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Hot Air Balloons Bagan Myanmar

Bagan in Myanmar, a landscape of thousands of temples and pagodas,  is known as the heart of the Theravada Buddist faith. At one time there were over 13,000 temples, pagodas and religious structures, today there are only around 2000 well-preserved temples and pagodas dating back from 11-13th centuries. The best way to appreciate Bagan and its temples is a hot air balloon ride in Bagan at sunrise.

(Updated 2020)

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How to visit the Temples in Bagan

There are a few ways to view the temples and pagodas, by horse and cart, by e-bicycle or by hot air balloon at sunrise. The day before our balloon flight, we toured the mystical temples by horse and cart, but there is nothing like floating serenely in the cool of the misty morning air looking down at the sleepy town of Bagan and its people waking up from a hot air balloon.

Our Bagan Hot Air Balloon Ride

For this adventure, we chose Balloons Over Bagan who had been operating in Bagan since 1999. They are a very professional and experienced hot air balloon company with pilots who are highly qualified. They have an excellent safety record as well.

Read our article on hot air ballooning in Cappadocia in Turkey

We were collected from our hotel Bagan Umbra Hotel at 5.15 am and driven to the other side of Bagan to an open field where hot coffee and tea awaited us.   Our Pilot for the flight was David who had been with the company for 8 years.

Enflating the balloon at sunrise in Bagan
Inflating the balloon at sunrise in Bagan

The morning was cold and misty and the coffee hot and welcoming whilst we waited for the balloons to inflate.

Just before takeoff with Balloons over Bagan
Just before takeoff

After settling into our hot air balloon basket,  David went through our emergency drill and brace procedure for landing. Then we were up! It is really hard to explain the feeling that you get as you float above the ground, with the sun peaking through the mist as you float effortlessly over the top of the many temples.   Ox carts are out on the roads, horse and carts are delivering products to the many shops scattered around Bagan and people are going about their daily routines. They are so used to the hot air balloons by now they don’t even look up as we float above them, although young children on the way to school still look up and wave as we hover above them.

We can see the Irrawaddy River and the Mountain Range poking through the early mist.

Sunrise over Bagan
Sunrise over Bagan
In flight over Bagan
In-flight

 

Enjoying our flight over Bagan
Enjoying our flight over Bagan

 

Temples and Pagodas in the early morning light over Bagan
Temples and Pagodas in the early morning light
Sun glistening on Ananda Temple in Bagan
Sun glistening on Ananda Temple

 

Flying over Ananda Temple that was constructed in 1105AD, it is one of the largest well-preserved Temples in the area.

After 50 minutes, we landed safely and enjoyed chilled glasses of champagne, fruit, croissants and banana cake. To top it all off we were driven back to our hotel in the fun Balloons over Bagan buses.

 

Hot Air Balloon Costs as of 2020:

Classic Service: USD350.00 per person for a 45-minute flight.

Premium Service: USD450.00 per person. The Premium Service allows couples in their every compartment within the balloon with an interactive guided tour around the balloon during inflation. Maximum number 8. 45-minute flight.

website: www.balloonsoverbagan.com

To Travel To Tip: The season is short starting in October and finishing in March.

Ensure that you book in advance and give yourself a few days in case of bad weather.

Ensure that you have cold weather gear to wear as it can get chilly up there e.g. gloves, hat and a good jacket.

Hotels in Bagan

We stayed at the 57 room Bagan Umbra Hotel with spa, outdoor pool and massage services at Wet-Ky-In Nyaung U in Bagan. A very comfortable hotel in a good location. We can definitely recommend it.

Check out the latest accommodation deals

 

For luxury accommodation the Heritage Bagan Resort is perfect.  Located at Bagan-Byaung Oo Airport Road Nyaungu, it has a pool, gym, with free breakfast and free WiFi and just a 5 minutes drive from the monument area.

Check out the latest accommodation deals

 

Blue Bird Hotel at Mya Hay Street Bagan MyothitEast Naratheinkha 10 offers a pool, free Wifi in New Bagan close to many restaurants.

Check out the latest accommodation deals

 

More accommodation for where to stay in Bagan:

Check out the latest accommodation deals

 

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Getting in – Bagan

Bagan Airport:

The small Nyaung-U Airport of Bagan is located a 10-minute drive from Old Bagan.

A 2nd option is to fly into the larger airport of Mandalay and take a bus or a riverboat to Bagan. The journey by road will take nearly 4 hours for the 180 km drive. By boat it takes around 12 hours.

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totraveltoo
totraveltoo

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are 'chase time not money' and 'age is no barrier when it comes to travel'.

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