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The remains of the old capital city Bagan (Pagan) are scattered across a vast plain, once semi-arid now green thanks to a successful scheme to re-establish the landscape. The monuments positively exude antiquity and mystery. One visits individual pagodas and temples and each has its own special qualities, but it is the whole that is magnificent. In the early morning mists the pagodas seem to “loom, huge, remote and mysterious, like the vague recollections of a fantastic dream“ as Somerset Maugham wrote in 1930. The majority of the monuments date from 1044 to 1287 when the city was invaded by Kublai Khan. Earthquakes as well as war have hit the city over the centuries. In restoration program has been undertaken. Bagan boasts many attractions in additions to the monuments, a marvelous museum, many traditional lacquer ware businesses, or just enjoy life beside the magnificent Ayeyarwaddy. Take a boat downstream along a beautiful stretch of the river to Sale (Salay) some 15 kilometers south. There are now a host of international-grade hotels and restaurants in Bagan.

Mount Popa
Some 50 kilometer (30 miles) south – east of Bagan, in the middle of the scorched Myingyan Plain rises up lush Mount Popa, home of the nats (spirits) and now a designated National Park. The climb up the 777 steps is not for the faint-hearted, though there are stalls enroute selling cooling drinks. But once at the summit enjoy the stories about the resident nats, including Mr Handsome and his sister Golden Face, along with the spectacular view across the plain. On the adjacent hill is Popa Mountain Resort a charming hotel and a perfect place from which to explore the rich and varied wild life of Mount Popa National Park.


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Central bank of Myanmar | 2022-08-16

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