This section explains how to get around the sites (temples, towns, stations). See also the (letting There & Away/Around sections for Nyaung U, Old Bagan or New Bagan for details on get ting to Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay and other destinations.
To/From the Airport
Prices between Nyaung U Airport and hotels in Nyaung U, Old Bagan and New Bagan run
All foreign visitors to Bagan Archaeological Zone must pay a Si 0 entrance fee. If sellers don't find you when you arrive, your hotel will sell it to you.
bit cheaper from the Old Bagan or Nyaung jetties if you arrive by boat. Horse carts and taxis meet boats at the Old Bagan and Nyaung Ujetty.
Bikes with baskets (and sometimes a bell) are widely available and can be an ideal way of getting around, despite the direct exposure to sun and some dirt roads that slow you up. Essentially all accommodation places rent bi-cycles: in Nyaung U it costs about K1000 or Kl 500 per day; in Old Bagan and New Bagan it's more like K3000 or R4000 per day.
Traffic is pretty light on all roads. Early-morning or late-afternoon rides along the sealed Bagan-Nyaung U Rd are particularly pleasant. It's worth planning ahead a little, as the bulk of the temples in the Central Plain are far away from much shade or lunch potential. The most convenient eating options are in Old Bagan .
Many visitors have a 'greatest-hits temples' day on horse cart first, to get a sense of orien tation, then follow it up checking more remote or lesser-known temples by bike.
An understandably popular way of seeing the ruins is from the shaded, padded bed of one of the 240 horse carts around. Even if you're on a package trip - or especially so - it's a good idea to break away one day for a more intimate trip. Drivers speak some English (at least), know where to find the 'keyfnaster’ f o locked sites and can point out temples with few or no tourists around. (Some might stop by a shop with hopes for commission; it's OK to say 'no thanks'.) A cart works best for two people and the driver, but it's possible to go with three or'(in a pjcch) four.
In Nyaung U a day with a horse cart and driver runs about K 10,000, a half-day is K5000 or K600U. It's about K5000 more if taken from Old Bagan or New Bagan.
Horse carts do mosey about though; you'll make a bit better time on a bicycle.
A pick-up (K200) runs regularly from outside the Nyaung U market, ending near the June tion in New Bagan and passing Wetkyi-in, Old Bagan and Myinkaba on the way. This could be used to jump from one place to the next, then walk around the temples, particu-larly in the Northern Plain (p210) or within the old walls in Old Bagan.
Hiring a shared taxi for the day in Nyaung U costs about $20 to $25. An Old Bagan hotel will charge about $35. Hired taxis are also convenient ways of making day trips to Mt Popa and Salay .
There's little trishaw activity outside Nyaung U, where you can get one at the jetty or bus station.
The Nyaung U Airport is about 2 miles southeast of the market. Flight schedules vary. Presently Air Mandalay, Bagan Air and Yangon Airways connect Bagan daily with Mandalay ($37), Heho ($54 to $56) and Yangon ($83 to $86). Flights to Thandwe (for Ngapali Beach) and other destinations must make connections in Yangon. The govern-ment-run Myanma Airways also has flights from Nyaung U.
Travel agencies sell tickets a bit cheaper than airline offices. Try Seven Diamond or at Golden Myanmar Guest House.
Boats to Mandalay go from either Nyaung U or Old Bagan, depending on water levels. The Nyaung U jetty is about half a mile northeast of the Nyaung U market. The IWT office, about 300yd inland from the jetty, sells tickets for Mandalay, Magwe and Pyay.
The most popular boat ride is to Mandalay ($13 to $20, 11 to 12 hours) aboard the Shwci Kennery Express, which leaves at 5.30am at least a few times a week. Most visitors take the journey from Mandalay but if you go the opposite way (to Mandalay from here), you get a discounted rate and it takes about the same amount of time.
The less practical government ferry (aka 'slow boat') headed to Mandalay only a couple of times weekly at research time, leaving Monday and Thursday at 4.30am ($10, two days) and overnighting near Pakokku. Meanwhile the south-bound government ferry left once weekly to Magwe ($5, two days) and Pyay ($9, three days).
From the Nyaung U jetty, small local boats leave for Pakokku (K3000, 2V4 hours) a few times daily (at research time: 6am, 9am and noon), the last returning to Nyaung U at 2pm. You can then catch a bus from Pakokku to Monywa. To charter a private boat to Pakokku and back costs about K50.000.
The main bus station serving Bagan is on the main road in Nyaung U.
During peak season, it's wise to book bus tickets for Mandalay, Taunggyi (for Jnle Lake) and Yangon a couple of days in advance. You can call W60743 for information on the Magwe, Mandalay and Taunggyi buses, but it's better to drop by the office.
The lone daily pick-up service to Mt Popa (K3000 each way, one hour) leaves at 8.30am and returns at 1pm. Half-hourly pick-ups go to Chauk (90 minutes), where you can connect via pick-up to Salay (one hour).
Pick-ups between Nyaung U, Old Bagan and New Bagan run along the main street, starting from the roundabout outside the Nyaung U market.
As Bagan has limited (good) bus connections to other major destinations, many travellers hire share taxis - often quite old cars, some with open backs, most without air-con - to destinations around the country. Ask at Ever Sky or at your hotel.
The Bagan train station is about 2.5 miles southeast of Nyaung U. Shwe Taung Tarn Guest
House : sells tickets. Presently a 7am train leaves for Mandalay . There's no direct train to Yangon, but one leaves at 8.45am for Pyinmana (ordinary class $5, 9!/2 hours).
Although Old Bagan is no longer inhabited (except by hotel and government employees), it represents the core of the Bagan Archaeological Zone and contains several of the main temple sites, city walls and a museum. It's right on a bend of the Ayeyarwady River - sometime during your stay, wander down to the waterfront and watch the coming and going of the river trade.
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