Important Change to Bagan Temple Policy
No more Bagan Temple Sunsets from March 2016, the Ministry of Culture decided to ban visitors from climbing on ancient pagodas in the world-renowned archaeological zone.
The Ministry of Culture announced yesterday that from March 1st (next week) visitors to Bagan Temple will no longer be able to climb the steps to the tops of the Pagodas – typically done to view sunrise or sunset. The reason behind it seems to have been driven by misbehaviour, following public backlash against a video showing a song-and-dance performance on top of one structure.
Bagan has more than 3000 ancient pagodas and temples, of which five are particularly popular for watching sunsets: Shwesandaw, Thitsarwady, Pyathetgyi, Shwenanyindaw and Oah Chan Pae Kone. From a preservation perspective the fast growing number of local and foreign visitors to Bagan are putting a lot of strain on those ancient structures. The number of foreigners has more than doubled since 2011, from 120,000 to 250,000 last year which means that hundreds are turning up each evening to ascend the temples.
There is an on-going debate about this though and further rule changes may occur.