Bagan security must be tightened, says tourism boss

Bagan, Myanmar’s major tourist destination, expected to welcome more than 300,000 visitors this fiscal year, said Hnoun Hnoun Han, the general secretary of the Myanmar Tourism Federation, adding that security at the site needed to be stepped up.

The visitor numbers to Bagan and Nyaung-U have been rising since 2012, figures show.

“Bagan is a prestigious site for Myanmar. It has few equals in all of Southeast Asia. It is yet to be listed as a [Unesco] World Heritage site for some reason but now there are efforts to make that happen,” said Hnoun Hnoun Han, adding that the Shwedagon Pagoda and Bagan were must-see destinations for all international visitors.

The entry fee for foreigners to the city, which has around 2,200 surviving temples and pagodas built by various kings, has recently been raised from US$15 to $20.

“The city should be better preserved than it is now, especially its security [which should be stricter],” said the general secretary.

The peak season for Bagan is usually from October to March.

Lonely Planet named Bagan the place to visit in 2015 and it received celebrity couple Beyonce and Jay-Z in December.