Top 10 temples in Bagan

We spent three days there, met one sunrise and two sunsets, drive 100 km around Bagan, saw many temples of different size and shapes and here are our favourite. 

1. Dhammayangyi Pahto

It looks so farcically from afar, as a pile of stones, but once we have gone inside we were impressed by its uniqueness in the sense of atmosphere, plan and interior. It resembles the fort rather than a temple with dark corridors and bats.

By the way, Dhammayangyi is the largest and the widest temple in Bagan and it is really feels huge inside comparatively to other temples. 

2. Thatbuyinnyi Pahto 

It is totally white inside and thus seemed not very interesting, but it is the best temple to see from the outside.

It is visible from everywhere and has very distinguished shape. Take a walk around for a good views, also don’t miss nearby Shwe Gu Guy Phaya, from where you will see the great views.

3. Shwesandaw Paya

Here you will climb to the very top by steep staircases, i think this is a highest point of view in Bagan from where you could witness very nice view. This is a popular sunset view point, but it is said to be overcrowded (we didn’t try that)

4. Sulamani Pahto

Very nice elegant temple with gilded Buddhas inside. We came there after the sunrise and there were no tourist, but few locals who gilded Buddha with gold leaf.

Temple is decorated with wall paintings that preserved rather well. 

5. Mingalazedi Pagoda

We came there in the dusk, after the sunset. There were nobody around and it seemed we were lost in time there. This pagoda looks much more older than others and that is why I like it so much.

It has two terraces, but the upper one was closed with a gates, so we climbed up to the first one and walked around the stupa. It is decorated with glazed terra cotta tiles depicting stories about Buddha. 

6. Pyathada Paya

View from Pyathada Paya

We have met the sunrise here. This temple is hidden in the middle of the valley and it was almost empty when we came there in the dawn (however there is quite good sand road to the temple, so no problems to get there at dark). 

Terraces of Pyathada Paya

There are two terraces but the upper one was closed, thus the first one is wide and there are plenty of place to walk around and enjoy the views. I think it is better to meet sunset there as the view from the west is better with many temples scattered around the valley. But anyway it was amazing to be there during the sunrise. 

7. Bulethi Pagoda

View from Bulethi Pagoda

We have met one of the sunset there. Very nice pagoda with amazing views over the valley with temples. Thus a little bit overcrowded but that was not much problem. 

8. Myauk Guni Pagoda

View from Myauk Guni Pagoda

Another good sunset view point. There were many people and terraces are narrow, but you could always find the place as we did

9. Tayoke  Pyay

There are quite many temples around this one, however almost all are closed with the gates. We found the dilapidated building that once was a monastery I consider (it was rectangular in the plan).   There were no stairs to its foor, however we found the way to get there (using walls  - it was a little bit risky but easy) - views were astonishing.  

10. Mahabodhi temple

Not as big as it may seem from afar, but very unique and different from other temples in Bagan, Mahabodhi temple worth visiting. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to go upstairs but the view of Buddhas each in its own niche is striking even from a distance.  

11. Hidden temples from the touristic trails

There are so many hidden temples spotted around the valley - you just need to sit on the bike and explore. We found several complexes just in the middle of the nowhere - they were so beautiful, with that special atmosphere of the hideaway place without nobody around. We were surprised that even there, three Buddhas were sitting inside and walls were decorated with nice paintings.  

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