The ruins of Bagan are the jewel of Myanmar. Most visitors to the country make a stop here for at least one day but it is possible to spend many more. Originally founded in the second century, it was expanded around 850AD but it seemed to undergo a significant boom around 1000-1100AD and was the capital until 1200AD.
Today it is an active archaeology and religious site with pilgrims praying at statues left from centuries before, now encircled in LED lights. Infact, most of the time you’ll find yourself fighting for elbow room with domestic tourists making their way through the temples. Because of its size, the best way to see the ruins is by moped or bicycle although a horse and wagon and hot air balloon seem to be the way those looking for a blowout vacation get around. Many visitors compare it to Angkor Wat in Cambodia without all the hustlers and hawkers at every temple.
Hotels and restaurants have the tourism industry dialed in with wifi available at most hotels and an array of restaurants offering everything from Indian to Italian. Overpriced wood fired pizza seems to be the craze but we found the best food at Amora, just don’t go during peak dinning hours. It’s a little harder to find local eateries and beer stations in the main tourist hub but they are no doubt around. There are several areas around Bagan to stay but we found the highest concentration of budget accommodations located by Nyaung-U.