Bagan Living Heritage Tour

Mother and child stop for a photo on our Bagan walking tour.
A mother and child make time for a photo in a farming village outside Bagan

Discover the Unique Villages and People of Bagan on this Exclusive Bagan Walking Tour

This Bagan walking tour provides an intimate look into the amazing lives of local people, their culture, and communities that make Myanmar such a unique place to visit.

On this Bagan villages tour, we’ll spend most of our day on foot, experiencing the sights and sounds of rural village life. Learn traditional organic farming practices and take a ride on an ox-cart through sandy village paths rarely visited by outsiders. Learn from Burmese artisans crafting their bamboo wares, working with local fabrics, and bringing temple murals to life through sand paintings.

Bagan Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

“Bagan is an exceptional example of the living Buddhist beliefs and traditions of merit making, expressed through the remarkable number of surviving stupas, temples and monasteries, supported by continuing religious traditions and activities.” – UNESCO World Heritage Inscription, July 2019

Village women prepare local tofu in a local village outside Bagan, Myanmar. Shot on our Bagan walking tour.
Village women prepare local tofu in a local village outside Bagan, Myanmar.

Bagan Living Heritage Tour Highlights

  • maximize your limited time available in Bagan to experience the epic sunrises, balloons, shrines, architecture, giant Buddhas, and amazing local people
  • get closer to real people and communities your tour fees support to capture the everyday beauty, culture, and colors of Myanmar
  • late afternoon village life under warm pre-sunset light
  • Option: sunset by private boat cruise on the Irrawaddy

We will explore several different communities and sites throughout the day on your Bagan walking tour. Once in the villages, we will spend most of our time on foot, visiting our neighbors in their workshops and on their farms.

Experience Bagan’s Local Villages and People

  • pre-sunrise pickup and Bagan balloon viewing from less-crowded locations during sunrise and sunset
  • get closer to real people and communities your tour fees support to experience the everyday beauty, culture, and colors of Myanmar
  • learn about Burmese traditional crafts such as sand painting, bamboo, lacquerware, and tropical agriculture
  • late afternoon village life under warm pre-sunset light
  • sunset in intimate location for exceptional moments otherwise inaccessible
  • journey by private taxi and boat (sunset option)
A local farmer stops for a photo on her way home from the fields in Bagan.
A local farmer stops for a photo on her way home from the fields in Bagan.

Sample Itinerary

05:30: Pickup from your hotel by air-conditioned private taxi to position for sunrise

06:00-07:30: Sunrise balloon shooting within the monument zone, location based on your subject and perspective preferences.

07:30-8:30: Visit to farming and bamboo crafting village within the monument zone for close-up photography and bushcraft knowledge sharing.

08:30-09:30: Al fresco light breakfast with local pastries, fruit, and fresh coffee/tea. Opportunity for sitting/walking meditation and shooting in secluded temple gardens. Relax with caretakers and shoot local agricultural activities.

09:30-12:00: Visit to rare irrigated village outside monument zone with terraced rice paddies in golden bloom, with little contact with foreigners. We have a small organic permaculture farm in the village that affords many close-up/portrait opportunities. This is an “oxcart village” with limited access to motor vehicles and feels like a journey to the bronze age.

12:00-13:30: Lunch break and travel time

13:30-16:30:Journey by taxi to remote village location on the Irrawaddy, a cluster of pagodas situated on an isolated clifftop. Visit remote sites and areas on foot, including many not listed on any map or guidebook. Amazing murals and panoramic views, visit to magical meditation caves and cliff monasteries. Fantastic late-period temples with murals and stone carvings, expansive views, and small monastic community.

17:00-18:30: Return to Old Bagan by aircon taxi or optional private boat, including cold drinks and snacks. Views of mast notable Bagan monuments along riverside.

18:30-19:00: Return to your hotel or drop-off at local restaurant by private taxi

Duration: 12+ hours

Private Tour Pricing:

from $149USD per person

Price includes:

  • Air-conditioned private taxi and driver
  • Experienced English-speaking licensed tour guide
  • Outdoor breakfast
  • Chilled drinks all day

Price excludes:

  • Bagan Archaeological Zone fees
  • Lunch

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