Simply put, Bagan is extraordinary. So extraordinary, it’s hard to imagine that it’s not as famous as the Egyptian pyramids, Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat, or Petra. It’s the forgotten world wonder, lost in the geographical black hole otherwise known as Myanmar.
A dusty plain dotted with over 2000 ancient temples, pagodas, stupas and shrines, Bagan is epic and overwhelming. It is an unusual place, a 21st-century lost world that allows travelers to play Indiana Jones for a day – or better yet, a week.
Yes, travelers in the know discovered Bagan years ago and a limited number of tours do visit the larger more accessible temples. The site is not unknown. But the scale of Bagan is far beyond the number of people currently visiting the region. Anyone needing some space can grab a bike and take off on one of the dusty tracks to find a temple, and an adventure, of their own. In 2009, this is as good as it gets.