It might come as a surprise to some tourists to learn that the magnificent ancient temples at Bagan are not a UNESCO World Heritage Site, unlike Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.
Myanmar’s attempts to get them listed have thus far been rejected, with the UN citing bad management and shabby restoration projects under the former ruling military junta.
Now, officials have announced they intend to apply again at the 2018 meeting of the World Heritage Site Committee, the Myanmar Times reports.
“Over the next two years we will demarcate the cultural zone and compile a full list of cultural sites in Bagan,” Than Zaw Oo, director of the committee’s Myanmar branch, told the Times.
An committee made up of 18 officials from the ministries of Home Affairs, Religion and Culture and other departments was formed last month with the intention of determining the area that comprises the Bagan site.
UNESCO representatives will visit in 2019 to consider the application.
One of the potential problems is the so-called ‘limbo hotels’ – 42 hoteliers were permitted to build near to the temples in 2013 but then told they couldn’t admit guests.
The hotels are deemed to be positioned far too close to the temples. They were among 129 properties told to move to the designated ‘hotel zone’ by 2026.