5 of the Best Temples to watch the Sunrise and Sunset in Bagan
A trip to Bagan, Myanmar would not be complete without a morning watching the sun peak over the mountains and dye the sky a rainbow of colours. After watching a magical sunrise, a good sunset is also a must! Followings are 5 of the best spots.
Ta Wet Hpaya
This temple is well situated in the middle of the Bagan archaeological zone, making it a great place for both sunrise and sunset! If you manage to get up early enough, you will only share the sunrise with a few other explorers, the same goes for the sunset.
The easiest way to get there is to drive your e-bike as if going to Sulamani Temple. There is a small dirt road across from it that leads south and takes you to the secret temple. After parking, pass through the archway and enter the temple on the left side. The stairs up are on the left side inside the temple.
Many of the hot air balloons that rise over the archaeological zone fly right over this temple. This means you could get some great photos of the balloons and morning colours. If you come here for sunset, you can get cool photos with the silhouette of a nearby pagoda that is topped with gold. This smaller temple is located off the main road leading from New Bagan to the bus station. If you are coming from New Bagan, it is just past Dhammayazika Pagoda. Look for a small sign that signals the turnoff. When you enter the temple, there are stairs up on either side.
It gives uninterrupted views of the vast plain and is a great spot to watch the balloons slowly rise in the distance. Very easy to find. Just one turn off the main paved road.
Law Ka Ou Shaung
This temple gives great sunrise views with the well known Shwesandaw Pagoda in the background. It took a bit of clambering and was a quite precarious position with a long drop if I had fallen – so be careful!
One way is to drive as if going to the popular Shwesandaw Pagoda and turn right on a small dirt road just past it. Follow this and Law Ka Ou Shaung will be on your right side. Alternatively, you could turn off the main road and drive from the opposite direction, with the pagoda being on your left side.
This pagoda is well known but worth braving the crowds for the sunset views! Because this pagoda is popular, you will see small shops selling souvenirs outside of it as well as cold drinks. After a hot day exploring, nothing beats watching a sunset with an ice cold coca cola.
This pagoda is located pretty far into the plain and can only be accessed on dirt roads. These roads can be quite taxing on the battery of an e-bike – if you are using one, make sure you have sufficient battery before venturing there!