a VirtualTourist member from London
Does anyone know of any companies or locals that operate bike tours in Bagan? Or is it relatively easy to go off on your own and explore?
Very easy to tour the ruins on your own. All you'll need is to rent a clunker one-speed from your guesthouse or hotel, have a decent map [the free DPS maps of Bagan and Nyuang U area is all you'll really need] which displays the dirt paths connecting the temples, and your own legs and gumption. Don't forget sunscreen and glasses and also to drink bottled water. A flashlight or headlamp comes in handy if your planning to watch the sunset from a temple and am quite a ways out from your accomodations at Nyuang U or new Bagan.
Easy to do on your own. Bicycle rental is K500/day in Nyaung Oo and K2000-3000/day in Bagan Myothit. You can get a detailed map of Bagan with all the temple locations at some shops. Can't really recall how much but I think it was US$3.
I would suggest that you read up a bit, so that you do the temples that interest - eg. murals, sunset/sunrise spots - you most if you don't have enough days there. This place is huge!
The posters above have got it spot on. You can hire bikes almost anywhere in the area where there are tourists, and the whole site is fairly accessible. I had a wonderful time just pedalling around. I'm middle-aged and none too fit any more, but I had no problems, it's all relatively flat. i would say it's the best way to see Bagan. Have a look at my pages for an idea of what to expect.