Bagan Temples Are CLOSED?! | Myanmar’s Most Famous Sight Is Changing (HONEST REVIEW)

Bagan Temples Are CLOSED?! | Myanmar’s Most Famous Sight Is Changing (HONEST REVIEW)


The 2000 temples of Bagan were the main reason
I wanted to come to Myanmar. And taking in the views from a temple rooftop
is an unforgettable experience. But these days. Visiting Bagan has changed. Just under a year ago you could pretty much
explore the temples of Bagan freely. There were no gates and you could explore
all of the little caverns and chambers. You could just turn up at any of these temples,
climb to the roof and you’d get an amazing view of sunrise or sunset. And there’s a good chance you’ll be the
only person there. But unfortunately times have now changed. The vast majority of the temple rooftops are
now closed off to tourists. Either completely bricked up or gated and
locked. But why is this? And are there any rooftops that you can still
climb? We spent 3 days in Bagan to find out. Creepy. So creepy. We arrived in Bagan at 5am after taking a
sleeper bus from Inle Lake. We took a ride on the back of a bicycle to
our hotel. And I can’t remember how much we ate the
previous day but he couldn’t get us up the hill. Instead of checking into our room we headed
straight out to see the sunrise. The best way to get around Bagan is by e-bike,
which gives you the ultimate freedom to get around the temples. And I’m lucky because I’ve got a driver
as well. Yeah I should charge. You should. So it’s just gone 5:30 in the morning. We’ve arrived in Bagan but we can’t check
into our hotel yet so luckily Emma has actually been here before and she thinks she remembers
a where there’s very quiet temple so we’re going to try and see if we can get there now. This video was filmed at the end of 2018 when
there were still some temples with accessible rooftops. But I have no idea if any of these are still
open now, so I’m not going to mention any of them by name. We couldn’t see a way up to the roof though
the main entrance, so we decided to have a look around the back. Pigeon! So we found some wildlife but no way up to
the roof. So unfortunately it looks like since Emma
was here two years ago a lot of the temples have now been bricked off and you can’t
actually climb them to get a view. So it’ll be interesting to see how many
you can still go up. Maybe none. The sun was already getting pretty high in
the sky. Luckily we were intercepted by a couple of
local kids, who promised to show us a good rooftop in exchange for a little bit of money. And fair play to them they pulled through. A truly mind-blowing introduction to the beauty
of Bagan. Very cool. After the sunrise we headed off in search
of some more viewpoints. There are over 2000 temples spread across
the plains of Bagan. So we were hopeful that we could find a few
with rooftop access. At our first stop we couldn’t find any steps
up to the roof so that one was write off. The next one looked a lot more promising. We found a stairway in one of the corners
of the temple and we headed straight up. But right at the last hurdle was a locked
gate. No! From my research, there seems to be a couple
of different reasons as to why access to the temples has been restricted. The first is Health and safety. With Bagan getting more and more popular with
tourists, the risk of injuries to visitors and damage to the temples is at an all time
high. There was also a major earthquake in 2016
which caused damage to many of the structures. But there is a belief that the local authorities
are using this reasoning to control the flow of tourists. Feeling a bit demoralised we decided to change
tact and head out to some of the more ornate and elaborate temples which are completely
open to the public. One of the best things is that the temples
are so spread out that you don’t really get a concentration of people in one place
so it’s very easy to find yourself alone just with the temples. But still no more views. And as the temples passed up by one by one
it got more and more frustrating. We just got to a temple which is supposed
to be one of the ones that is still open but there was a guard standing outside that said
we weren’t allowed in so even if they’re not gated off they’re sometimes not letting
people up. So a local guy just pointed us in this direction
where there’s apparently a temple that is still open and you can climb up. But he say that there’s a lot of bees inside. Which is good. Yep you heard that right. Bees. Killer bees. Apparently. Let’s have a look inside. If I get stung to death by bees. Thanks for watching. Oh. Bees nest. Yep. We decided that we’re not going to risk
the killer bees because that nest was pretty big. We’ll try somewhere else. So close! Bye bye! Myanmar has the cutest kids in the whole world. Fact! Jinx. Okay this is our last chance before the sun
goes down. Fingers crossed we can get in here. Spiky. I’m going to take it slow because I’m
checking for bees. We tried a few staircases which ultimately
led to nowhere. There’s some there? Okay. But then alongside the temple we saw the wall
which looked like it’s own kind of ruined staircase. So it was time to climb. How is it? Pretty good. Pretty good. Took us a while but we made it. Literally every direction you look. Amazing. Worth it? Worth it! Still got to get down again. Yeah that’s not going to be fun. This Buddha is holding it’s own Buddha. Good morning. It’s day two and today we’re going to
try and find a viewpoint that is much closer to the balloons. This first temple actually had a guard on
the door. He just asked to see our archeological zone
passes and then he just let us straight in and right up to the roof. It was pretty crowded up there but the view
was very nice. After two great views in a row we were really
excited to get going and look for some more rooftops. But day two was just as frustrating as the
first. We found just as many gates, locks and no
entry signs. But dispite that we still had a lot of fun. Just on an unmarked road seeing where it goes. Exploring every temple we see. This is what Bagan is all about. And the beauty of our surroundings was undeniable. By saying the Bagan temples are unsafe or
damaged by tourists and earthquakes. The local authorities can move people away
from hard to find temple rooftops and towards some easier options. This is particularly worrying because I’m
pretty sure they are trying to divert tourists away from the free temples and towards the
big government owned viewing platform. Which if I’m honest is a big eyesore on
the landscape. If you ask me, It looks like the bloody eye
of Sauron. This all fits into a wider narrative. There is a feeling that Bagan is becoming
more and more of luxury travel destination with expensive hot air balloon rides and paid
for viewpoints. Maybe the tourism board wants to attract more
of that luxury crowd. Once again we were running out of time. There are a couple of viewpoint mounds around
which are supposed to be an alternative to climbing temples to see sunrise or sunset. But neither of the ones that we’ve seen
so far look that great to be honest. The temples are just that slightly too far
away. We were determined to find something better. There’s supposed to be a temple this way
but. It’s a little bit unclear whether they let
you up there or not. Bit creepy. As we headed deeper into the tunnels we really
thought this temple could be a winner but unfortunately all of the stairwells were completely
blocked up. There doesn’t seem to be any way up. Still quite cool. So we went back to the sunset hill in the
end. Which is quite a nice view it just gets very
very busy with tour groups. Better than nothing. This is just the new Bagan experience. You never quite know if you’re going to
find anywhere. It’s our last night in Bagan so it’s our
last chance to get a good sunset. We’re going to check out some temples by
the river and see if any of those are open. So this is option number one and it’s gated
off. Looks like this ones open. It wasn’t the most beautiful of the temples
in Bagan, but we were just relieved that we found one last spot. Finding open rooftops in Bagan is not the
free exploring experience that it used to be. And even since we were there, there has been
reports of complete bans on temples, but also reports that some are still open. So unfortunately you really won’t know what
you’re going to find until you get there yourself. We had an incredible time in Bagan and it
really was an unforgettable experience. But if all of the rooftops close. It would be very very different. Thank you so much for watching this video
if you liked it make sure you leave it a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel. If you’re looking for some more Myanmar
videos head down to the description and there’s a playlist waiting there for you and I’ll
see you next time.

18 thoughts on “Bagan Temples Are CLOSED?! | Myanmar’s Most Famous Sight Is Changing (HONEST REVIEW)

  1. WE HIT 4000 SUBS, WOOO! ?Thanks so much all of your support! Can we hit 5000 before the new year??? I hope you enjoy this video about a very special place. Have you been to Bagan – did you find any temple rooftops? ??

  2. Very informative video as usual. I went 3 years ago and there was no closed off temples as you said, Back then there was talk of this happening eventually. Glad you finally got a rooftop view.

  3. One day I will must visit Bagan temples.ur videos inspired me to visit Myanmar.love u both.Love from Bangladesh??
    as a Buddhist I really respect this place.thank u for ur videos.

  4. Question–seeing you climbing/in the temples barefoot, is that a thing you have to do (to be respectful of the temple?) That is what I would think.
    Have to say, with my fear of heights thing, I couldn't watch while you were filing the climbing high scenes!
    Another great video!

  5. I saw it in local news in Burmese. According to their survey, as more tourists came to Bagan, there were more damages to Bagan. I guess it is smart to limit the climbing to the temple as a way to prevent further damages to the temples. There were responsible tourists as much as not so responsible tourists.

  6. Bagan is now officially UNESCO site. Which means it's not just Myanmar, it is now a sacred place for the whole world & international organizations are also involve to maintain Bagan. The place has been ruin to certain extent both by tourists & local authorities. Temple Climbing is something I'm not fond of because it does a alot of damages to sacred temples. Time for some serious changes & restorations like Japan kept their famous archaeological sites. Measuring how much weight or people a temple can handle with advance technologies.
    However, it's true that the true thrilling experience Bagan have that no where in the world has is exploring freely & adventure into the unknown.

  7. Great video with great narration! your voice got such emotion~ btw, you guys aren't afraid of height? Omg .. just seeing how you climb up while holding camera in one hand .. ;')

  8. Yep, that was the main reason why I wanted to go there as well! Oh man, looked like I missed the peak. Yes way to make er to the roof top, views are amazing! Way to keep given er!

  9. It's too bad about the rooftops. But I can kindof see where they are coming from. That first spot you climbed up the wall to the top, that looked so precarious! I would have been so freaked out by the height! And not all tourists, but some tourists can be so destructive and disrespectful! We have to deal with that a lot with the national parks and ruins here in Utah. So I can understand why, but it's to bad.

    Such a cool place! I wonder why there is such a high concentration of temples in one area? and they are all different too! I wonder what life was like for the people back then?

  10. So glad you didn't risk the killer bees. You had me worried there for a minute. This was fascinating. Thanks for taking us on the adventure.

  11. So fun to go exploring when it's dark. You must've felt like Indiana Jones. It looks really incredible there. Definitely need to go back and do some proper exploring.

  12. Wow they are definitely trying to control temple visitors for some reason. But it also seems like this is the reason to visit the town. Therefore, I would think it would be more dangerous for tourists trying to find a temple than just letting people go to some. I understand closing some of them for preservation or repairs. Idk, it’s a lot to consider. Great video nonetheless!

  13. I love your intro and how you narrated your story on this. It is a bit sad to know that they are closing some of the temples and you cannot cilmb on top of it anymore. But glad you were able to do it before they closed it up. There are really some tourists who doesn't respect some of the countries culture and places that we ourselves are destroying it. I don't ever think I will have the guts to enter that temple with the killer bees on it. I like how you were able to find a temple and climb it and the views are amazing. I haven't been to Myanmar so I would love to visit this contry sometime.

  14. Am I the only one who felt nervous that you were going to drop your camera or fall when you were climbing to the top of that one spot? LOL. I think I projected my own fear of heights onto you there! Sorry! It is a shame that so many of the sites are closed off. I feel like your suspicions may be correct, sadly.

  15. I always really enjoy your narration and editing, you're very talented. It's sad that things have to change so much but it's understandable when places need to be protected. Although if it's just to charge tourists too much money – then that's pretty sad. Glad you explored it fully. We find that going a bit further away from the other tourists gets great results! Omgosh – I don't blame you for avoiding those bees! Well done for finding your own spot! ?

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