Myanmar’s Old Bagan awarded UNESCO World Heritage status
Old Bagan, Myanmar — After a quarter of a century since it was first nominated, Bagan, the Myanmar ancient city was finally named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 7, Saturday. The proposal to list the site was approved at a meeting of the UN’s cultural body in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The reason why the nomination was rejected was because of the military junta that ruled the country at the time. The government back then was also accused of ignoring experts’ advice on restoration efforts.
Bagan is known to be surrounded with 2,000 Buddhist monuments tower over green plains and named as one of the world’s greatest archeological sites.
According to the local tourism industry, this recognition by the UN’s cultural body will serve to boost travel and hospitality from both Western and Asian markets. However, according to an article written by www.mmtimes.com, “Tourism should be part of Bagan’s future, but not the driving force,” says Yangon Heritage Trust chair Thant Myint U.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites took notice of the city’s new heritage law and reduction of the impact of hotel developments around the temple, thus the recommendation of the listing. According to the article, the Myanmar government has plans on removing all hotels from the existing archaeological sites to a dedicated hotel zone by 2028.
More about Bagan
According to the Department of Archaeology and National Museums, the ancient city has more than 3,500 surviving red-brown temples and other monuments. Some of the notable temples to see are the Ananda Pahto and Dhammayangyi Pahto.
Although many structures were damaged in the 2016 earthquake, Bagan still has maintained their archaeological sites and remains of an ancient water management system.
To be able to roam around Bagan, you can either rent a bike or an e-bike. However, there are also hotels that offer tour packages.
There’s also the Mani-Sithu Market, perfect resting place when you get tired from exploring the temples. Tourists can expect to see a variety of Burmese handicrafts, face mask many Burmese women, men, and children wear and unique snacks and souvenirs.
Nearby restaurants and boutique to check out include Sanon, Black Bamboo, Kyaw Kitchen, and MBoutik.
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