Bagan, Myanmar, is famous for its many, many old temples and pagodas. There used to be 10,000 temples, but because of earthquakes and no maintenance, there are only 2000 left. Although many have vanished, there are still a lot of temples to visit in Bagan and it really is an impressive view.
When it’s the balloon season (half October to half April) there will be hot air balloons rising up during sunrise, making it a magical moment. The beautiful early morning light and the old temples and ruins are already a special sight, but the balloons floating around makes it even more impressive. To get a good view it is awesome to get to a higher point and climbing up a temple is the best way to experience Bagan. In this blog, we’ll tell you which Bagan temples are still allowed to climb.
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Climbing of the Bagan Temples
Nowadays, the most popular and big Bagan temples aren’t allowed to climb up anymore. Almost all temples are closed, except for the ones we’ll tell you about below. These are all confirmed to be open at the time of writing (January 2019). Do note however that this might change in the future as they are closing more and more temples! We will keep this blog up to date with the latest information about the temples in Bagan. Before you’re visiting, always read up to date information and if you really can’t find a temple, there are enough locals around Bagan that will help you find a temple that is open to climb. Let us know in the comments if you know of other temples that are open to climb!
The Best Bagan Tip Ever
Use maps.me in Bagan. It’s the best Bagan map you’ll ever find and you seriously need this! It works offline and people add information about the temples on the map. This way, you can easily see which ones are still open to climb and which aren’t. It seriously saved us during our trip to Bagan, because those 2,000 temples can easily get overwhelming!
Bagan Temples Still Allowed to Climb
The following temples are still allowed to climb as of January 2019.
Temple ‘Sunrise Temple’
Coordinates: 21.156784, 94.867959
This temple has a great view during sunrise. There are a few trees in front of it so if you want a shot without yourself in it you better climb up a bit higher. The higher part of the pagoda was pretty crowded, but if you stay lower and you are happy with some trees in your shot it is easy to get.
Temple Behind the Alowtawpyi Temple
Coordinates: 21.176803, 94.881453
A pretty busy spot, but the view on the temples and balloons was the best one we have experienced! If you look away from the sunrise itself to the right, you will have an amazing view over the temples and the balloons in the morning.
Temple ‘Rooftop 360’
Coordinates: 21.145187, 94.8817
This one is perfect for both sunrise and sunset! We had our first sunset in Bagan over here and it didn’t disappoint. At the time of visiting there were only 10-15 other people. They were all gathered as high as possible on the pagoda, leaving enough room for shots like this a little lower.
Temple ‘Secret Sunrise Spot’
Coordinates: 21.178849, 94.872101
We named this one ourselves, as it didn’t have a name and wasn’t even on maps.me We found this one through a local and were so happy we let him took us there! It was super quiet and the view on the balloons was just amazing. So consider this one a very well hidden treasure! It is only open to climb in the morning.
Lay Myet Hna Pagoda
Coordinates: 21.148269, 94.860477
This one is perfect for sunset! The sun sets behind a bigger temple, which gives a beautiful view. There were some crowds but there is enough room for everyone.
Utrecht Temple Cluster
Coordinates: 21.14946, 94.87052
This is actually a whole cluster full of small pagodas. You can climb some of these pagodas from the outside which gives a unique view, especially during sunset. Note that some of the bigger pagodas are pretty hard to climb and there have been accidents over here. So be careful!
Temple ‘Accessible Roof’
Coordinates: 21.159125, 94.860988
As the name already reveals, it has an accessible roof. The roof is wide and you have a view all around. It is a nice place to watch the sunset and sunrise as well. We visited during sunset and there were only about 10 others.
Temple ‘Best View Point of Bagan’
Coordinates: 21.158819, 94.876733
We stumbled upon this one by accident and it actually was one of the best rooftop views we found! However, it’s a bit unclear if you are allowed or not to climb it. When we found it, we could go upstairs but when we wanted to come back for sunrise, the gate was covered with prickly branches…
Then there are a few other temples which we know you can climb as well, but we haven’t been there ourselves:
- Temple ‘Sunset and Sunrise Pagoda, 360 view’ 21.16147, 94.867761
- Temple ‘360 rooftop views’ -> 21.148057,94.871913
- Temple ‘Open for sunrise and sunset’ -> 21.176708, 94.873114
- Temple ‘Bagan’s best view point’ -> 21.144613, 94.853966
Other Bagan Temples That Are Still Worth Visiting
These temples are not allowed to climb, however, they are still amazing to visit!
Coordinates: 21.154541, 94.880673
Our ultimate favorite! Unfortunately, they closed the stairs so you can’t go up anymore, but the temple is still super beautiful to take pictures with in front of it 🙂
Dhamma Yan Gyi Temple
Coordinates: 21.162058, 94.872911
A super impressive temple that you can see from all around Bagan. It’s the largest and widest one of Bagan and was also supposed to be the highest, but unfortunately, it has never been finished. You’ll notice that it doesn’t look complete and doesn’t have all the details, like the little towers on the corners that many others have.
Coordinates: 21.170837, 94.867699
One of the first ones built in Bagan, and still very well maintained. This one looks totally different than the rest of the temples in Bagan so it’s a sight to see!
Let Put Kan
Coordinates: 21.16873, 94.896265?
If you want to experience a pagoda with no other people around, then go to this one! It has a wall all around, and looking through the gate it gives an awesome view of the temple. You can’t find it on maps.me, but you can find it on Google maps. Just type in the name and follow your way to the point. You will have to drive over some small sand paths but you will find it! The coordinates are based on Google Maps’ location and a (good) guess in maps.me
Coordinates: 21.164921, 94.881331
This is another popular temple within walls. It is pretty big and around the temple is a huge field with small trees, which creates a good photo opportunity.
Mee Nyein Gone Phaya
Coordinates: 21.166648, 94.858813
For some reason, we fell in love with this one. It’s a super old pagoda that looks like it’s almost falling apart (like most in Bagan haha), but that’s what we loved about it! The grassy fields surrounding the temple make for a great place to take photos.
Coordinates: 21.195398, 94.893927
The one that started it all. This pagoda was already built in 1059 and is considered the first gold-plated pagoda in Myanmar! Pretty impressive right?! It actually made us think of the famous pagoda in Yanong, only smaller. The pagoda is well maintained and very popular to visit.
Where to Stay
There are 3 main villages to stay in Bagan: Old Bagan, New Bagan, and Nyaung-U. Old Bagan is right in the center of the old temples, New Bagan is also at a very good location close to some good climbing temples and Nyaung-U is a bit further away but still great to stay. Whichever village you choose, you will be in a good location!
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We really hope this blog is gonna help you find the best Bagan temples and that you can still find one to climb on because we know what a struggle it can be! Please remember: temples can close and open any day, sometimes even right before your nose. So it’s never a guarantee that all of these temples are open when you’re visiting but we try to keep you updated as good as possible! Let us know in the comments when you know about more temples in Bagan!
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