The short-lived Bagan climbing ban

Tourism in Bagan. Source: Myanmar Times 20160225

A small clash last week between the Ministry of Culture and the tourism industry in Myanmar when the former abruptly banned the climbing of all temples in Bagan. This decision was quickly reversed after it was met with vocal opposition from many parties.

Tourism in Bagan. Source: Myanmar Times 20160225
Tourism in Bagan. Source: Myanmar Times 20160225

Bagan ban: Myanmar stops tourists scaling prized pagodas
AFP, via Yahoo News, 22 February 2016

Tourism ministry joins fight against Bagan ban
Myanmar Times, 24 February 2016

Myanmar backpedals on Bagan climbing ban
AFP, via Channel NewsAsia, 24 February 2016

Ministry backflips on Bagan pagoda ban
Myanmar Times, 25 February 2016

The Ministry of Culture has backpedalled on a decision to ban visitors from ascending pagodas in Bagan.

The edict, announced on February 22, prompted criticism from the tourism industry as well as from within the ministry. In barely 24 hours the ministry clarified its position, saying visitors would be banned from ascending all but five pagodas – its previous policy.

The ministry took the unpopular original decision because a medical company had conducted a cultural show on Pyathagyi Pagoda in the second week of February. It was to come into effect on March 1.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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