If you are travelling in a tour group, your tour operator will handle all travelling arrangement for you. However, if you are travelling on your own, you will have to take care of your own travelling arrangement in Bagan. But travelling around Bagan is not difficult. Travelling in Bagan is easy for both tourists with a very limited budget to rich tourists.
Cheapest – Bicycle
My favorite way of travelling in Bagan. I always travel in a bicycle, at least a day, whenever I visit to Bagan (another day is reserved for horse cart travel). Not only it is cheap, you also have freedom to go wherever you want to go. Bagan is such a small place that you can reach most of the temples and pagodas by bicycle. Almost all hotels and guest houses have bicycles, and you can hire bicycles cheaply from many hiring shops in Bagan. It will cost around 1,000 kyat to as high as 3,000 – 4,000 kyat a day, depending on season. Avoid taking bicycle during summer as it is unbearably hot during summer. Also, bring enough oral rehydration salt packets (ORS) as you will lose a lot of swet, water and salt during your ride. Carry the Bagan tourist map, and plan your trip in advanced as you might lose lots of time trying to figure out the way. A good route would be to ride along Nyaung Oo – Bagan road to old Bagan, visiting pagodas and temples along the way, and temples inside Old Bagan. Finish your ride at Bupaya at the Irrawaddy river bank at sunset.
Horse Cart – the most popular way of travelling in Bagan
My other favorite way of travelling in Bagan. I always travel one day in a bicycle and another day in a horse cart. Even if you are travelling in a packaged tour group, take one day off to travel in a horse cart. It is not only convenient, but also a leisurly way of travelling, and will remind you of old reminiscent days. Most horse cart drivers speak some basic English, and can give you advice for your route, as well as point you to little known places wort visiting. One thing, horses do not usually want to travel beyond their usual route, so if you intend to travel far away places, it might not be an ideal way of travelling. A horse cart will cost between 10,000 – 20,000 kyats a day, depending on the season, and the place you hire (for example, if you are hiring in New Bagan, it is usually more expensive, about 5,000 kyats).
Tuk Tuk (converted pick-ups)
These pick-ups are converted from motorcycles to carry people around. They run along main Bagan-Nyaung Oo road up to New Bagan. It will cost around 300 – 500 kyats per person per trip – a good way to travel if you are on your own. They only travel along the main road.
The most convenient way of travelling in and around Bagan. You can get an air-con taxi at around US$ 20 – 50 depending on the trip, distance and season. All hotels and guest houses have connection with taxi drivers so just ask your host to arrange for the taxi.
This is convenient only for short stips around, mostly in Nyaung Oo.