A visit to Myanmar is never completed without making your way to mythical Bagan. And so you try to look for a place to rest your itchy feet in Bagan. This is where you start to scratch your head. There are three small towns over the ancient Bagan plain; Old Bagan, New Bagan and Nyaung-U. So what are the differences? Where should you stay?
But remember “Old but Gold”. I mean it will cost you gold.This is the place to be if you want to be in the thick of the ancient ruins and some of the most beautiful and expensive hotels in Bagan. It is sitting within what remains of the city walls of the ancient Bagan. This luxury quarter isn’t actually inhabited so there is not much else there apart from the hotels and temples with the exception of high-end restaurants nearby. So if you want to get the best magic out of Bagan (roaming around by bike or horse-cart, during sunrise and sunset), regardless of the affordability, “Old Bagan” is the ideal place for you.
New Bagan (South of Old Bagan)
A place for souvenir hunters.Cheaper mid-price accommodation options are in New Bagan. Located on the high banks of the Irrawaddy River, it’s scenic but more remote. Built more recently to house the local population who were removed from Old Bagan, Although there are plenty of temples nearby but none are as famous or big as those in the older counterpart. It is quite shoppers-friendly with many lacquer-ware and local handicraft shops.
Nyaung U/Nyaung Oo (North of Old Bagan)
You will find more things to do at night, and more restaurants to taste at Nyaung-U.Confusing the travelers with New Bagan is the town of Nyaung U, Bagan’s most budget-orientated area with more choices for restaurants but the furthest from the monuments. It offers the best range of things to do; the centre of the village is atmospheric, with some colonial architecture and a market which is a hive of activities. All the transport links (boat, bus, plane) are situated. If you are touring with a car and a driver which makes little difference to which area you stay in, Nyaung Oo fits the bill. Do weigh in the fact that renting a car will cost you about US$ 40 per day.