Open Temples Bagan – 2019 update
Unfortunately, all pagodas are closed off for climbing to the top. Due to the site getting its official UNESCO status, this is no longer allowed.
1. Secret View Temple
The balloons take off from a different site every morning, depending on the wind conditions. We recommend you start in the center of the Bagan area at ‘Secret View Temple’ (we named it this as it has no name on Google Maps). It lies in the middle of the area, which gives you the best chance to see the balloons near you (see map below).
How to Get to the Secret Temple?
Make sure to arrive at the site around 7 AM. Use Google Maps and drive to the ‘Dhammayazaka’ temple near New Bagan. Walk around it and follow the road for about 1100 meters. On your right side, you will see a medium-sized temple. Yes, you can still go on top, but make sure to handle everything with care.
2. Mahazedi Pagoda
If the Secret View Temple is a little too adventurous for you in the early morning, visit the Mahazedi Temple instead. This relatively small and quiet temple in Old Bagan is where you can enjoy a beautiful sunrise view from the top.
3. Shwegu Gyi Phaya
The Shwegu Gyi Phaya temple lies next to Mahazedi and is officially still open to climb to the top. Although sunrises and sunsets often see crowds, it doesn’t take away from the experience.
How to Get to Let Put Kan?
Use Google Maps and search for the ‘Let Put Kan’ temple, which lies about 300 meters further from the Sulamani Temple. Take a left and drive all the way, following some small paths. Keep Google Maps by hand, use the compass, and follow a sand path. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost!
7. Shwesandaw Pagoda
This 5 stories high pagoda offers one of the best sunset views of the area. Although it can get busy, it is well worth a visit to experience the sunset at the top.
Heads up, the government is planning to add an entrance fee to the pagoda for its restorations and to limit the number of people on the pagoda. The fee was not here during our visit in February 2018.
Climbing the Bagan Temples
Since receiving its UNESCO status, it is no longer possible to climb up the temples. There are now two viewpoint hills overlooking the most famous temples in the area.
Where to Stay in Bagan
Bagan has many good accommodation options in three different neighborhoods: Nyaung-U, Old Bagan, and New Bagan. The one closest to the temples is Old Bagan, which is also the most expensive. The other two are only a 30-minute drive away from most of the temples.