Burma Myanmar Banner 2019 (5).jpg 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 of 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 groves 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
I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Bill Bryson

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
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
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
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
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
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
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
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

From our Instagram

The exhilarating city of #Tokyo has a world-renowned culinary scene & rightfully so! 🇯🇵
.
Be tempted to join ‘salarymen’ for an evening drink and #yakitori in restaurants and bar likes this 🏮🏮
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Spot mighty lions in #SouthAfrica’s game reserves with the help of our expert guides 🐾 🇿🇦
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience #KrugerNationalPark #SabiSands #Madikwe
.
(📸 @chris_fischer_photography)
Monks in #Myanmar (#Burma) 🇲🇲
.
Buddhism runs strong through the country’s veins - not only are 90% of the Burmese Buddhist, but many children are monks in training and call ancient monasteries home 🧘🏽‍♂️
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Perched up high in the Himalayan Kingdom, the new #SixSenses lodges sit in prime positions in #Bhutan
.
Our favourites are the sleek properties in #Paro and #Thimphu, for these offer phenomenal sweeping views over the pristine valleys below to the mountains beyond, which sit perfectly at eye-level
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
The buzzing metropolis of #Shanghai promises an unforgettable stay 🇨🇳
.
Visit this city as part of a tailor-made tour of #China with us to discover its heady mixture of impressive skyscrapers, colonial history and incredible gastronomy 🏙🥟🍜
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Peek into the Himalayan Kingdom of #Bhutan & discover its extraordinary natural beauty with us 🇧🇹
.
Vibrant hues compliment earthy tones at every corner, especially within the hotly-anticipated #SixSensesBhutan lodges 🍂✨
.
📸 captured by @jamesjayasundera along his @sixsensesbhutan journey
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
A luxury holiday to #Goa feeds the soul and the senses 🇮🇳🌅
.
Discover a kaleidoscope of baroque architecture, whitewashed churches, crumbling forts, tropical beaches, intoxicating spices and the warmth of #SouthIndia ⛪️☀️🌶
.
#AmpersandTravel 
#LuxuryIsInTheExperience
#Milaidhoo is magic at all hours - be it in broad daylight, at sunset or under a starry sky - as our General Manager @emilyjanegillman witnessed last week!🏝
.
The ultimate beach destination, the #Maldives can easily top or tail a tailor-made Ampersand tour & makes for a perfect honeymoon 🇲🇻
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
From mid May to mid October, The Ultimate Travelling Camp’s wonderful #ChambaCamp in #Thiksey (#Ladakh) will be open! 🏞
.
Our specialists stayed at this one-of-a-kind luxury tented camp last year and adored it - we guarantee that you will too 🏕
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

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