-U town near Bagan.

Shwezigon Pagoda

Shwezigon Pagoda

This pagoda represents the original structure for typical Burmese stupas. It is one of the most famous Buddhist sites in Bagan which shows the close-knit connection between Theravada Buddhism and traditional Burmese religion. The pagoda is in the center of a large platform which surrounded by several shrines and pagodas. The structure of Shwezigon Pagoda is a gold gilded stupa in cylindrical shape. All four sides of the pagoda have a central stairway guarded by Makaras (sea creatures from Hindu mythology) leading to the top of the terraces. Within the compound of the Shwezigon Pagoda is a stone pillar containing Mon language inscriptions dedicated by King Kyansittha. At night, Shwezigon Pagoda is wonderfully illuminated by the moonlight that makes this place look mystious.

3. Gubyaukgyi Temple

Continue the Bagan day trip to another famous ancient temple, Gubyaukgyi Temple, before we stop for the lunch time.

Gubyaukgyi Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Myinkaba Village, south of Bagan. It was built in C.E 1113. Gubyaukgyi is a cave temple and the first syllable of the temple’s name (“gu”) translates to “cave”. This temple is remarkable for its largest and well-preserved frescoes on its interior walls collection of Burmese. It is not allowed to us the camera inside so better to bring along a flashlight to see the beauty of this temple. The interior walls and ceilings are decorated with fragments of ancient mural paintings that depict scenes from the Jataka tales, the stories that tell about the previous lives of the Buddha. All of the frescoes are accompanied by ink captions written in Old Mon, providing one of the earliest examples of the language's use in Myanmar.

Gubyaukgyi Temple

Gubyaukgyi Temple

After the morning trip, you can have a little break with some local specialties for lunch to fill up the energy for the afternoon trip. You can consider some nice local restaurants for your lunch here such as Queen Restaurant, Golden Emperor, BBQ Harmony, Golden Myanmar with the popular local dishes like tea leaf salad, BBQ chicken, fish, etc.

4. Ananda Temple

After the lunch break, we continue to our next place which is the famous Ananda Temple. This temple was built in 1105 and now it has been restored for tourism purpose. The feature that differentiates Ananda from the rest of the temples is the gold-plated tower. The top of Ananda tower can be seen outstanding and unique in the middle of Bagan.

Ananda Temple

Ananda Temple

Ananda Temple is considered as one of Bagan's most beautiful and sacred temples thanks to its very symmetrical structure with a Greek diagonal layout. The pathways create a perfect entrance. When you enter the temple, you will find the story of the Buddha is told through 554 ceramic tiles on the stairs. Inside Ananda Temple are four Buddha statues of nearly 10 meters in height. Each statue faces in a different direction: Buddha Kassapa (south), Buddha Kakusandha (north), Buddha Konagamana (east) and Buddha Gautama (west). Stone sculptures and frescoes on the walls are also very outstanding. It is considered a famous wonder of architecture and is also one of four certain temples to come in Bagan along with Shwezigon temple, Dhammayangyi temple and Shwesandaw temple. In the evening, the temple is lightened up with colorful lights to create an enchanting atmosphere.

As the particular rule in many temples in Bagan, tourists are only allowed to visit the temples with their bare foot and must leave all footwear outside. Shorts and skirts are also not recommended when visiting the temple. The best time you should plan your trip to Ananda Temple is from October to February because at this time the weather will be pretty nice with cool air and low rainfall.

5. Shwesandaw Pagoda

The last destination for this one-day trip in Bagan is the Shwesandaw Pagoda, where you can contemplate the beautiful sunset. The pagoda is right in the center of Bagan.

Shwesandaw Pagoda

Shwesandaw Pagoda

When you visit this place, you can also see local women wearing necklaces according with their age here at the nearby ancient village – it is a pretty new experience for tourists to see. Besides, hot air balloon is a uniquely must-try experience in Bagan, a natural touch for the beauty of this ancient city. Shwesandaw Pagoda is also an ideal place for tourists to enjoy the break of dawn or experience sunset moment after a long day of exploring Bagan. The charming pagoda is not only an interesting place to explore architectural magnificence but also a place to immense in the most scenic photos in compared with other temples in the area.

Hope with this list of top interesting places for 1 day trip in Bagan, you will have a memorable time exploring the historical beauty, satisfying your curiosity with the long lasting culture which can be found nowhere else in the world; and experiencing the traditional lifestyle of the local people in Bagan.

We can also make it easier for you with a scheduled trip to these places at BestPrice Travel. Book an amazing day trip trip with us to explore the authentic Bagan.

Thompson Ngo

(Image source: Internet)

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