It’s known as the world’s largest book. But it doesn’t look much like any book you’ve seen before.
With a long, rich, varied, and sometimes turbulent history and a strong Buddhist culture, Myanmar (Burma) makes for a fascinating place to visit.
Myazedi Stupa, which translates as “emerald stupa,” has an ancient stone tablet that includes the earliest known example of written Burmese language.
Dating to around the end of the 11th century, Nagayon Temple lies just south of Myinkaba Village. Its dark interior hides some impressive frescoes and interesting design features.
With several oversized statues of The Buddha crammed into spaces barely big enough to hold them, Manuha Temple is one of the easiest temples in Bagan to visit. It’s also one of the oddest.
Apeyadana Temple is dedicated to an 11th-century chief queen consort of King Kyansittha of the Pagan Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) and maternal grandmother of King Sithu I of Pagan.
Mani Sithu Market is Nyaung-U’s main market in the middle of town and offers food and daily supplies for sale to the local community.
Thatbyinnyu Temple is the tallest of Bagan’s temples and occupies a prominent place near Old Bagan and the famous Ananda Temple.
This small but ornate pagoda lies deep in Taungbi Village, just to the northeast of Old Bagan and not far from the much better known Htilominlo Temple.
Its gleaming gold stupa certainly stands out against the surrounding countryside. Completed in 1198, it features an unusual 5-sided design.
Dating back to the early 13th century and featuring impressive frescoes, Lemyethna Pagoda is located in the eastern part of the Bagan Archaeological Zone.
Tayok Pye Temple is in the eastern part of the Bagan Plain and features ornate stucco decoration and impressive frescoes.
The impressive gold stupa at the heart of the complex is reputed to encase a bone and tooth of The Buddha.
There’s not quite so much of the gold left that once covered the wood, but it’s ornately carved teak is arguably even more impressive.
Ananda Temple is one of the most famous, most visited, and most renovated temples in Bagan, and it has been an active place of worship for nearly a millennia.
Sitting on top of Mandalay Hill, Sutaungpyei Pagoda features a large patio that offers a wonderful views over Mandalay City and the Ayeyarwaddy.
Dating to 1334, Thisa-wadi Temple isn’t the grandest of the thousands of temples, stupas, and pagodas in Bagan, but it is one of a handful where it’s possible (and allowed) to climb on the upper terraces for wonderful views out over the plain of Bagan.
Htilominlo Temple is a large, two-story, 12th-century temple in the northern part of the Bagan plain best known for its ornate stucco decoration.
It’s one of the oldest–and from all appearances, richest–of the many pagodas in Sagaing. Sitting high on top of Nga-pha Hill, it was built in 1312.
Tucked away in a narrow dirt side street of Myinkaba Village is the morning market, a little slice of local life.
Dating back to the 12th century, Dhammayangyi Temple is the largest temple in Bagan. Just mind the bats!
U Bein Bridge has become one of Myanmar’s iconic landmarks. Spanning 3/4 of a mile, the foot bridge is reputed to be the longest teak bridge in the world.
If you’re flying to Bagan, this is the airport you’ll fly into. As small as it is, it’s the airport that serves as the gateway to the Bagan region.
Oo Hmin Thone Sel Pagoda is an explosion of color, with almost 50 statues of the Buddha looking out from a cave-like crescent from a hilltop in Sagaing.
Covered from head to toe with thick white dust, crouching low on their launches, the young men and boys use angle grinders to carve statues of the Buddha out of solid blocks of white marble.
This guide was produced by the Burmese Ministry of Union Culture in 1963 and contains fascinating historical photographs as well as useful, unique information on the pagodas and temples of Bagan.