Nyaung U is the most popular base for backpackers exploring Bagan’s temples.

Here’s our pick of the best things to do while staying in Nyaung U, Bagan:

1. Cycle around the temples

This is why you’re here! Spend a day (or three!) exploring the temples, pagodas and stupas in nearby Old Bagan and New Bagan. An eBike (an electric bike) costs from 8,000-10,000 kyat per day.

2. Watch the sunset at Thisawadi temple

This temple has particularly beautiful views of the golden temple,Dhamma Ya Zi Ka Pagoda. A more popular spot is the San-daw pagoda.

3. Shop for trinkets at Manisithu market

This market, at the top end of town, is a great place to while away a few hours. You can also buy sand paintings, wind chimes and the usual woven bags!

4. Visit Yaw Na Than art gallery

This a must if you’re staying in Nyaung U! It’s possibly the cutest little art gallery we’ve seen, owned by an equally adorable old man. He specialises in a unique form art ‘painting inside a bottle’ which takes him 5-7 days to complete.

5. Eat a chocolate pancake at Novel

Nyaung U has a whole street packed with good restaurants but this is where we found the best – and biggest – pancake. Do it. You won’t regret it.

6. Have dinner at Wonderful Tasty

Sounds like a cliche, sounds like a Western restaurant. It’s not! Wonderful Tasty is run by a beautiful old man missing most of his teeth and it serves some of the best food we’ve eaten in Myanmar.

7. Hire a mini horse and cart

These cute-looking, slightly uncomfortable modes of transport are popular with tourists but perhaps only hire one for a couple of hours. The constant jiggling and bumping around can get quite tedious!

8. See Bagan by hot air balloon

Okay, so this probably is one of the best things to do on Bagan BUT it comes at a hefty price tag of 320USD per person, for about 25 minutes in the air. You might want to skip this one…