BURMA - Mandalay Logo Burma (1)
Back to Listing

Bagan

In the heart of central Burma (Myanmar), Bagan is one of the richest and most extraordinary archaeological sites in the world. Once known as the city of four million pagodas, today thousands of monuments are scattered over a verdant 26-square mile plain which stretches along the Irrawaddy riverbanks.

During the city’s “Golden Era” between 1044 and 1287, Bagan (or Pagan as it used to be called) was the cradle of Burmese civilisation, and was the political, economic and cultural capital of the Pagan Empire. Over this period, thirteen kings worked to build up a civilisation bursting with temples, pagodas and palaces, as well as introducing Theravada Buddhism to central Burma in 1055, when Bagan became a centre of Buddhist spirituality and learning. However, not all the temples were built by kings, many were built by wealthy families to gain merit with Buddha. The Pagan Empire collapsed abruptly in 1287 when the Mongols swarmed down into Burma, led by Genghis Khan’s grandson, the enigmatic Kublai Khan, and sacked the city. Over the centuries that followed, the ancient city was left to the elements, shrouded in superstition and believed to be haunted by spirits. Neglected, eroded and several destructive earthquakes means that what remains today is just a glimpse of Bagan at the height if its power and importance, although some have been restored by UNESCO. Marco Polo called the ancient cityscape “one of the finest sites in the world,” and it is without a doubt a remarkable footprint of a once glorious period in Burma’s history and cultural heritage.

There are many ways to explore the seemingly countless stupas, some of which are golden and glint in the sunshine, some barley peeking out from beneath the stands of palm and tamarind. Take to the skies at sunrise and float over the other-worldly silhouettes in a hot-air balloon, drift down the languid Irrawaddy River at sunset, or just meander in between the temples by horse and cart. There are a few which can be spotted easily due to their distinguished shape and protrusion from the landscape; Shwesandaw, Thatbyinnyu, Ananda and Shwezigon to name a few. No two monuments are the same, all are highly original in design and conception, and many contain frescoes, carvings and statues of Buddha, big and small.

Bagan is hot most of the year, however the best time to visit is between October and March, and during the full moon is a popular time for local festivities. Tipping is not widespread in Burma, but small denominations of local currency are appreciated for donations in larger temples. One should dress conservatively, and shoes and socks must be removed before entering the temples. Finally, one should not shake hands with, or touch monks and nuns; a small bow or nod is the most appropriate greeting.

BURMA - Ballons over Bagan BURMA - Ballons over Bagan
BURMA Bagan Burmese Local BURMA Bagan Burmese Local
bagan-temples-luxury-holidays-in-burma-with-ampersand-travel2 bagan-temples-luxury-holidays-in-burma-with-ampersand-travel2
BURMA Balloons Over Bagan 1 BURMA Balloons Over Bagan 1
BURMA - Bagan temple BURMA - Bagan temple
Horse Riding Bagan Burma Horse Riding Bagan Burma
BURMA Bagan Temple 3 BURMA Bagan Temple 3
BURMA Bagan Temple 4 BURMA Bagan Temple 4
BURMA - Marionette Show Bagan BURMA - Marionette Show Bagan

Key

21.366667,95.46666700000003,3
I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.
George Bernard Shaw

Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India

From our Instagram

Glide through the iridescent #InleLake for a chance to see the traditional Intha (‘sons of the lake’) fishermen 🎣
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Travel down the #IrrawaddyRiver to #Mingun 🇲🇲
.
Admire the pristine pagoda modelled after the mythical Buddhist Mt Meru & keep an eye out for the local saffron-robed monks
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
🎌 Hot off the press - #AmanKyoto is set to open at the end of this year (November 2019) & we can’t wait! 🎌
.
Located in a secret garden behind the Golden Temple #Kinkakuji, this new property will offer a secluded retreat in the ancient Imperial city complete with beautifully-designed interiors by the celebrated #KerryHillArchitects
Treat yourself to a stay in #Amangalla - the stately grand dame of #GalleFort while in Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
.
Not only will you step into a bygone era here, but you’ll also have all the surrounding sights right on your doorstep 🏰
✨Ampersand’s ‘Top 10 Swimming Pools’ hotlist - 2019 ✨
.
Check our TOP TEN'S #Highlights to be tempted to dive into the hottest hotels’ new pools, as well as some of our firm old favourites across Asia... 🏊🏻‍♂️💧
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
We’re dreaming of #Amanoi’s deep blues today 🌊
.
Sleek design, incredible views & spoiling amenities make it the ideal island getaway 🏝
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
@jamesjayasundera is currently in the Himalayan Kingdom of #Bhutan surrounded by striking views like this 🏔🏔🏔
.
Follow his journey to catch exclusive glimpses into the brand new, thoughtfully-designed @sixsensesbhutan & more... 🇧🇹
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
☀️ Hazy sunlight bathing the #TempleOfTheTooth in #Kandy 🇱🇰
.
Beautifully captured by @pradeep_gamage 📸
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Travel to #Burma (#Myanmar) with us to be welcomed by  friendly locals like the ‘longneck’ Kayan (also known as Padaung) 🇲🇲
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences