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The sight of hot air balloons drifting serenely over the plains of Bagan has become an iconic image in Myanmar (Burma). Most flights are in the early morning, through the delicate mist and towards the rising sun, offering an unrivaled perspective of the thousands of temples spread over the vast plains.
You will be amazed by a new horizon of discovery, as you drift serenely with the breeze. Bagan, with over 2,000 ruins of religious sites scattered across arid plains, is one of the richest archeological attractions in Asia.
Viewing at sunrise from the air is the most exciting way to see the panoramic views of Bagan and its surrounds, from the many monuments to the Irrawaddy River.
Your adventure starts as the sun rises, with a magical take-off. The balloon floats gently in the wind, providing a well-poised platform for viewing the breathtaking scenery. Gradually monuments appear through the mist.
The buildings look particularly beautiful with sunlight intensifying their hues. You may fly over villages and can sometimes see people feeding their animals.
By taking a balloon ride, you’re actually giving back to the locals. In recent years, ballooning operators have continued to play an active role in public projects, such as hiring and training locals, delivering relief and food to flood victims, building schools and providing supplies to children. In this way, part of your money will help locals improve their lives.
The balloon itinerary is different every day due to changes in wind and weather conditions. The flights usually start a few minutes after sunrise, around 6:15 am to 6:45 am depending on the time of year. Pick-up times and take-off locations will be confirmed the night before your flight.
The balloon will go anywhere the wind takes it, so the landing point could be next to a pagoda, on a sandbank, in a field by a village or even along the riverside. You may need to wait a little for the crew to reach the landing point, before starting your landing celebration.
The following schedule is only approximate, so don’t make any time-critical decisions , such as booking an early airplane, based on the following times.
05:30—06:00 Be picked up from your hotel and brought to the take-off site.
06:00—06:30 Meet your pilot and listen to a safety briefing/Coffee or Tea with cookie/watch the balloon being inflated.
06:30—06:45 Get into the basket and prepare for lift-off.
06:45—07:30 Enjoy the magical flight over the archaeological zone.
07:30—08:00 Join in a light champagne celebration and receive a flight certificate, have a light breakfast.
08:00—08:30 Return to your hotel.
Onward Transportation：If you need to catch a flight after taking a balloon ride, flights departing any time after 12-midday are recommended.
It’s a bit expensive to balloon over Bagan, but the unique experience is worth the price. The balloons are from well-known manufacturers in the UK or Spain. Most pilots come from the UK, holding commercial balloon licenses and having years of flying experience, and they observe the highest safety standards.
The current ballooning season is from 7 October 2018 to 31 March 2019 (1st October 2016 to 31st March 2017, every year a little different), when blue skies are at their clearest and the air is at its coolest. The prices of three ballooning operators are as follows:
Balloons Over Bagan
Classic flights: US$ 330 per person, with 12 to 16 people max per balloon (US$ 340 per person at Xmas and New Year)
Premium flights: US$ 390 per person with 8 people max per balloon (US$ 400 per person at Xmas and New Year)
Premium flights: US$ 395 per person with 4 to 12 people max per balloon
Golden Eagle Ballooning
Standard flights: US$ 320 per person with 12 people max per balloon
Premium flights: US$ 380 per person with 8 people max per balloon
If you take the premium flights, you will receive more guide-interaction, a special souvenir and in-flight photos.
As the balloon flights are in heavy demand and often fully-booked during the tourist season, it’s recommended to make reservations well in advance. Note that flights may be cancelled prior to departure, due to weather conditions. In case this happens, you will receive a full refund.
If you are looking for a standard flight, we recommend Balloons Over Bagan. There are four compartments in each basket and you will share your corner with two or three others.
For more intimate interaction and more space, choose a smaller balloon. You’ll only need to share the compartment with one other person, rather than two or three. The better experience will probably be worth the extra money. For this case, we recommend Oriental Ballooning, as they are focused on providing premium flights.
Golden Eagle Ballooning is a good option if the two operators above are fully booked.
|Operator||Balloon color||Passengers per balloon||Price per person||Strength|
|Balloons Over Bagan||Red|| Classic flights: 12 to 16 people max |
Premium flights: 8 people max
|Classic: US$ 330 Premium: US$ 390||The most experienced operator with over 14 years of experience|
|Oriental Ballooning||Green||Premium flights:4 to 12 people max||Premium: US$ 395||Provides a more intimate personal touch and premium service in smaller balloons|
|Golden Eagle Ballooning||Yellow|| Standard flights:12 people max |
Premium flights:8 people max
| Standard: US$ 320 |
Premium: US$ 380
|A relatively new company offering good flight experiences|
We provide booking service of balloon flights and tailor-made tours to Myanmar. The Balloons will normally fully booked 3 months in advance. Please tell us when you would like to fly as soon as possible and we will get in touch with you.
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