Balloons Over Bagan in Bagan, Myanmar formerly known as Burma, is the highlight of this magic city, located in the middle of Myanmar. Bagan, is the most important touristic destination in Myanmar along with Inle Lake and Yangon.
Last year more than 450.000 tourist visited Bagan and more than 20,000 tourists are taking the balloon ride in Bagan every season. Since there only 32 balloons available per day ( with 4 balloon companies allowed to operate: Oriental Ballooning, STT Ballooning, Balloons over Bagan and Golden Eagle Ballooning) seats for balloons over bagan are being sold very fast.
Based on Tripadvisor reviews, the hot air balloon ride in Bagan is the most popular tourist activity in Bagan! With more than 85% of the person reviewing it Excellent!
Best time to ride the Balloons Over Bagan
Myanmar travel seasons is divided in low season (May to September, High Season (September to May) and Peak Season (15th December to 10th of January). During the peak seasons the Balloons over Bagan price is 20$ higher than the normal rate.
December is very popular are if you don’t book the balloons over Bagan at least 2 months in advance the chances are very limited to find any seat available!
Try to avoid the peak season in Bagan for the balloon ride; the hotel prices will be at the highest rates, chances to have a free spot in the balloons are close to minimum. If you still want to do the ride during that period booking in advance is highly recommendable; at least minimum 3 months in advance.
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Try to take into consideration the cancellation period which is quite strict. For cancelling within 31 days before the ride there is a 20% cancelation fee. Within 21 days before there will be no refund.
In case of cancel due to bad weather there will be a 100%, total refund.
1. Balloons Over Bagan Season 2021
Update May 2020: Due to weather pattern in the past years (rain at the beginning of October) the balloons companies in Bagan decided to start the balloon season in 2018, 2 weeks later with Oriental Ballooning being the first to start on 1st of October. Balloons Over Bagan will resume the hot air balloon ride in Bagan on 7th of October 2020 and will end on 10th of April 2021.
The Balloons Over Bagan flight starts on 7th of October 2020 and ends on 10th of April 2021 each year.
The ballooning season is short in Bagan, typically running from October through mid-April. Only Balloons Over Bagan and Easter Safari operate mid April. Why the season is so short and there are no balloon rides during the monsoon season in Myanmar/Burma? The winds are calmer and the air is cooler.
Why almost all the balloon rides takes place during the morning hours? The air currents are less active during those hours and the chances of your balloon ride to be canceled are close to ZERO. Last year from example for the whole ride season, only 3 days had been canceled!
Don’t worry if your balloon flight is canceled! We will be refunded 100%. So money back guarantee in case of bad weather!
The vast majority of the flights are at sunrise, meaning that you’re going to have to be up bright and early for your pickup, often before 6am. You’ll be back at your hotel around 8am.
Standard Balloon over Bagan Experience vs Premium Balloon Over Bagan Experience.
Eastern Safari focuses more on the premium balloons services. The difference are:
- Transportation: even if their is the same bus type, we will ride only with persons who have booked the premium services
- Standard Service / 12-16 passengers balloon) vs
Balloons Over Bagan Premium Service
- Premium service / 8 passengers balloon. You will have your own space in the balloon and have more mobility when it comes to taking picture. If you are looking to make professional and amazing photos, this option is the best for you!
- Private transfer to and from the hotel for the balloon ride.
Tip: Book at least within 30 days in advance!
2. How much Balloons over Bagan price is?
The price for the Balloons over Bagan varies from tour operator to another and varies from 350 to 420$ per person, the official price of the balloon ride in Bagan on their websites. If you are booking directly with the balloon operator it will cost more then booking with a local travel agent as MyanMarvels Travel and Tours which might have a special price (around 300-315$/person) or even a promo code for the balloons over Bagan. During the peak season in Myanmar (25th of December till 10th of January) there is a 20$ surge increase.
3. My Balloons Over Bagan Experience
The trip starts early the morning at 5.00 am when the pick up is schedule. They will come and pick you up from the hotel. But you have to reconfirm the booking and the location, one day prior to your balloon ride.
Bring warm clothes. It’s a bit chilly in the bus and if the windows are open (usually there are) it’s getting even colder.
Once arrived at the take off place, we will meet your fellow passengers and have a quick snack: coffee and some biscuits. A short training then follows: what you need to do when the balloons takes off, when lands and during the flight. Pay attention to it because it never knows. But so far in the past 10 years since the balloons ride are in Bagan, no incident happened!
This was one of the coolest part of the trip. Seeing the whole process: how the balloons are inflated, the motors noise and seeing simultaneous more than 20 balloons and a dozen of people making all happen for your awesome balloon ride over Bagan!
Going up happened so smooth and so fast that I did not realised only after 2 minutes that I was on the air!
From above, the pagodas are looking more impressive. And you are in the right place being up there rather than talking photos to the balloons from the pagodas!
Other Balloons are circulating on the air as well. The conductors communicate all the time between them and sometimes they try to make a special formation. But the main reason of the communication is just not to collide with each other!
One of the most impressive Pagoda – the smog.
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4. Balloons Over Bagan – Video
Bagan is more then the balloon ride. It’s about the culture and mostly it’s about the people who make Bagan an unique and amazing place to visit in Myanmar!
Best Photos we can take are early in the morning when the sun starts to come out. The smog, the diffused light and with a good camera; this are the ingredients for the best photo of the balloons in Bagan!
The descent was smooths at the takeaway. As long as you follow the rules, nothing bad can happen! My balloon ride lasted around 55 minutes. Usually the balloon ride over Bagan lasts up to 45 minutes. It’s more about the air currents and how strong there are. I have heard of shorter or even longer rides.
5. Balloons Over Bagan – The Breakfast
The day ends around 7.30 when, “looked” into a ward (made by chairs in order for the souvenirs vendors not to disturb you, which I did not liked too much to be honest) where you are being treated like a start: very good croissants – to be honest I have never eaten something as good as those in my 2 years stay in Myanmar, fresh fruits (bananas or other seasonal fruit) and a glass of Champagnes. Or even more; depending on how full the balloon is the glass are a bit unlimited!
Does it worth is paying more than 300$ for the balloons over Bagan? For example the price in Turkey, Cappadocia is around 150-199, depending how early do you book. So the Bagan ride is quite double. To be honest, yes it does! You are not going to come to Bagan every year (only if you are based in Myanmar of course) or even so you don’t do the same touristic activity twice! So for a lifetime experience and if a balloon ride is on your bucket list, come to Bagan, Myanmar and UP!
At the end of the trip few souvenir seller are waiting to make an extra income. They are especially kids who are trying either to support their families or to have money to go to school – Myanmar being one of the most poorest country in South East Asia. I have bought from one little boy some handmade postcards. So it would be great to buy something at the end. They are following the balloons from the start to the ends; because the landing point is not the same on each day.
For booking the Hot Air Balloons over Bagan do not hesitate to contact us via the contact form or drop us a comment; we are more than happy to assist you in having the best of times in Myanmar!