Some 5,000 monuments, a testament to Bagan as a former centre of Buddhist spirituality and learning, are scattered over the 42 square kilometres of the Ayeyarwady River.
The kings of Burma from 1044 to 1287 devoted their energy and considerable resources to building pagodas and temples. While their great palaces which were built of wood have since burnt down or crumbled away, hundreds of temples and pagodas remain on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River.
As a World Heritage Site, Bagan stands alongside the other great centres of South East Asia, comparable only to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Framed on both sides by the great Ayeyarwady River, the main concentration of monuments is around the original city on the bend of the river. No two monuments are the same. All are highly original in design and conception. Bagan cannot fail to move you. Ask any visitor who has witnessed the sun rise or set across these fields of glowing temples.
The temples are now empty. Sacked by man or felled by nature, the great communities of chanting monks and reverberating bells have moved on. In its place is calmness and peace, and a vision of wonder at how man was capable of creating such a vast city of spiritual monuments.