Lying on the banks of Myanmar’s most prominent river, the Ayeyarwady, lies Bagan and its mystical, sprawling plains of unmatched beauty. Over 2,000 spiritual temples and pagodas dot the landscape as far as the eye can see today, a testament to the religious devotion of the Burmese people of centuries past. The Bagan Archaeological Zone is among the richest archaeological sites of Asia, rivalling even Cambodia’s legendary Angkor Wat.
Although first nominated as a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site in 1995, the country’s political instability and closed borders prevented Bagan from earning the prestigious designation until nearly a quarter century later in July 2019.
Formerly known as Pagan, this once thriving metropolis was once the capital as well as political, economic and cultural heart of the Pagan empire. The kingdom dates back to the mid-9th century, but it wasn’t until 1044 that the most celebrated Burmese monarch, King Anawrahta (our vessel’s namesake), would ascend the throne and greatly expand his borders, paving the way for the First Burmese Empire and laying the foundation for modern-day Myanmar.
Today, Bagan remains Myanmar’s top travel destination, drawing in over 300,000 foreign visitors annually. Some of the top attractions include the beautiful, gilded spire of Ananda temple, the multi-tiered Shwe San Daw pagoda (perfect for watching the sun set over the temple-filled plains of Bagan) and the massive Sulamani temple. And of course, both its natural and divine beauty make Bagan one of the world’s top contenders for spectacular landscapes to witness from a hot-air balloon.
The luxurious Heritage Line Anawrahta features two cruises with guided tours of Bagan:
2, 3 or 4 nights
Mandalay – Bagan (or vice versa)
(Bagan tours only on 3- and 4-night downstream voyages from Mandalay to Bagan)
Mandalay – Homalin – Bagan
Book with our Boosting Burma Promotion to save 20% on all of our exhilarating Myanmar journeys along the enchanting Ayeyarwady and Chindwin Rivers!