The Secret Ancient City of Bagan, Myanmar

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Every time I meet someone well traveled I ask them two things.

  1. Where is your favourite place to travel?
  2. Where do you think is the most underrated travel destination?

I usually get a variety of answers, as you can imagine, but lately I’ve been hearing a lot about Bagan, Myanmar.

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To be honest, I hadn’t heard much about Bagan at all before I started doing some research on it. Turns out, the city is kind of incredible & I thought you’d all deserve a little insight into it.

Bagan, formerly Pagan, is an ancient city in the Mandalay Division of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. The ruins of Bagan cover an area of 16 square miles. The majority of its buildings were built in the 11th to 13th century, during the time Bagan was the capital of the First Burmese Empire.

It was one of the greatest and most popular cities in Southeast Asia but was left abandoned towards the end of the 13th century. It’s still not clear exactly what happened, but many people believe it was because the Mongols invaded the city.

The valley of Bagan consists thousands of ancient temples and pagodes, all UNESCO protected. It’s ancient city skyline is like nothing else in the world.

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Although exploring the temples itself would be an essential part of the trip, many people choose to also see the ancient city by hot air balloon during sunrise. It looks surreal. No doubt I’ll be adding it to my bucket list.

Bagan’s hot-air balloon season runs from early October to the end of March. Balloons over Bagan’s 45-minute classic balloon flight starts from $400 a person. For bookings and more information see balloonsoverbagan.com.

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Have you ever traveled to Bagan before, or heard of it?