Two ancient capitals are named sister cities, following an agreement signed by Myanmar and Laos. Founded around the 8th century, Luang Prabang is a World Heritage Site that was the royal capital of the kingdom with the same name. Bagan was founded in the 9th century but did not become the capital of the Burmese empire until the turn of the firt millenium. It is not a World Heritage Site because the military junta decided to muck up a lot of the restoration work on the many ancient structures that dot the landscape. The agreement to be sister cities is aimed at increasing tourist numbers.
Bagan, Luang Prabang named sister cities
Myanmar Times & Business Review, 1-7 June 2009
Myanmar and Laos signed an agreement last month establishing Bagan and Luang Prabang as sister cities, with the aim of boosting tourism in both countries.The agreement was signed on May 13 at the Archaeological Museum in Bagan during a visit to Myanmar by Lao Minister of Information and Culture Mr Mounkeo Oraboun.
A tourism expert in Yangon told The Myanmar Times that Bagan and Luang Prabang are ancient cities that attract cultural tourists, and establishing them as sister cities would help promote friendship, understanding, and cooperation between Myanmar and Laos.