The Directorate of Hotels and Tourism(Bagan Branch) is working hard to reopen the tourist destinations as part of the government’s tourism recovery plan in the post-COVID-19 period and it also makes efforts to designate new tour destinations for the travellers to Bagan ancient cultural zone in addition to Bagan-NyaungU cultural zone. The following are the five new tourist destinations where can be reached via Bagan.
(1)Kyauk Yay Kan
It is about 1 mile 7 furlongs from NyaungU to Tu Yin Taung. It is just a trekking tour which lasts about 30 minutes from a monastery located on Tu Yin Taung. It is convenient for those like trekking. Kyauk Yay Kan is 80 ft in length, 80 ft in width and about 30 ft in depth and it is a strange lake of Tu Yin Taung. There is Mya Kan in the west and ancient Bagan pagodas, Ayeyawady river and Tant Kyi Taung in the north-west of Kyauk Yay Kan. These places are the new tour sites which garner the interest of local and foreign tourists most.
(2) Zee O Village
Zee O Village is located at 25°30’N latitude and 95°12” 15’E longitude and about 13 miles from NyaungU. The travellers can see the Sal trees (0.13 square mile) and purified wood conserved by the Forest Department. There is also about 900-year-old tamarind tree and iron furnace of 1st century in the village. The site can be supposed as a place for nature-based tourism.
(3) Set Set Yo Village
The village is about 2 miles from NaungU and located at 21°06’N latitude and 95°08” 04’E longitude. It can be reached via Byatta Pansat Road. The village conserves its ancient living styles, and the boys and girls adopt their coiffures like ‘yaung pay soo’, the traditional topknot style with a circular fringe until they attend the university. The village operates toddy climbing businesses and boasts of strange living styles. So, it is a must-see place for local and foreign photographers.
(4) Popa Taung (Mount Popa)
The Popa Taung is about 30 miles from Bagan-NyaungU and it is a 3 miles 6 furlongs trekking tour. It has about 120 monkeys out of 3 species of endangered Dust Leaf Monkey (Presbytis obscures) which inhabit at Nwar La Boh Taung, Say Kwin Taung and Mhan Pya Taung. So, it is a nice tour destination with full of nature of Popa Taung, rare birds, animals, orchids, flowers and herbs.
(5) Kyauk Myat Maw Pagoda
The Kyauk Myat Maw pagoda is located beside the Ayeyawady riverbank in the southern part of Myin Ka Bar village near the Soe Myin Gyi pagoda. The pagoda is in two-level structure on the same plinth, and the inner part bears octagonal structure with artworks of the Pyu era. The outside and inner parts of the pagoda are separated with pillars which are about 3 ft in width. According to the archaeologists, the pagoda was constructed at about 12-13 century AD. This site also attracts the interest of tourists with its stunning views of the sunset at Ayeyawady river and iconic views of Tant Kyi Taung.—Pe Lain (Bagan) (Translated by Khine Thazin Han)