Planning your 2 days in Bagan itinerary is mainly going to be based around which Bagan Pagodas to visit. So here’s a complete breakdown of things to do.
Bagan is an ancient city, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar.
Most tourists choose to visit Bagan from Mandalay, however it is just as easy to reach from Yangon.
Cheapest option, 5 hour journey, £10 per person.
Buses can be booked in advance through 12GoAsia here.
Best option, 3 hour journey, £60 per car (max 3 passengers).
Car hire can be book in advance through Private Transfer from Mandalay to Bagan here.
By River Cruise:
Most relaxing option, 10 hours, £30 per person
River Cruise can be book in advance through Irrawaddy River Cruise to Bagan here.
How To Get To Bagan From Yangon
Cheapest option, 10 hour journey, £13 per person.
Buses can be booked in advance through 12GoAsia here.
Best option, 10 hour journey, £50-£80 per car (max 3 passengers).
Car hire can be book in through your accommodation in Yangon.
For exploring the areas once you’re in Bagan you have three main options.
You’ll hear it from everyone, and it’s definitely the easiest way to get around.
Bagan E-Bikes are basically electric mopeds, that max out at 40km/h, and will save your legs a lot of hard work.
They can be rented from most places around town for 8,000 Kyat (full day) or 4,000 Kyat (half day).
Or if you only want them for sunrise then 1,000 Kyat per hour.
Another option is to ride as part of a group with the Full Day Guided E-Bike Tour with Lunch.
In our opinion, E-Bikes are the best option for exploring on your 2 days in Bagan itinerary!
Another option is rent ordinary push bikes.
Obviously a little harder to get around, as you don’t have the help of a motor.
However if you’re feeling fit, the main roads are pretty flat and well tarmacked.
They can be rented from most places around town for 1,500 – 2,500 Kyat per day.
Another great option for exploring Bagan is to book onto a private tour.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
What To Pack:
DSLR Camera: Canon EOS 90D
Tripod: Zomei Z666 Tripod
Day Bag: Manfrotto Manhattan Mover-50
Power Bank: Anker Power Bank PowerCore II
Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle
Sunscreen: Banana Boat Sunscreen SPF-50
Rain Jacket: Columbia Lightweight Rain Jacket
Entrance: 25,000 Kyat (archaeological zone fee).
Before we get into the 2 days in Bagan itinerary, we want to make you aware that a 25,000 Kyat archaeological zone fee applies to visit Bagan.
The archaeological zone fee grants access to every pagoda within the area and is valid for 5 days.
The zone fee is collected at a toll post while driving or hiking into town. So expect to be woken up (if you take a night bus) by several Burmese men asking for money a few minutes before you reach your destination.
They do check your ticket at random places within Bagan, or entrances to certain Pagodas, so be sure to keep it with you at all times.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
What better way to start your 2 days in Bagan itinerary, than by jumping in a hot air balloon and seeing it all from the skies.
The season for hot air balloons runs from around the beginning of October, until the beginning of April. And with hundreds of balloons taking flight every morning our friend said it was one of the best experiences of her life!
You will NEED to book your hot air balloon ride in advance, as they do sell out, and the number of balloons permitted by the Ministry of Tourism is now limited to 26 per day.
With flight duration a minimum of 45 minutes to 1 hours, Golden Eagle Ballooning in Bagan is one of the highest rated companies in Bagan. You can check availability, prices and book in advance with them here.
Prices start from around £200 per person, and pick-up and drop off at your hotel, pre-flight tea, coffee and biscuits, and sparkling wine and snacks after landing are included.
It will be an early rise if you wish to take a Bagan hot air balloon ride, as they depart at around 5am.
However this once in a lifetime opportunity is the best way by far to take in the vast array of temples in Bagan!
We missed out on taking a hot air balloon ride during our 2 days in Bagan itinerary due to lack of planning, and we have never lived it down!
Book your Bagan Hot Air Balloon Ride: Golden Eagle Ballooning in Bagan
Rent E-Bikes & Explore The Pagodas
After your hot air balloon ride, or a lie in if you arrived late the previous night, you’re probably going to want to get some food before renting E-Bikes and exploring the Bagan Pagodas.
You can rent E-Bikes from most shops around town, or jump on a Full Day Guided E-Bike Tour and explore with a gang.
Bagan is small enough to explore on two wheels, so grab a map and get lost among the 2,200 Pagodas in the area.
With tourists flocking to the ancient city by the hundreds, here are a few of our personal favourite Bagan Pagodas to hang out at:
Insane daytime views!
Take a trip up this spot in the day time, and you’ll get your perfect photo opportunity from one of our favourite Bagan Pagodas. There are a few others within the same grounds, but Shwegugyi Pagoda overlooks them all.
An ideal spot for sunrise or sunset!
The Bulethi Pagoda was the first stupa we climbed in Bagan at sunrise. It can get a little crowded due to its popularity, however you get an incredible view over the famous archaeological zone in the early morning.
A lesser known Pagoda to get away from the crowds.
For some reason we just fell in love with Sulamani Pagoda. The grassy surroundings made for a perfect place to hang out with friends after exploring all day, and in the evenings it can be so quite. A change from the usual Bagan Pagodas.
And The Rest:
Other popular pagodas include Ananda Pagoda, and Shwesandaw Pagoda, which was unfortunately closed for renovation when we visited.
Book your Bagan E-Bike Tour: Full Day Guided E-Bike Tour
Sunrise At Bulethi Pagoda
Another early rise for day 2 of your 2 days in Bagan itinerary. But this time to watch the balloons from the ground.
Let’s face it, nearly everyone’s seen the screensaver photos of hot air balloons taking off over the temples of Bagan. So if you have the opportunity to visit, you’re not going to want to miss it.
Whether it’s sunrise or sunset you’re looking, for then Bulethi Pagoda is the main Pagoda tourists head to. It’s not far from the main road, and from the stupa gives you the perfect 360 view of the Bagan hot air balloons in the distance.
Just be sure to get there early, around half an hour before sunrise, to secure yourself a good spot as it can get busy.
A sunrise watching the balloons fly over the Pagodas has to be included in your 2 days in Bagan itinerary!
Sunset Tour/Carry On Exploring
For the afternoon, on day 2 of your 2 days in Bagan itinerary, we’ve left a few options.
If you feel like you haven’t seen enough of the Pagodas, and still want to explore some more, you can jump back on your E-Bike’s or push bikes again and get back out there.
Another option is to hire a driver and book an Ancient Temples Private Tour.
This kind of tour is great if your looking for a bit of a R&R after all that exploring. Take a trip in an air conditioned car with a local guide, who will give you an insight into the history and designs of the Bagan Pagodas.
The other option for your final afternoon is to hop on a Bagan by Boat: Sunset Cruise Tour.
A relaxing sunset cruise, a ride on a horse-drawn cart, a cup of local tea, and a picnic on the water. What more could you ask for to finish your 2 days in Bagan itinerary.
With so much bliss on this Bagan tour, you’ll certainly be chilled out for the rest of your time in Myanmar!
Book your Sunset Cruise: Bagan by Boat: Sunset Cruise Tour
Luxury – Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Bagan – Set amidst 27 acres of tropical gardens in Bagan, Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Bagan offers a relaxing getaway surrounded by the ancient temples. Guests enjoy free access to the swimming pool, fitness and can stay connected with the complimentary WiFi that is available throughout the property. Featuring antique artifacts and local arts throughout, the spacious bedrooms are all fitted with modern amenities. The bathroom comes with a spa bath, hot shower as well as free toiletries.
Mid-Budget – Heritage Bagan Hotel – Situated in Bagan, 1.2 miles from Izza Gawna Pagoda, Heritage Bagan Hotel features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Each accommodation at the 4-star hotel has garden views, and guests can enjoy access to a bar and to a garden. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free WiFi throughout the property. All rooms come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk. The shared bathroom comes with a bath and free toiletries. At the hotel rooms come with a wardrobe and a private bathroom.
Budget – Delight Guest House – Set in Bagan, 550 yards from Shwe Leik Too Temple, Delight Guest House offers accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking. The property is around 1.4 miles from Bulethi, 1.6 miles from Tharaba Gate and 1.7 miles from Ananda Temple. Bagan Golden Palace is 2.1 miles from the guest house and Lacquerware Museum & Institute is 2.2 miles away. At the guest house, the rooms come with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV.
For more place to stay in Bagan you can check the latest prices here.