“In the distance I saw the pagodas for which it is renowned. They loomed, huge, remote and mysterious out of the mist of the early morning like the vague recollections of a fantastic dream”. Such were the first impressions noted by Somerset Maugham when he first arrived at Bagan. Several thousands of pagodas and temples in various sizes and conditions scattered around on the plain and appearing out of the mist. But in its heydays, in the two centuries from 1057 and until the Mongol forces of Kublai Khan Overrun Bagan and destroyed most of it in 1287, Bagan is famous for its lacquer wares and there are many workshops worth visiting to observe the work and buy good quality lacquer. An hour's drive will reach Mt. Popa.