Bagan is an ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on a flat plain on the Irrawaddy River in the Mandalay Region. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom’s height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 4,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2,200 temples and pagodas still survive today. Our Bagan temples tours and photography experiences uncover the hidden gems of this unique site of global importance.
Off-the-Beaten-Track Temples of Bagan
This tour is for those who really want to explore off the beaten track places and experience the true hidden gems of Bagan. This exploration includes Bagan’s secret temples and many sites not listed on tourist maps and rarely visited. Includes small functioning monastery, cave and cliff meditation areas. Highlights include magnificent murals, sandstone carvings, high viewpoints and a temple dedicated to the family of the historical Buddha.
Let our team of professional guides and photographers show you the secrets of unforgettable Bagan. We all live here, and we know the optimal times of the day to see the temples in the best light with the fewest crowds—and we’re sharing our secrets with you!
Bagan Now Officially a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
“Bagan contains an extraordinary ensemble of Buddhist monumental architecture, reflecting the strength of religious devotion of an early major Buddhist empire. Within the context of the rich expressions and traditions of Buddhist architecture and art found throughout Asia, Bagan is distinctive and outstanding.” – UNESCO World Heritage Inscription, July 2019
“That really didn’t feel like a regular touristic tour – in a good way!”
LIN, SWEDEN (VIA TRIPADVISOR)
Lost Temples of Bagan Tour Highlights
- After sunrise, time for a fresh breakfast served outdoors near our “secret pagoda” and gardens among the ancient pagodas. You are welcomed to a shady spot with temple views for fresh-pressed Myanmar coffee and tea after an early start. Enjoy a colorful and healthy breakfast of local pastries and fresh fruit. Local farmers pass by as we discuss our plans for the day.
- Our “secret pagoda” is a wonderful place to relax and explore. We have handmade meditation cushions if we’d like to take a few minutes to try sitting meditation in this quiet setting. Later, we can try walking meditation around the temple gardens where flowers bloom year round.
- We’ll explore secret and little-known temples and ancient ruins before and after lunch. After a great meal, we’ll head to an old Buddhist monastery, a beautiful structure full of historic paintings and saffron-robed monks. Conditions permitting, you will have an opportunity to interact with and photograph the monks and their daily life in the pagoda. The highlight of the day is a private sunset cruise with views of Bagan’s temples. Here you will have the opportunity to experience local life on the river in spectacular golden light at a relaxed pace away from other tourists.
Discover Authentic Bagan
Uncover the little-known secrets of Bagan on this private guided tour. You’ll begin by watching the sunrise over the ancient monuments of Old Bagan, away from the buses and crowds. Learn traditional crafting from local artisans on a village walking tour in the morning, and visit an amazing secluded monastery on the Irrawaddy riverside in the afternoon. You’ll visit temples and villages off the tourist track and discover authentic Bagan through its people. Enjoy sunset from hidden temple, along the riverside, or with locals in a rural village rarely seen by outsiders.
Your day begins at 6am as your guide and driver pick you up from your hotel. You’ll begin by watching the sunrise over the ancient monuments of Old Bagan from a less-crowded viewpoint.
After sunrise (around 7:30am) we continue to our own “secret pagoda” where you will enjoy a local breakfast served outdoors with fresh fruit and organic coffee/tea while observing local rural life.
We’ll continue with a walking tour of a rural village (from 9am) where you will learn the secrets of bamboo crafting from a family of local artisans. In the late morning heat we will retreat to the cool temple interiors to view one-of-a-kind murals and golden shrines from the historical Bagan period of 9th-13th centuries.
Around noon you will enjoy lunch at an hygienic local restaurant of your choice.
After lunch we will visit more off-the-beaten track sights within the Bagan monument zone by air-conditioned taxi before making our way beyond Bagan to a secluded riverside monastery nestled among ancient pagodas and stupas with amazing views of the Irrawaddy river from the clifftops.
As the sun begins to ease in the late afternoon, we 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.
Return to Old Bagan by private sunset cruise, 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