Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a royal in Myanmar? Why not try it for a day or a dare in Bagan? Of course, renting an E-bike, a cycle or even a vehicle for the day would make more sense to all those practical travelers out there.
But, then again, where is the fun or the novelty in that? If you are not brave or patient enough to try out the local way of life in Bagan, you might as well stay in your own country and ride an e-bike in your own hometown.
The experience of riding a horse cart
Just imagine, cozily sitting on a cushion, nicely hidden from the scorching heat of Bagan, majestically gliding along, albeit at a slower pace, along the 2000+ ancient temples in Bagan.
Be warned though, this blissful reverie will most probably come to an end after two or three hours of being jostled from side to side along bumpy roads in Bagan. Not to mention all the dust you will get to eat for free without a charge. It could even get hilariously tragic if you are the lucky royal who grabbed the front seat to a magnificent view of the jiggling backside of the horse.
On a serious note though, riding a horse cart is undeniably one of the best and the cheapest ways to experience the local culture, the slow pace of life and the humble people of Bagan.
Horse cart vs E-bike in Bagan
As horse carts have to compete with scooters and rental vehicles, horses and their drivers are slowly disappearing from Bagan. By choosing to ride a horse cart, you not only help the local business and ‘travel green’ but also contribute to the preservation of a local tradition.
Instead of riding mindlessly from one temple to the other with a bunch of backpackers or travelers who know nothing of the history or the architecture of ancient Bagan, you can get to know the stories behind each temple and its architecture from your local horse cart driver while taking the time to experience the uniqueness of these ancient structures.
Besides, it is not every day that you get to talk to villagers while sipping a beer at a local beer station, or get a first-hand experience of how lacquerware is made in one of the many lacquerware villages in Bagan.
How much is a horse cart in Bagan?
This romantic ride can be easily arranged for a price not more than $30 for half day tours and slightly more or less than $40 for full day tours.
When is the best time for a tour?
The highlight of a horse cart tour in Bagan is without question the sunset or the sunrise ride. As locals, the horse cart drivers know the easiest and the fastest routes to the best temple spots to enjoy a peaceful sunset or sunrise. The ethereal beauty of a Bagan sunset or sunrise enjoyed among a sea of temples and pagodas while your gentle horse lulls you to a trance like state.