Ballooning Over Bagan, Myanmar: Is It Worth the Price?

Few travel experiences compete with flying over Bagan in a hot air balloon. With over 2,200 temples and pagodas, there is no better way to take in the incredible history spread across the plains of Bagan.


Photo © Emma Balmforth

Hot-air balloon flights in Bagan take place at sunrise, which usually means a 5:30am pick-up and a 6am launch. Companies brief all flyers with a safety talk before taking to the skies. Balloons take off on the southern edge of the plains and fly across a section of the site, following the winds and promising spectacular views of some of the biggest and most iconic temples.

Photo credit: Emma Balmforth

The views from the balloon 

The balloons are relatively high up, offering endless views of temples, grasslands, and other hot air balloons littering the sky. Combined with the sunrise, it is a truly incredible sight.

The roughly one-hour flight will be enjoyed by those who are looking to see a bigger picture of the vastness of the plains of Bagan.

After, make time to explore the temples by bike or foot to get up close. Combining both experiences will be unforgettable, so be sure to do both!

Sunrise over the plains of Bagan. Photo credit: Emma Balmforth

The price of a hot-air balloon ride in Bagan

Having traveled on the ground through the temples by electric bike and by foot, I can assure you that flying overhead in a hot air balloon above the temples and pagodas is an experience well worth splurging for.

Two different companies, Oriental Ballooning and Balloons Over Bagan, offer passenger flights. As of 2023, Oriental Ballooning offered a 12-passenger balloon ride for US $399/person. Balloons Over Bagan offered a Classic option in a 16-passenger balloon for US $350/person, or the Premium option in an 8-person balloon for US $450/person. With fewer people, you have more room to move around, feel more comfortable, and enjoy the best views possible.

Before take-off. Photo credit: Emma Balmforth

Seasonality and weather

Flying in the month of November, there was no rain, the winds were low, and the air was quite dry. Flights generally take place between October-March, however they are often cancelled throughout the season for safety reasons if there’s too much wind or rain.

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  • birdfreeatthesea said

    Hey nice article :)
    Bagan is lovely but the price of the baloonride is way to high. Im capadocya turkey you can do it for 80 dollars and it is also amazing :)

  • vanessa said

    I went, and thought it was worth the splurge. However, I think there are other places in the world where it's much less costly for a hot air balloon ride.


    ps. On my visit I went with Oriental Ballooning.

  • Hans said

    Can't believe the prices asked. Obviously more supply required.

  • Craig B said

    As amazing as this looks I was in Egypt a few months ago and it cost 2 adults and 1 child I think around $275 US in total and that was through a nile cruise company over The Valley of The Kings. Also pretty cool. I agree. More companies required to make it more reasonable. Will pass on this experience. Too bad.

  • Adam said

    Hi, I enjoyed your article, and it was especially good to hear about the cost and number of people per ride. One editing comment though: "With less people, you have more room to move around..." The correct term is 'fewer people' not less people. For nouns that you can count you should use fewer. With abstract nouns you should use less like less time, less water, less money... Thus, you have less money and fewer dollars. You have less time and fewer hours. You have fewer people and less crowding. You can count people but you can't count the feeling of crowding, for example. Just like you can count gallons but you can't count water. (How many waters does it take to fill a swimming pool?) :)

  • Elle said

    Thanks Emma for the information, it’s really helpful.

    Thanks should go to ‘Adam’ from 3 months ago for the English lesson and mansplaining that NO ONE asked for.

  • Elle sucks said

    Thanks Emma for the info and thanks Adam grammar lesson.

    Thanks should really go to Elle for making an irrelevant comment and switching the topic to gender politics - everyone's favorite subject.

  • Chuck said

    I also just booked a lift off at sunrise in Egypt a year ago 10/2018 over the W Luxor area of Valley of the Kings— it was US$99 and we were picked up on time, went over to lift off site early, given a safety brief and rose before it even got light. I say this for anyone looking for a balloon lift for sunrise as some operations promise sunrise and you are STILL on the ground as it gets light. It’s worth asking about punctuality and in Egypt the larger operators are great and lift off first! They also collect you in whichever field you land and have lots of helpers in Egypt on hand!

    Things to consider for any lift. I will be thinking about Bagan as I arrive today.
    I am contemplating the Bagan lift, but costs are astronomical! I may wait for my trip to Turkey!

  • Sorin said

    I think is does worth the price. I did the balloon ride in Cappadocia as well last year ( cost me around 180 Euro - prices are getting higher there too so the era of 80$ is over there as well). In Bagan I used the services of both major companies and I did liked more with Oriental ballooning (my review:

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