MYANMAR: OFFICIALS TO REOPEN BAGAN PAGODAS TO CLIMBING TOURISTS

NAY PYI DAW, Myanmar Myanmar authorities will permit a limited number of visitors to climb five pagodas in Bagan to view the sunrise and sunset starting in September, The Myanmar Times reported director of the Department of Archaeology and National Museum in Bagan, U Aung Aung Kyaw as saying.

We have not decided yet how many people will be allowed to climb on the selected pagodas. It will depend on the results of experts’ study of the strength of each pagoda that we selected for this year, he said.

He said Bagan authorities will select five pagodas with good structures and lesser heritage and architectural value from among the over 3,000 ancient pagodas and temples at the historical site. Visitors are allowed to climb on five different pagodas every year so as not to put too much stress on these structures.

Bagan authorities called for a meeting next month of all stakeholders in Bagan tourism and an expert team to discuss details of the plan. The result of the meeting will be reported to the Bagan Archaeological Management Committee, which is led by Mandalay Region Chief Minister, U Aung Aung Kyaw.

In February, the committee banned climbing on all pagodas at the ancient site as a measure to preserve the structures and as it may be against the religious beliefs of the people. However, many local vendors and shop owners were unhappy about the ban as it resulted in the decline of the number of tourists visiting the ancient site, thereby reducing their incomes.

Source: NAM News Network