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Anawrahta Road, Republic of the Union of Myanmar

It’s futile to give a rundown of the temples, pagodas and stupas of Old Bagan, as every traveler has their own encounter with this magnificent trove of Burmese history (many date as far back as the 11th century). The main ones that figure on any itinerary are Ananda Temple, home of four massive gilded Buddhas carved out of single pieces of teak; Htilominlo Temple, a red-hued brick extravaganza; Gubyanhgyi Temple, covered in incredible murals depicting the life of Buddha; and Shwesandaw Pagoda, which can be scaled via steep stairs and is known as the sunset pagoda.

Once you have covered these highlights, take time to get off the beaten path as there are countless other temples filled with incredible art, murals and Buddha sculptures. A local guide is crucial to show you around and biking through the temple-strewn fields is the best way to explore. (Incidentally, some of the major temples, like Ananda, have WiFi.)

Written by Simone Girner

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