Because Bagan is an ancient city, it is not the place for modern shopping centres or spacious malls. While these major establishments may be absent, there are still many stores in Bagan that interested shoppers can visit. The quality of the products is good, and the prices are reasonable and shoppers can haggle for even lower prices. While clothes and other common items are sold in Bagan, most stores carry a wide selection of arts and crafts. Myanmar is a country of artisan families, and traditional skills are passed on from one generation to the next.
Of all the handicrafts in Myanmar, the most distinctive of all is lacquerware. It is the most widely produced and used; most households in the country use lacquerware as everyday objects. In central Myanmar, the centre of lacquerware manufacturing is Bagan. In Myinkaba Village alone, about 600 households manufacture lacquerware. In the past, Burmese royalty gave lacquer objects to foreign emissaries as gifts and today, visitors need not be an emissary to get their hands on quality lacquerware because many stores sell it in Bagan.
Chan Thar Lacquerware Workshop
Like the Golden Bagan, the Chan Thar Lacquerware Workshop is also a highly recommended shopping destination. Shoppers will not be disappointed in this place as the store carries an extensive selection of lacquerware, and their collection includes everything from kitchenware (plates, cups, etc) to ornamental pieces (jewelry boxes) to furniture.
Location: Main Road, Myin Ka Par, Bagan.
Ever Stand Lacquerware Workshop
Ever Stand Lacquerware Workshop is another good store to visit in Bagan when it comes to lacquerware. The wide selection is impressive and the prices are budget-friendly. You’ll probably be enticed to purchase at least one piece because of the sheer beauty of the items sold, which include water jars and vases.
Location: Between Old Bagan & Nyaung Oo.,Wetkyi-in Village.
Golden Bagan Lacquerware Shop
The Golden Bagan Lacquerware Shop is included in the list of the best lacquerware stores in Bagan and like other souvenir shops in Bagan, this one presents the consumers with a wide range of items to choose from. From something as small as a cup to bigger items like treasure chests, the Golden Bagan delivers the best when it comes to lacquerware.
Location: Khaye Main Road, New Bagan.
Golden Cuckoo Lacquerware Workshop
Visitors in search of lacquerware can go to the Golden Cuckoo, one of Bagan’s most notable sources of the product. The family-run workshop, which has been around for four generations, displays their best pieces in front of the store: cups, bowls, plates and trays. The proprietors of the shop speak English, and are willing to demonstrate the process of lacquer making to interested tourists.
Location: Myin Ka Par Village, Bagan.
Moe Moe Family Lacquerware
The Moe Moe Family Lacquerware Workshop is an important shopping destination for consumers who are serious about lacquerware. Here, you will find both traditional and modern pieces in the spacious showroom. The factory is very busy during the day, but proprietors can still show how the lacquer is created step by step.
Opening Hours: 09:00-21:00
Location: Main Road, Ywar Thit Quarter, New Bagan.
Shwe La Yaung Lacquerware Shop and Store
The people behind the Shwe La Yaung Lacquerware Shop and Store know that there is more to lacquerware than just functionality. The intricately designed merchandise of this shopping destination also tells stories, often those of love and astrology (a prominent feature of their lacquerware is the mythical bird named Hintha). The store’s best-selling products include small finger bowls and bucket-sized betel-nut canisters.
Location: South Quarter, Myinkaba, Bagan.
Shwe War Thein Handicrafts Shop
Shwe War Thein is considered as one of the best souvenir shops in the region. This shopping destination is the place to go for truly exquisite items. Its merchandise includes puppets (antique and new), wood carvings, chess sets, lacquerware, bronze pieces and gems. The staff members are passionate about the products they sell, but customers will never feel pressure to buy.
Opening Hours: 07:00-21:00
Location: East of Tharabar Gate, Taung Be Village, Old Bagan.
Tun Handcrafted Lacquerware
Yet another lacquerware store that is a recommended stop for all Bagan shoppers is Tun Handcrafted Lacquerware. The handmade artefacts in this store include lacquerware to be used as accessories or for home decoration. Visitors will be impressed by the many kinds of items found in this well-known Bagan store.
Location: 6/1 Khan Laung Quarter.
U Ba Nyein Lacquerware Workshop
Just like Moe Moe, the U Ba Nyein Lacquerware Workshop has a large showroom to display the best items they have to offer. Everything from plates to cups, ashtrays to vases, jewelry boxes and furniture (lacquer tables and chairs) can be found here.
Opening Hours: 09:00-21:00
Location: Main Road, Myo Thit, Bagan.