Is the Sun Setting on Bagan Temple Climbing?

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Myanmar authorities are mulling a ban on climbing Bagan’s temples in order to protect them, reports Frontier Myanmar, but experts warn that such a move could have a negative impact on the country’s growing tourism industry.

Tourists take photos of the setting sun from the famed Shwesandaw Pagoda. (Theint Mon Soe — J | Frontier)

Tourists take photos of the setting sun from the famed Shwesandaw Pagoda. (Theint Mon Soe — J | Frontier)

The government has said it is considering banning visitors from climbing the pagodas at the end of this year’s tourism season, in order to protect these ancient structures.

“Sunset and sunrise viewing on the temples can cause damage to the cultural heritage, and that is not suitable in the long-run and should be banned in the future,” State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said when she visited Bagan in January.

She suggested building alternative structures for sunset and sunrise viewing and said any decision will “benefit the country in the long-term”.

It is not the first time authorities have considered a ban. And calls for a ban have increased since a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Myanmar in August 2016 and damaged about 200 of Bagan’s estimated 3,000 structures.

Some foreign visitors support the government’s plans. But some operators are concerned that such a move would have a detrimental impact on tourism.

Full story at Frontier Myanmar.

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