UNESCO World Heritage Status for Bagan in Myanmar
Together with our partners Paukan Cruises and Tour East, we are delighted to spread the word that the beautiful and ancient city of Bagan’s archaeological zone has finally claimed UNESCO World Heritage Status for its 2,200 remaining buddhist temples, stupas and monasteries of the 10,000 built mainly in the 11th to 13th centuries.
Bagan was the political and economic centre of the Pagan Empire from 1044 to 1287, inspiring Bagan’s rulers and wealthy to construct over 10,000 religious monuments on the plains of Bagan. Invasions and earthquakes resulted in the destruction of many through the centuries, but in 1990 the Myanmar military government decided to focus on increasing tourism and tried to crudely restore the damage using modern materials without consulting art historians, resulting in the denial of UNESCO World Heritage Status until now. In return for this recognition, Myanmar has pledged to relocate existing hotels in the archaeological zone over the next few years.
If you are looking to add Bagan as one of the highlights of a Myanmar tour, either consult with our partner Tour East, one of the biggest and most sophisticated one-stop destination management companies operating exclusively B2B from 18 countries throughout the Asia Pacific region, or consider the sheer pleasure of stepping back in time to experience the magic of Myanmar by immersing yourself in the rich history along the banks of the Irrawaddy River, sailing in colonial luxury of a bygone era on board the Irrawaddy Explorer owned by Paukan Cruises. The spacious well-appointed 28 suites with balconies and panoramic views are named after famous British authors such as Kipling and Orwell, offering all modern luxuries to rival the best hotels in Asia. Be it meeting with fellow guests in the Writer’s Lounge to recount the day’s discoveries, to sampling chef’s signature dishes from east and west or simply relaxing on the sundeck with a sunset cocktail, the Irrawaddy Explorer will fulfil anyone’s expectations of a unique journey. Combine this indulgent comfort with a land itinerary of breath-taking exploration sailing Paukan’s 6-night upstream voyage ‘Royal Capitals’ from Bagan to Mandalay. The starting point is a walk around the fascinating and charming town of Salay, rich in colonial era buildings, and the Yokesone monastery famed for its teak carvings. The second day is dedicated to the temples of Bagan and it’s obvious why this beautiful collection of temples, stupas and monasteries, from the fine plaster carvings of Htilominlo to the Ananda temple built in 1105 are now recognised by UNESCO. The remaining days of this 6-night cruise take in highlights such as intricate lacquerware, basket weaving and gold leaf demonstrations, and the famous pots of Yandabo. There’s a visit to the Gubyaukgyi Temple and the golden buddha of the Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan as well as the contrasts of local markets and rural riverine villages. Explore Ava by horsecart, visiting the beautiful 200-year old teak Bagaya Kyaung Monastery and the Yadana Hsemee Pagoda. The days continue to unfold archaeological treasures such as the pagodas of Sagaing Hill and Mandalay’s Kuthodaw Pagoda, containing the world's biggest book, as well as the Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung Monastery, the only original monastery left from the royal era. Floating on a traditional sampan under the U-Bein Bridge, the world’s longest and oldest teakwood bridge, while sipping a cocktail and admiring another incredible sunset is the perfect way to reflect on a truly extraordinary voyage of discovery. Paukan Cruises have four beautiful and unique ships offering a variety of sailings and itineraries on the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers. Please contact us for further details.
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