Sunrise over Bagan just might be one of the most magical things you’ll ever see in your lifetime. Believe it or not, you can still experience the temples by renting an e-bike – without spending US $300 on a balloon ride.
If you’re planning to explore the temples of Bagan by e-bike, here are five of the best for a stunning sunrise.
Shwesandaw Pagoda is probably the most popular place for travelers to go for sunrise.
It’s a larger pagoda with five terraces, all of which will be filled up early, with visitors looking to get the perfect Bagan sunrise photo.
It’s easy to find. Take a turn off the main road, and it’s marked on all maps. Expect lots of people, local vendors, and gorgeous uninterrupted views over the plains.
Not quite as popular as Shwesandaw Pagoda, but Thitsarwady temple still draws a crowd.
The views here are stunning, but the temple is also located in the middle of the archaeological zone that the balloons fly right over. It’s not too far outside of New Bagan, and there’s a sign marking the proper turnoff for it.
Pyathetgyi is another temple that is located within the zone that the hot air balloons fly directly over. It is one of the better-known spots, so expect some company.
Pyathetgyi is quite far off the main roads, so be sure to bring a map. This Pagoda is also a beautiful sunset spot – again, expect it to be crowded.
Low Ka Oushang Pagoda is considered to be an off-the-beaten-track spot for sunrise. You’ll likely still have some company, but nothing like the masses of crowds you can expect at Shwesandaw.
Great views over the plains makes it a favorite sunrise spot for many.
Ta Wet is known as a secret temple, one that isn’t on maps, and tourists will only find out if they’re told by a local, or do their research ahead of time.
It’s well off-the-beaten-path, but worth venturing to find. The fact that it’s not included on any of the printed maps (though it is on Google maps) means no crowds. It offers stunning views of the nearby bigger temples, and falls within the fly zone – so the balloons will go right over your head.
A word of advice: e-bikes are an amazing and cheap way to get around Bagan, but make sure you have a fully charged battery before you leave!
Test ride the bike before you ride off, just to be sure the brakes work, the tires are in good condition, and it rides well.
And, if you plan on going more off the beaten path, it’s a good idea to have a working phone to call, or go with a friend, in case somebody’s battery dies along the way.
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