Hot air balloon ride over Bagan, Ayeyawady River enchanting visitors

Temples and pagodas in the Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone are packed with homegrown visitors and international travellers. The hot air balloon ride to enjoy astonishing views of the Bagan zone, sandflat and Ayeyawady River is one of the popular attractions in the zone.
The hot air balloon ride business over the Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone has been suspended for two years. When the COVID-19 cases significantly dropped, Myanmar’s tourism sector restarted in the 2022 high tourism season. Bagan was crowded with visitors during public holidays and religious festivals such as Thadingyut and Tazaungdaing.
In order to enjoy a breathtaking view of the vast Bagan heritage site, visitors are increasingly interested in hot air balloon rides. At present, four companies are providing hot air balloon ride service. This month, we operated the service two to three times. The visitors enjoy taking documentary photos to keep the unforgettable memories and walking in the zone to see the amazing scenic view of Bagan.
The hot air balloon ride service costs US$150-170 or K300,000-420,000 per person. One balloon can carry 16 passengers. About two to four balloons run by three companies are flying every day.  In early 2023, four tourism companies offered that service. This month, Balloon Bagan Company (BOB), Oriental Blue Min Company (OB) and Shinthanthu Company are running this business.  The OB Company will suspend its business in the last week of February, while the BOB Company will stop its service on 11 April 2023. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, each company provided service for about 176 passengers per day with seven hot air balloons, when tourists flocked to the cultural zone. When the business restarted in the 2022-2023 financial year, the number of passengers was not as high as before. Businesses are making efforts to offer premium service for visitors in the upcoming season.
The number of pilgrims in the Bagan Ancient Cultural Zone dropped from the second week of February. Hoteliers are forecast to receive a growing number of visitors in the upcoming Thingyan holidays which will fall in April. This year, the zone attracted many tourists from Russia, China, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, the Republic of Korea and Thailand. Holidaymakers are enthusiastic to enjoy the fantastic view of the sandflat and Ayeyawady River beyond the Bagan Cultural Heritage Site. – Nyein Thu (MNA)/EM


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