Myanmar’s Ancient City Of Bagan Gets UNESCO World Heritage Status

Jul 30, 2019 | Escape, Myanmar, News

Burma – Temples in Bagan | Christophe Brisbois

Myanmar’s well-known tourist destination, the ancient capital city of Bagan, has finally been given a World Heritage Site status by UNESCO, more than twenty years after it was first nominated for listing.

This would be Myanmar’s second UNESCO site after the international organization granted the ancient Pyu cities of Sri Ksetra, Halin and Beikthano, the status way back in 2014.

The announcement was made earlier this July during the 21-member World Heritage Committee meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan. The decision came in part with the recommendation of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

Tourism Boost

The decision by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to elevate the status of the historical site will surely bring a massive boost to the country’s tourism industry.

Tourism has always been the main driving force of Myanmar’s economy. According to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) report, the Southeast Asian country, which was formerly called Burma, has seen a significant increase in tourism revenues reaching to $2.1 billion USD.

Sunrise from Shwesandaw, Bagan | Drouyn Cambridge

Tourism has always been the main driving force of Myanmar’s economy. According to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) report, the Southeast Asian country, which was formerly called Burma, has seen a significant increase in tourism revenues reaching to $2.1 billion USD.

Although there’s a slight dip from what was originally projected, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism remains optimistic that the industry will see further growth in the coming years.

Now that it bears the UNESCO stamp, the Bagan site will likely to draw in more visitors not only from within the region but also from around the world.

Other sites that were given the World Heritage status by UNESCO include the “Pink City” of India, the ruins of Liangzhu City in China, and the Plain of Jars in Laos.

Remnants of An Old Empire

According to Burmese history, the city of Bagan was founded around the second century AD by King Pyinbya and went on to become the Pagan Empire’s political, economic, cultural, and religious center.

Over the course of two centuries and a half, rulers of the empire commissioned the construction of religious monuments which comprised approximately 1,000 stupas, 10,000 small temples, and 3,000 monasteries, all contained within the area’s 104 square kilometers zone.

Over the years, natural calamities brought destruction to the famed ancient city.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Bagan suffered some of the most devastating earthquake occurrences. The one in 2016, which reached 8.0 magnitude, reduced nearly 400 temples into rubble.

Previous restoration projects initiated by the military government around the 90s has drawn flak from art historians and preservation experts because of the total disregard on the site’s original architectural style and heritage.

The Bagan Archaeological Department, with the backing from UNESCO experts has since been taking over the restoration efforts.

The Evolution of Ice Cream in Asia

Ice cream has had a long and fulfilling journey in Asia from its origin story to its present-day impact, surpassing nations in the West.

Learn Korean Culture thru Funny Comics by the ‘Korean Friends’

“Korean Friends” is sharp, funny, and unapologetic – three things that you genuinely need to put into art when introducing your culture to the world.

World’s First: Japan Firm Develops Second Skin Spray-on Facemask

A Japanese cosmetics company Wednesday unveiled what it said was the world’s first spray-on skin, a moisturising facemask made of fibres one-100th the thickness of a human hair.

This Young Man is Revolutionizing the Way We Clean Beaches Around the World

Arjun Sharma touches base on his journey discovering Clean My Beach and the hopes and determination he desires to share with the world in an effort to fight environmental havoc

DJ and Fashion Icon: Peggy Gou is Taking Over

While the rest of the world is tripping over k-pop, Peggy Gou, a Korean DJ, producer, and fashion icon is taking center stage

ISIS In Southeast Asia: A Last-Ditch Effort

Ideas live on and oftentimes, it will outlive the very people or group that created them.

Chasing Shadows: Wife of Detained Lawyer Battles Beijing for 2 Years

With winter approaching, Xu Yan brought some warm clothes and money for her husband to a detention centre in eastern China, though she’s not even sure the arrested human rights lawyer is still being held there.

Uighur Musician Listed for China Show Year After Disappearance

A prominent Uighur musician who was rumoured to have disappeared into a re-education camp in China’s northwest Xinjiang will perform in Shanghai next month, the event organiser said Monday.

The Ultimate Guide to the Eggs of Asia

Think the usual sunny side up, scrambled, poached, and boiled egg is boring? Take a look at this comprehensive guide to the Eggs of Asia.

Common Misconceptions About China’s Citizens

How well do we really know the Chinese?

Britain Agreed to Take Back 42 Containers of Plastic Waste Sent to Malaysia

Britain has agreed to take back 42 containers of plastic waste illegally exported to Malaysia, officials said Monday, as several Asian nations push back against becoming the world’s trash dump.

Top things to do in Shanghai for a 3 day Stopover

Shanghai: Everything You Need to Know When Traveling China’s Largest City

Crazy Social Media Happenings in Asia

West or east? Wealthy or not? A quick snapshot of two of the craziest happenings on Asian social media

Don’t Miss the Top Things to Do in Macau

Macau is a paradise for people who love culture and food. Ready to explore the land of towering casinos and mouth watering egg tarts? Check out what to do in the booming city of Macau

CEO of Takes Lead to Propel Working Mothers Forward

The head of Chinese travel giant, Jane Sun, is on a mission to propel women through her workforce, spearheading novel approaches such as encouraging babies on business trips and free egg freezing.