Top Tips for your trip to Bagan

27 Jul, 2017 | Blog, Myanmar

Some of our most treasured travel memories are from Bagan, and with over 2000 ancient pagodas and the most spectacular sunrises, it’s easy to see why! Driving our e-bike around the empty roads, discovering different pagodas and being able to explore off of the beaten track was the ultimate feeling of freedom. My only regret is that we didn’t spend more time there, but that means I have a great excuse to go back and do it all over again. So take a look at our guide to Bagan, where we have put together all of our top tips and our favourite places that you must see during your time there.

Booking a hotel in Bagan

Don’t waste any time! The number of hotels in Bagan are limited, meaning availability sells out fast. So make sure you book ahead of schedule to avoid disappointment. There are three areas to stay in Bagan, Nyaung U, for the budget friendly hotels, New Bagan for the midrange, and Old Bagan for the more upmarket stays. All three locations are great and not too far away from one another, you can’t really go wrong with either place.

We stayed at the Sky View Hotel in Nyaung U, and would highly recommend it, the beds were big and comfy and the staff were incredible! We found Agoda had the best range and prices for hotels in Bagan, to see their full list of hotels in Bagan click here. To cross check prices you can check out and

Where to eat in Bagan

We were pleasantly surprised by the wide range of food and restaurants available in Bagan. You will definitely be able to find something for everyone’s taste buds. Here are some restaurants that we recommend you try!


Yes you read it right! Wetherspoons!! For anyone who doesn’t know, Wetherspoons is a huge chain restaurant in the UK. Now this wasn’t part of the chain but it was just as popular. We had to wait for a table but luckily as there was only two of us, it wasn’t too long. This restaurant has the most amazing burgers, it’s making me hungry again thinking of them now! Since travelling Asia, every now and again we crave Western food, and these burgers definitely satisfied those cravings! Check it out on Tripadvisor

A Little Bit of Bagan

Now this was our favourite place for breakfast. After the early morning sunrise, this place was awesome to stock back up on energy. I fell in love with the chocolate and banana pancakes and Nathan demolished the breakfast burrito everyday! They also do some amazing fresh juices you just have to try! Check it out on Tripadvisor.

Places to explore off the beaten path in Bagan

My favourite bit of Bagan was definitely the freedom we had on the e-bikes. It allowed us to just drive wherever we wanted to go. We literally just got on and drove. We got lost, a lot! But that’s all part of the adventure right? So our first bit of advice to get off the beaten path in Bagan is to just drive and explore. Simple!

Fantasia Garden

If you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet away from the crowds and the tourists, make sure you check out Fantasia Garden. At first glance, we weren’t even sure if it was open but it turns out that’s just because we were the only people there. It was perfectly peaceful, just the sounds of the boats going up and down the lake. We both had a coffee in our chairs, set up alongside the lake, it was the perfect place to relax.

Hiring an E-bike in Bagan

As I mentioned before, hiring an e-bike is the best way to explore Bagan. There are other ways such as taxis or bicycles but we definitely found the e-bike was the easiest and best value for money. We paid 14000 Kyat (£8/$10) for a full day’s use and it was well worth it.

We hired our e-bike from our hotel, which is by far the easiest option, as you can just drop it off outside on your way back to your room. Unfortunately, not all hotels have e-bikes to rent (though most of them do), but don’t worry they can easily be picked up in most popular places in Bagan for a similar price.

Everyone we spoke to recommended us getting e-bikes too, and perhaps I was naive, but I thought they were talking about electrical bicycles. Now, you can imagine my shock when they brought us out what was effectively an electric scooter/moped. Neither Nathan or I have ever driven one but luckily with both of us on there it didn’t go very fast. It took some getting use to, but Nathan took charge and did all the driving. I had a couple of practice goes, but let’s just say, they didn’t go too well….

We highly recommend you taking out e-bikes when you’re in Bagan, we loved every minute of it!

Remember your Bagan Archaeological Zone Card

When we entered Bagan and left the bus station, our taxi driver stopped off to pick up our tourist cards. It cost us 25,000 kyats (£14/$18) and this allows you to visit and enter all of the temples and pagodas around Bagan. You need to buy one per person and keep it on you at all times, otherwise you may be refused entry. They usually get stamped when entering the pagodas, especially at peak times like sunrise and sunset, so don’t forget it!

We really did have the most amazing time in Bagan, and I hope these tips will help you, to make the most of your time there and fall in love with Bagan, like we did!

Take Care, Rebecca.

If you’ve got any questions, want to add anything, or just want to say hi, use the comment box below.

Want more? Check out our video we made whilst we explored Bagan! –
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  1. stephanie

    Bagan looks amazing! Thanks for the tips, I hope I can visit it someday.

    • always a friday

      Hey Stephanie! Thanks for reading, glad you like the tips! It’s one of our favourite places in the world.

  2. Milos

    Thanks for sharing! I’m heading to Bagan this December. Could you recommend some good vantage points for those great sunrise/sunset shots? Thanks.

    • always a friday

      Hey Milos! Ta Wet Hpaya was our favourite I think, but any temple in Bagan will give you an amazing vantage point, you can’t really go wrong. Hope you have an amazing time!


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