A local firm called Lucky Time Trading Company Ltd. has issued an apology after images of staff members dancing and having a good time atop the Pyarthardgyi Pagoda in Bagan were critiqued on Facebook for being disrespectful, leading the Ministry of Culture to ban climbing on all pagodas at the historic site except for five specific locations.
Ironically, the exemption, which went into effect on March 1, includes the site of the party. In other words, you can still climb the pagoda and see the sunset at the place that was at the center of the pagoda climbing ban. Weird.
After anger spread on social media, the company sent a letter to the culture ministry on February 19th. They explained that they have a staff “cheering party” every year. They went to Bagan this year for the trip, which ended on February 17.
An additional apology was published in the state-run Mirror Daily on February 22, the same day that the ban was announced. Initially, the ban was interpreted as covering every single pagoda. But the ministry issued a clarification the next day listing the five that are exempt.
Lucky Time Trading also emphasized that the people attending the event were from Myanmar, not China, as many reports suggested.