Category: Myanmar Travel Guide

Kyanzittha Umin

Kyanzittha Umin

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A cave temple in a plot just southwest of the Shwezigon Pagoda, Kyanzittha Umin was  originally part of a small mon- astery. The cave’s exterior was  encased in a brick facade, while inside it was excavated to create corridors whose walls and ceilings were decorated with murals, many of which survive intact. Although named after […]

Local Transport

Nyaung U

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Bagan’s central market area lines the main street of Nyaung U village. Most visitors who travel up here do so to eat in one of the many restaurants flanking Thiripyitsaya 4 Street. Many also stop off at the quirky Thanaka Museum, which has displays showing how thanaka, the quintes sen tially Burmese face paste, is […]

Banking and Currency

Gubyauknge and Gubyaukgyi

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East of Htilominlo, the 11th­century Gubyauknge, one of Bagan’s oldest temples,  retains some fine original stuc- cowork on its exterior. A pair of  nats, or nature spirits, flank the door way to the main shrine, reflecting the syncretic nature of Buddhism in the medieval city. Gubyaukgyi, a stone’s throw northeast, is a 13th­century building with […]

Entertainment in Myanmar

Shwe Leik Too

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The 13th­century Shwe Leik Too  is a midsized temple in late- Bamar style with four projecting porticos and a corncob tower, enclosed by a low perimeter wall. The temple is of interest primarily because it is among only a handful of monuments in Bagan which the government still allows visitors to climb. A low­roofed passageway […]



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One of the greatest of all Bagan’s temples, Htilominlo dominates the northern group of monuments and is the very antithesis of the nearby Upali Thein: a soaring, triumphant building whose tapering central spire reaches 150 ft (46 m) into the sky. King Nantaungmya (r. 1211–34), son of a con cubine and therefore several notches down […]

Upali Thein

Upali Thein

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This diminutive ordination hall dating from the 13th century forms part of a larger monastic  com plex whose wooden por- tions have long since disap- peared. It is noteworthy for  the way its exterior mimics the design and decor of the now lost wood structures, and for the frescoes inside. Painted during the Konbaung era, […]

Practical Information

Sin Myar Shin

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One of a trio of shrines standing in a neat row just south of the main road, this double­story temple is capped by a richly gilded corncob spire. Two Buddha images preside over the main hall on the first floor, while four Buddhas facing the cardinal points sit in the upper chamber. Traces of original […]

Ananda Oak Kyaung

Ananda Oak Kyaung

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In ancient Pali­Sanskrit, “oak” means “brick,” and this small vihara (chapel or sanctuary) is  one of only a few brick monas- teries surviving from the early  Bagan period. The building  is best known for the excep- tionally well­preserved frescoes  that cloak its interior walls and ceilings. Rendered in earthy reds, greens, blacks, and browns, these […]

Practical Information

Ananda Temple

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Surmounted by a classically proportioned corncob tower, the whitewashed Ananda Temple is among the most stylistically refined and impressive temples in Bagan. It is also the most revered by Burmese Buddhists. Its grand entranceways lead to  four beautiful gilded Buddhas standing in huge recesses, inter- connected by corridors that are adorned with wonderful stone  sculpture […]

Communications and Media

Old Bagan

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The area of sandy scrub beside the bend in the river, known as Old Bagan, formed the hub of the medieval city. Traces of the fortified walls and gateways that once encircled it on the landward side are still visible in many places, but it is the great concentration of temples and stupas dating from […]