Between the 11th and 13th centuries, the ancient city of Bagan, former capital of the Pagan Kingdom, boasted more than ten thousand Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries. Around two thousand of these religious buildings still stand nowadays and they attract an ever-growing number of visitors to gaze upon their splendor.
To accommodate the influx of tourists, many hotels have sprung up in and around the city and one of these, the Amazing Bagan Resort, is conveniently situated close to the Bagan Nyaung Oo airport. Even more amazing than the hotel’s location is that there’s an 18-hole golf course attached to it for the use of residents and other guests.The landscape is rather flat at this golfing oasis, the fairways are lightly bunkered and there are no water hazards to speak of so Bagan’s more of a resort course than a championship-standard layout. As a consequence, golfers who keep the ball out of the scrub that lines every hole should be able to card a decent score.
I think that the first thing everyone must acknowledge if coming to play this course: it's a rural course in an area where virtually none of the local population plays golf. Certainly the airport staff, taxi driver and hotel staff weren't really sure what my golf clubs were as I carried them around. But, it's worth the trouble of getting to and playing here because it is certainly unique.
The course is set right beside or even inside the World Heritage temples area of Bagan. On some holes you can pick your driving and approach lines based on spires of the adjacent structures. On the 12th there are actually pagodas on the left and right edges of the fairway.
Don't go expecting much in terms of design or conditioning, just enjoy the unique aesthetics of the place and you'll be happier. The clubhouse is a fairly run down 'shed' and the course design is mostly one dimensional. In the dry season the fairways are more sparse and dusty, but even in the wet I'm not sure they'd be much better as they just appear to be on sand with no organic matter. Compulsory caddie was pleasant but as I couldn't speak her language, we couldn't communicate.