For several centuries, Bagan was the capital of the eponymous Bagan
kingdom, a powerful empire that first conquered and consolidated the territory of modern-day Myanmar. During this time, Bagan became a prosperous, cosmopolitan city, drawing visitors and travelers from across Southeast Asia. Additionally, over 2,000 ancient temples, stupas, and palaces were erected by the Bagan Empire - many of which still stand today, concentrated on a single plain along the banks of the Irrawaddy River.
Highlights of any trip to this city include cruises on the Irrawaddy River, long a vital artery of the region; a hike up Mount Popa, whose 4,000 foot (1,219 meter) summit is adorned with temples; and viewing the myriad temples through the morning mist.