Bago is about a 90-minute drive north from Yangon. As Pegu, it was the capitol of the Mon empire for many centuries, a major trading power with a network that stretched across the Orient, and the wealthiest region in Myanmar. During two centuries of warfare with the much hungrier Taungoo to the north, who were deprived by geography the richness of the Irrawaddy Valley, the city slowly crumbled in a slow diaspora to the south before finally being sacked in 1757.
Today’s Bago still houses much of its monumental Buddhist glory, which is really the only reason to do more than pass through. At time of writing, it boasts no hotel we can recommend, so you take your chances if you want to spend the night. Bago is a frequent stop of tourist buses heading back from the Golden Rock. For avid travel photographers, it is most definitely worthwhile.