Bagan is Myanmar’s ultimate temple town. Bureaucratically known as the “Bagan Archaeological Zone,” this impressive 26-square UNESCO protected wonderland was once home to more than 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries—the result of a 230-year building frenzy from the early 11th century to the late 13th century. Today, the panorama of Bagan is one of verdant plains freckled by a whopping 2,200 remaining structures, the final brick-and-stucco remnants of a once grand city.

Yet the temples of Bagan hold much more significance than their staggering show of numbers. Archaeologists the world over have also been quick to emphasize the enormous role they have all played in the evolving Burmese temple designs found around the country. From the Buddha frescoes of the Shwezigon Pagoda and the Ananda Pagoda’s best-preserved display of Mon architecture, to the towering Thatbyinnyu temple and the largest of them all, Dhammayangyi—the temples of Bagan are marvels of Myanmar’s most significant architectural hey days. All are built in either stupa (pagoda) schemes, with their relic chambers and rectangular box foundations, or gu-style (hollow), empty for their use in meditation and devotional worship, both styles of which have continued to inform the structures following them.

Visiting Bagan with Ker & Downey offers an altogether enlightening experience. Private sunrise meditations at one of the temples, interactions with locals at the bustling Nyaung U Market and lacquer-ware workshops of Myinkaba, traditional horse-and-cart rides around the temples, and sunset boat rides along the Irrawaddy River are just a few of the many highlights that Ker & Downey is known to deliver. Perhaps the most unforgettable of them all, however, is a special sunrise hot air balloon ride over Bagan, lifting travelers into the skies to witness the grandeur of the Bagan landscape from the best viewing platform imaginable.

Contact a Ker & Downey luxury travel consultant today to begin planning your journey to Bagan and Myanmar today.