Inside Asia Tours


The Mon people, natives of southern Myanmar, established Bago more than a thousand years ago, and since then the area has had a long and tumultuous history of invasions, annexations, victories and defeats.

Bago Map

“This former capital of southern Myanmar (once called Pegu) is chock-a-block with religious sites - including the tallest pagoda in the country.”

Charlotte Bower, Travel Consultant

Located about 50 miles to the northeast of Yangon, the earliest mention of the town was recorded by Arab geographer ibn Khordadbeh in around 850 AD, and records tell that the area came under rule of the Burman people based in Bagan in 1056. After the collapse of Bagan to the Mongols in 1287, the Mon regained their independence and a Mon dynasty established itself in lower Myanmar, with a capital first at Mottama and then at Bago.

During the reign of King Razadarit, Bago and Ava Kingdom were engaged in the Forty Years' War. The peaceful reign of Queen Shin Sawbu came to an end when she chose the Buddhist monk Dhammazedi (1472-1492) to succeed her. Under Dhammazedi, Bago became a centre of commerce and Theravada Buddhism.

From 1369-1539, Hanthawaddy was the capital of the Mon Hanthawaddy Kingdom, which covered all of what is now lower Myanmar. The area came under Burman control again in 1539, when it was annexed by King Tabinshwehti of the Taungoo Dynasty. The kings of Taungoo made Bago their royal capital and used it as a base for repeated invasions of the Ayutthaya Kingdom (modern Thailand).

Further ups and downs were to follow, before the arrival of the British and the silting of the port led to the permanent downward decline of the town. Modern Bago retains some impressive remnants of its former glories, including the impressive Shwemawdaw Pagoda, though most visitors will visit as a day trip from Yangon or en route to the Golden Rock or Mawlamyine.

Recommended Accommodation in Bago

The following are our favourites from among the western-style hotels and Burmese-style inns of Bago.

Weather in Bago

The Climate Guide for Bago is perfect for planning your holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Daytime Temperature (°C) 32 34 36 37 34 30 30 29 30 32 32 31
Min Night-time Temperature (°C) 17 18 21 24 25 24 24 24 24 24 22 18
Hours of Sunshine (Daily) 9 10 10 9 7 4 4 4 5 6 8 9
Hours of Daylight (Daily) 11 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 12 12 11 11
Heat and Humidity Discomfort High Very High Very High Extreme Very High Very High High High Very High Very High Very High High
Days with some Rainfall 1 1 1 3 16 27 30 29 23 12 4 1
Monthly Rainfall (mm) 5 2 5 20 288 550 606 626 367 188 49 7
UV Index (Maximum) 9 11 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11 9 8