Myanmar Ancient City, Bagan named UNESCO World Heritage Site

Sunrise in Bagan Myanmar photo by Charlie Costello via Unsplash

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.

Hot Air Balloon in Old Bagan, Myanmar Ancient City
Hot Air Balloon in Old Bagan, Myanmar Ancient City

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.

Marvelling At Myanmar - Old Bagan
Marvelling At Myanmar – Old Bagan

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, “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.

Shwezigon Pagoda - Best Things to Do in Bagan
Shwezigon Pagoda – Best Things to Do in Bagan

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.

Sunrise over ancient Bagan, Myanmar
Sunrise over ancient Bagan, Myanmar

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.

Burmese Kid in Bagan
Burmese Kid in Bagan

Nearby restaurants and boutique to check out include Sanon, Black Bamboo, Kyaw Kitchen, and MBoutik.

Check out our complete list of recommended Hotels and Resorts in Bagan, Myanmar via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Also Read:

  • The Magnificent Adventures of Myanmar
  • Myanmar is now Visa-Free for Filipino Travelers
  • The art of making Lacquerware in Old Bagan Myanmar
  • Sunrise at Bagan, Myanmar
  • Shwezigon Pagoda in Old Bagan Myanmar
  • Visit to the Golden Land – Myanmar
  • 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Myanmar Now
  1. MariLark says

    Thank you for at least giving me credit for the Balloons over Bagan photo you use at the top of the post. Many don’t and some even are making money off my work without me knowing it. I hope all is well. – Charlie Costello,

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