Bagan is one of Asia's greatest attractions, easily rivalling the Great Wall of China or the temples of Angkor Wat - yet it remains relatively unknown and rarely visited. Bagan was first populated back in the 2nd Century CE, and grew to become the capital of the mighty Pagan Empire between 1044 and 1287 CE (before the empire was repeatedly invaded by the Mongols). The Pagan Empire flourished in Myanmar between the 9th-13th Centuries CE, and featured many religions living side-by-side such as different strands of Buddhism, Hinduism, and animist beliefs - during its time as the Empire's capital, over 1000 stupas, 10,000 small temples and 3,000 monasteries were built in the area of the Bagan.
The site consists of a huge plain that is covered with literally thousands of ancient temples that stretch as far as the eye can see, set amidst an attractive landscape of fields, small villages and sandy tracks. It is a hauntingly-beautiful site that is best explored on foot, bicycle or ox-and-cart.