Ballooning Over Bagan: Is it Really Worth the Price?

Because of recent events in Myanmar, we at World Nomads have had a long hard think about whether we should even continue publishing articles about the country. In the end we decided we should. Our reasoning is explained in this piece about ethical travel: "Controversial Destinations: To Boycott or Not?" Please read it.

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.

With a 5:30am pick-up and a 6am flight, 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, following the winds and promising spectacular views of some of the biggest and most iconic temples.

Photo credit: Emma Balmforth

The Views 

Although balloons are relatively high up, the sunrise combined with the endless views of temples, grasslands, and other hot air balloons littering the sky is one of the most incredible sights.

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 Balloon Ride

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

With two different companies, Oriental Ballooning and Balloons Over Bagan, offering 8 to 16 passenger flights, splurge for one of the 8 passenger flights that cost around US $380. With less people, you have more room to move around, feel comfortable, and enjoy the best views possible.

Before take-off. Photo credit: Emma Balmforth

The 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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4 Comments

  • 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.

    -Vanessa

    ps. On my visit I went with Oriental Ballooning.

    http://modernmixtravel.com/2017/02/26/bagan-myanmar-my-hot-air-balloon-experience-with-faqs-answered/

  • 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.

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