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A short plane ride from Yangon is the town of Bagan, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Myanmar, despite being very small. The town is packed with tantalizing and alluring temples and monuments. These monuments date from the last millennia, around 850 to 1300 AD. In this tiny area, there are more than 2000 temples. Some are pentagonal, others are unique in formation. Visitors can spend weeks traveling from temple to temple, exploring, pondering, relaxing. There is a level of freedom and calm here, as all temple visitors walk barefoot (since it is illegal to walk within Buddhist temples with shoes on). All over the town, there are horse-and-buggie carts that deliver visitors from place to place. These rides are reasonable and a quaint way to get from temple to temple, if a little bit bumpy since the roads can be rather rutted. At sunset, locals and tourists trek to the highest temples to revel at the expansive sunset on the horizon; in the romantic red glow, couples hold hands and children play; the peace and quiet of the area at this moment is conspicuous. Bagan is a pleasant, mild spiritual escape, a foray into another world where time has indeed stopped.
Note: Bagan is in no way a day trip from Yangon. You need to spend at least one, preferably two nights there, especially allowing for the vagaries of Myanmar air flight schedules.
A boat cruise on the river at sunset is also recommended. If you have lots of cash the hot-air ballooning is very cool, but at nearly U.S.$300 per person it is very pricey.