Tharabar Gate - Myanmar
Bagan must be one of the most incredible temple complexes in the world, and located just at the ancient gates to this historical Buddhist masterpiece of is the serene Tharabar Gate Hotel. A peaceful haven set in a large garden from which to explore the beauty that is Bagan, one of the most sacred sites in South East Asia.
An elegant one-storey complex of suites and rooms stretches through verdant tropical walkways alive with the sound of water meandering through the spacious room. A large swimming pool flanked with elephants and an outstretched tree offer a wonderful respite from the heat of the afternoons. Melding in with the walls of a time faraway this is the perfect spot to explore the myriad of over 4000 temples and the town of Old Bagan.
Sprawling rooms and suites are tastefully designed with teak and touches of Burmese art and silks. The rooms are incredibly comfortable and spacious providing every modern convenience in amongst such history. Wooden bathrooms and floors add a warmth and traditional feel, and the private terraces are shaded by trees and plants are a wonderful place to relax and contemplate days exploring this incredible area. Tharabar Gate offers a relaxed luxury that melds into this rural and regal landscape by creating a calm that runs through the open aired lobby, restaurant and idyllic pool and gardens through into the refined, relaxing rooms.
There is so much to explore literally on your doorstep that it can be hard to know where to start. Foreign tourists are not allowed to use vehicles within the temple area. Horses and carriages are the traditional way to see the sites and are the epitome of slow travel, an easy and wonderful way to experience the village and the monuments. If you would like to venture a little further afield then bicycles and electric bikes are plentiful and a excellent way to get around the temples and town.
The main temples are literally on your doorstep; even a short stroll will take you to the Ananda Temple that is known as the ‘Jewel of Bagan’. King Kyanzittha of the Pagan Dynasty built it in 1105. It is one of only four surviving temples from the origins of Bagan. The temple is said to be a wonder of architecture, perfectly combining the Mon style of Myanmar with influences derived from India. It has a cruciform shaped ground plan and Buddhas housed facing the four cardinal points of North, East, South & West. The temple is a veritable museum illustrating some of the best examples of Bagan’s artwork through architecture, stone and wood carved Buddha’s, the painted murals on the walls and plaster mouldings. It is said you have not actually visited Bagan if you have not seen the majestic Ananda Temple.
Badly damaged in the earthquake of 1975, many of the temples and pagodas lost their exterior stone carving and interior art works. The result is the red hue of the majority of them of brickwork from a lack of restoration and more recent ones have been built. There is controversy surrounding the decision not to join UNESCO and achieve World Heritage Site status. Although it retains certain aspects of its majestic past, excavations and restorations have taken place that may have damaged some these temples more that aided them. It is hoped that they will enter into it, along with the majority of other great temple sites, in order to preserve this incredible and sacred site for future generations of visitors and pilgrims.
After a day of exploration and adventure in the amazing archaeological wonder that is Bagan then it is time to unwind in the spa with a deeply soothing oil massage that combines a variety of techniques, mainly Thai and Myanmar, to ease away any exertions during your explorations. Afterwards a swim in the pool, shading under that traditional Burmese parasols or a drink before sundown in the garden is a perfect place to contemplate the day in this relaxed and verdant atmosphere.
There is a choice of dining options under the stars or in traditional teak bungalow that is airy and relaxed. In the mornings the restaurant is alive with people planning their day and has an extensive breakfast drawing from Asian and European influences. Choose from an indulgent array from the bakery of Croissants, cakes and pastries or a more traditional choice of local noodle dishes. It is the perfect place to plan the day and with the help of the in-house butler service arrange the sights you would like to see and how you would like to see them. Balloons Over Bagan is the most magnificent way to witness dawn high above the majesty and beauty of the temples rising from the mist from high above.
Old Bagan is the perfect place to be based to experience this wonderful part of Burma. A trip to Myanmar is not complete without witnessing the spiritual and sacred beauty that is Bagan. Tharabar Gate Hotel is a wonderfully elegant yet relaxed retreat to explore the area and has a low impact and green policy that carries throughout the hotel and its fragrant gardens, spacious luxurious suites and intimate atmosphere. With some of the most iconic temples on your doorstep and the ancient gate of the same name outside, this place is peaceful and perfect for ethical exploration.