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Bagan Hotels: Where to Stay in Bagan, Myanmar

The Three Main Villages of the Bagan Plain

The Bagan Plain is the largest archeological zone in the world. The sprawling Plain (whose name was changed from Pagan) has three main areas of accommodation scattered around the thousands of temples.

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Old Bagan is the village that grew up amidst the Bagan Temples. It hugs the curve of the Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River and is the oldest settlement in the area. It is home to the few luxury resorts in Bagan and is the perfect base from which to walk around the most important and beautiful temples.

New Bagan came into existence during the years of the military dictatorship when the Generals decided to move everyone out of Old Bagan into a newly created village – New Bagan.

New Bagan used to be some distance from Old Bagan but over time Old Bagan has sprawled southwards along the river and New Bagan has built to the north and so little now separates these two communities. I hope they one day become one large village again!

There are some excellent quality and midrange accommodations in New Bagan and it is close to the archaeological zone.

Nyaung-U is a typical upcountry dry zone village that has become the administrative center of Bagan. As the Generals limited construction and commerce within Old Bagan, Nyaung-U continued to be a hub of daily life with is markets, pagodas, schools, and shops.

There is a full range of accommodation options here.

Read on to discover the best hotels, Bagan Airbnbs, and the best locations for all budgets whether you are backpacking in Myanmar or wanting a luxury tour.

bagan river view irrawaddy sunset

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For the best things to do in Bagan and how to see all of the most significant Bagan Temples, click here on my Ultimate Bagan Itinerary: Best of Bagan Temples in 1, 2 and 3 Days

 

Which Area in Bagan is the Best to Stay In?

 

Best Location for Temples and Archaeological Zone

To be in the ‘real’ Bagan, you need to come to Old Bagan. This is where the former city-state of Pyu culture existed and where the old city walls are. It is located alongside the  Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwaddy) River and is smack bang in the middle of the archaeological zone.

Pros:

   Good quality hotels with outdoor swimming pools

    Can walk to many pagodas (see my Bagan Itinerary with its maps for each day)

    Close to the Bagan Archeological Museum

    Peaceful and the heart of Bagan culture and history

    Temple and river views everywhere!

Cons:

    I don’t personally think there are any! But other travelers occasionally do. If you are only in Bagan for a short time it can make sense to stay in a busier area like New Bagan or even Nyaung U.

   There are not as many restaurants and cafes in Old Bagan as there are in New Bagan and Nyaung U. There are also fewer companies for you to book tours and transportation.

Gawdawpalin Temple bagan myanmar

Best Locations for Restaurants, Shops & Markets: New Bagan and Nyaung U

NEW BAGAN

Pros:

   If you want lots of budget options, and reasonably priced cafes and restaurants, then New Bagan is close to Old Bagan. In this sense, it is perhaps the best of both worlds. There are many hotels where it is possible to have a river or Temple view.

   New Bagan is now a very well established village and it does have the feeling of an up-country village about it, whilst still being geared towards tourists.

Cons:

   There are fewer upmarket options here

   You are not in the main archaeological area so transportation is a must.

 

NYAUNG-U

Pros:

   The most easterly and northern aspects of Nyaung U merge with the northern part of Old Bagan. You can be near pagodas such as the Shwezigon and Htilominlo Temple

   There are pagodas, temples, and monasteries here as well as markets, cafes, and restaurants

   It has been possible to build much new accommodation here so there is a reasonable number of 4-star options.

Cons: 

   You are outside the Bagan archaeological zone and need transportation

   Nyaung U can be a little noisy and dusty.

nyaung u village

Best Location for Airport Stays

If you’re only in Bagan for a short period, it probably doesn’t matter too much where you stay and if only overnight, then a good hotel near the airport might be ideal.

    The Heritage Bagan Hotel is a good option. It is just over 8 kilometers (by road) to Ananda Temple in the middle of the Bagan archaeological zone.

Now that you’ve decided what area suits you best, read on to see which hotel is the best for your memorable Bagan adventure!

 

Best Bagan Hotels in Old Bagan

I have included the best original hotels in the archaeological zone as well as a much newer entrant.

But first – where I do not stay in Bagan!

THE place I DO NOT to stay in Bagan is, unfortunately, the most wonderful hotel in Old Bagan. This resort, the Aureum Palace Resort and Hotel is built in the middle of the archaeological zone and is owned by a crony of the former dictator, General Than Shwe. Tay Za also owns the Myanmar Treasure Resorts. Tay Za has been blacklisted by the U.S. Government. He worked as an arms dealer for the military regime. Now, though, like all the former elites of the military regime, he owns significant tourist infrastructure in Myanmar and is the Chairman of the Htoo Group which also owns Air Bagan.

I include the Aureum Palace Hotel below because my opinions are my own and I don’t want to remove your ability to choose what works best for you. Another view is that staying here allows locals to keep jobs. Finally, it’s also possible that Tay Za sells his share at any time – it’s not always possible to keep up with who owns what in Myanmar’s shady economy.

Aureum Palace Resort and Hotel

aureum palace hotel bagan

 

Luxury Hotels Old Bagan

Luxury is not what we would consider ‘urban’ luxury in Bagan. 5-star accommodation is closer to 4, 4-star accommodation is closer to 3, and so on. Prices are cheap and you get what you pay for outside Yangon and Mandalay in Myanmar.

Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

I have wonderful memories of submerging myself regularly during the midday heat in the Thiripyitsaya hotel outdoor pool in the early 1990s. It was one of the very few places in Old Bagan that were allowed to take foreigners.

This 4-star hotel has been here forever. The bungalows are delightfully private and I can’t tell you how many gin and tonics I have had on their balconies over the years! A sentimental favorite.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Aye Yar River View Resort 

Another long-standing 4-star hotel with a pool and river views in a great location from which to access the Bagan Temples. (It’s 1.1 kilometers to Ananda Temple).

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Ananta Bagan

A new-ish entrant to Old Bagan, the Ananta Bagan Hotel is a 4-star resort-style hotel that opened in 2015. It has very good reviews for cleanliness and service. It is located in the northern part of Old Bagan, close to the Shwezigon Pagoda.

It boasts very large rooms and bathrooms and a modern outdoor swimming pool area. There’s a bike rental service, free wifi, and 24-hour reception.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Mid-Range Hotels Old Bagan

Bagan Thande Hotel

The real advantage to 2 and 3-star accommodation in Bagan is the great swimming pools and relaxed and friendly staff you’ll encounter. It’s why I have enjoyed staying at the Thande.

The 3-star Thande Hotel is of a similar age to its upscale cousin, the Thiripyitsaya, and both these hotels are brilliantly located – often with one side of the property overlooking the Bagan Temples, and the other side ending at the Irrawaddy River. Throw in a swimming pool and Old Bagan is unforgettable.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Bagan Hotel River View

Free wifi, 24-hour room service, and a sparkling outdoor swimming pool are the main attractions of this 3-star hotel in Old Bagan.

Enormous rooms and great views are also a real bonus of the Bagan Hotel River View.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Best Bagan Hotels in New Bagan

 

Luxury Hotels New Bagan

Thazin Garden Hotel

A four-star hotel with a lovely bougainvillea and palm-tree edged pool. It boasts views of the Bagan Temples.

One of the southernmost hotels in New Bagan, it’s difficult to get closer to the Bagan Temples than here and you can have breakfast looking over them.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Amata Garden Resort

The rooms are modern and tasteful in this 4-star hotel in New Bagan. The decor is neutral and the rooms are light. This is a good thing if you are a bit over the teak used lavishly in many hotel rooms in Myanmar.

As well as the large outdoor pool there are a number of other facilities in this large hotel complex including a billiards room, bicycle hire, and free wifi.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Bagan Lodge

This is an elegant, very well-reviewed hotel. The decor and furnishings of its rooms are a cut above most other Bagan accommodations. The 4-star Bagan Lodge has a daily buffet breakfast, a bar, a restaurant and….a shopping mall!

The hotel, opened in 2013, lies to the east of New Bagan, not far from Dhammayazika Pagoda. It is a great place if you have a car and if not, the hotel provides a limousine service!

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Mid-Range Hotels New Bagan

 

Kumudara Hotel Pagoda View

In the northernmost area of New Bagan, this 3-star hotel has great pagoda views. It boasts views of 10  major Temples and has an expansive outdoor pool. It is set on the edge of a village, overlooking farmland and Temples – lots of them!

This is a special place – animals roam the grounds, there is water lapping just below your bedroom terrace and the pool area sits in what seems like a farming village in the shadow of the pagodas.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Areindmar Hotel

A fantastic 3-star hotel with exceptional rooms and the most wonderful outdoor pool area! It is modern and includes breakfast and free parking in the heart of New Bagan.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Budget Hotels New Bagan

Raza Gyo Hotel Bagan

This hotel has 2.5 stars but has a large outdoor pool and free wifi. It is in the northeastern corner of New Bagan so not far from the Bagan archaeological zone.

I like hotels with libraries!

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Ruby True Hotel

A very well-reviewed 2-star hotel with a pool and free wifi. The hotel is a little out of the way at the very southernmost end of New Bagan. I like the food here!

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Best Bagan Hotels in Nyaung-U

Luxury Hotels Nyaung-U

Nyaung-U does not have a ‘land’ problem. It’s been possible for a raft of new hotels to be built here and you are spoiled for choice in the 4-star hotel range. I have included the best three below.

Hotel at Tharabar Gate

A 4-star hotel with what many consider to be the best hotel breakfast in Bagan!

The rooms have been recently renovated and there is a wonderful outdoor swimming pool. Free wifi and just under 3 kilometers to Bagan.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Bagan Umbra Hotel

Like the Ananta Bagan, the 4-star Bagan Umbra Hotel sits midway between Nyaung-U and Old Bagan.The Hotel is close to Htilominlo Temple. It has an outdoor pool, a Thai restaurant, and a gym.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Heritage Bagan Hotel

The airport is very close to the Heritage Bagan Hotel. The Aung Myay Thar Monastery is even closer. The hotel has a swimming pool, a kids pool, a spa and bicycle hire.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Mid-Range Hotels Nyaung-U

Bagan Emerald

This modern 3-star hotel has an outdoor pool and free wifi. It is located near the bus terminal and it has excellent reviews.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Royal Bagan Hotel

A centrally located, new 3-star hotel with a swimming pool, modern decor, a gym, and an outdoor terrace.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Oasis Hotel Bagan

A 2.5-star hotel with a pool and terrace in this small guesthouse in Nyaung U. The rooms are large and modern (the hotel opened in 2012). Small touches like bathrobes make this a good value experience. It is centrally located in Nyaung-U.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Budget Hotels Nyaung-U

Bagan Princess Hotel

A brilliantly located 2.5 stars hotel midway between Htilominlo Temple and the Shwezigon Pagoda and close to the river. The hotel has a delightful garden and pool area as well as a gym, spa, tour desk, and an airport shuttle.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Sky View Hotel Bagan

This good-value 2-star guest house has large, modern rooms with free wifi. There is a rooftop (covered) terrace where meals are served with views to the Temples.

The only downside to the Sky View is its location – whilst its never far from anywhere (with a bike or car), the hotel is a little further away from amenities and Temples than the other hotels included here. It’s modern, light rooms and value for money are worth considering if you have transportation.

Check prices, reviews, and availability here

 

Check prices, reviews, and availability of ALL Bagan Hotels here

 

Airbnb Stays in Bagan

Airbnb stays in Myanmar are generally not for first-time visitors to Myanmar. The exception to this rule may well be Bagan. Quite a number of homes have been purchased by several ‘super hosts’ and these include whole houses with views of the Temples, as well as apartments within resorts.

 

Further Links and Information

Visiting Bagan? Click on my ultimate itinerary for one, two or three days in the largest archaeological site in the world: Bagan Itinerary: Best of Bagan Temples in 1, 2 and 3 Days

   For the Best Yangon Hotels and Neighborhoods, click on my Best Yangon Hotels: Where to Stay in Yangon.

   And as for what to do in Yangon, here is the ultimate Yangon Itinerary for 1, 2, or 3 days in Yangon

   For a comprehensive guide on the most important of all the things to do in Yangon – visiting the Shwedagon Pagoda – see my post here: Shwedagon Pagoda: The Best Pagoda in Myanmar

   Get Your Guide Myanmar travel activities are here

   For another spectacular and must-see Asian temple, see the world’s largest Buddhist temple, Borobodur here

   More detailed information on how to book transport, airfares, accommodation, and travel insurance is available on my Travel Resources page

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I’d love to hear about your trip to Bagan, so please leave me a comment!

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Angela
    16th February 2020 at 9:38 pm

    A really detailed and helpful post. I am currently thinking of putting Myanmar on my Asia itinerary for next year and this post has helped me choosing where to stay, they all look amazing.

  • Reply
    Alison
    17th February 2020 at 8:58 pm

    What a thorough post. I wish we’d had it when we went to Bagan, although we didn’t do too badly. We were there in 2012 so I suspect some of those newer/luxury places didn’t exist then (not that we’d have been staying in them anyway).

    • Reply
      admin
      18th February 2020 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Alison
      they’re pretty cheap if you book early. It’s amazing how many new hotels have popped up in the last few years!

  • Reply
    Jane Dempster-Smith
    18th February 2020 at 3:37 pm

    A great round up! We enjoyed our stay at the Bagan Umbra hotel!

    • Reply
      admin
      18th February 2020 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks Jane, it’s a nice place to retreat to in dusty Bagan!

  • Reply
    Little Wandering Wren
    21st February 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Bagan was definitely the highlight of our Myanmar holiday – we a bit out of date but the Bagan Thande hotel worked well for us in 2015. Am keeping this post for our return trips.

    • Reply
      admin
      21st February 2020 at 9:35 pm

      hi! Yes, Bagan blew me away the first time I saw it! I first stayed at the Thande in the 1990s and it’s so nice to see that it’s still going strong!

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