Bagan (Myanmar): the best pagodas to climb to see sunrise and sunset

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How can you see dawn rising while sitting on a pagoda in Bagan?
Which pagoda choose to see the sunset in Bagan?

” One of the most beautiful experiences in Bagan is to climb a pagoda and see the sun rises or set!”
All the people who has been there will tell you with enlightened eyes.
It seems to be an experience that whoever has done but it is actually much more complicated than expected.
Bagan
Bacause of an accident in December 2017, many of the pagodas you could get on were closed.
If you ask around in the guesthouse or at the entrance of the pagodas, everyone will show you a hill as a place to enjoy the view.
We went there and found out that it’s not a real hill is definitely too low to get a spectacular view.
But don’t worry, there are still some pagodas you can get on, and here we will show you the two that we were able to find.
We were in Bagan in February 2018, so things may have already changed.
Bagan

Pagodas to climb in Bagan to see the sunrise/sunset: some info

Before talking about the pagodas you can climb, some tips to make this experience gorgeous.
First of all, both before dawn and after sunset, it will be dark so it’s important to bring a torch (the mobile would do it) and a heavy shirt because the night in Bagan, it’s very cold.
We recommend to arrive on time so for the sunrise at around 05:30 am while for sunset at around 5:00 pm.
Before entring the pagoda, you can be asked to show the ticket (25000 Kyat) even if it’s 5 in the morning, don’t forget to bring it!
Last advice is to be careful! The roofs of the pagodas are slippery and often there are parts that fall off and may hurt someone.

Pagodas to climb in Bagan to see the SUNRISE

After a research and asking practically to anyone, we found the ideal pagoda to see the sun rise.
It’s the SHWE LEIK TOO, just before the road to the Htilominlo temple.
It’s not a very big pagoda and it fills up pretty easily, so better get there early.
The climb to the “first level” is quite simple and the path is illuminated with candles.
From there, you can still reach the highest part of the pagoda.
We’ve seen people risk falling and getting really hurt to get even higher… absolutely useless!
The view is perfect because it is right in front of where the hot air balloons start. Pictures below… no need to add anything!

Bagan
Bagan

Pagodas to climb in Bagan to see the SUNSET

To see the sun set, we found a very suggestive place. It’s not a pagoda but a small monastery, the Narathihapatae.
The climb on the roof is slightly more complicated because in addition to the internal stairs you have to climb an oblique part of the roof.Anyway, it’s doable.
At first sight it does not seem to be high enough. But, since there are no higher pagodas to cover, the view is perfect.

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