Until June 21, visitors in Bagan can view the heritage pagodas and surrounding scenery for free from the third floor of the Bagan Nan Myint viewing tower.
Nyaung-U district general administration officer U Soe Tint said the free sightseeing location would only be opened for sunset and sunrise viewings.
“The floor can accommodate up to 500 at a time,” he said last Friday.
U Soe Tint said the building owner, Htoo Companies Group, has agreed to the government’s request to make the floor available to visitors while new viewing sites were being built.
He said the arrangement to use the third floor as a free sightseeing location was only for a three-month period.
“But if there is a need to extend the period, the building owner will accommodate it,” he said.
After an earthquake last August, some pagodas with viewing sites were damaged, leading authorities to disallow sightseeing at four of the seven pagodas -- Shwe San Taw, Pyathatgyi, Taung Gu Ni, Myauk Gu Ni, Bu Lei Thi, Thitsar Wadi and Bagan Hmyaw.
Only viewing sites at the Shwe San Taw, Pyathatgyi and Taung Gu Ni pagodas remained opened to visitors.
Following the earthquake, the government decided to build four new viewing sites. The first new site, the Ko Mar Kan viewing location, was completed in February.
Works are still ongoing at the Nyaung Let Taphet Kan viewpoint in the southeastern part of the Sularmani Pagoda.
U Soe Tint said once all four new sites were finished by the Nyaung-U district general administration office, the authorities would close up all viewing sites of older pagodas.
There have been serious concerns that the old pagodas in Bagan are not strong enough to support the large crowds that go there to watch sunsets and sunrises.
– Translation by Zaw Nyunt