This article kicks off a trio of pieces on other locations related to the history of Myanmar. Each has multiple then-and-now sliders, though some are less well aligned than usual as I was frequently short of time. First will be Bagan, then Mawlamyine, and then the Dali area of Yunnan Province, China.
Though the historical record is murky, we can say with some confidence that Bagan was founded around the 9th century by the Nanzhao people. The Nanzhao had migrated there from what is now Yunnan province in China (hence our journey there in a future article), and are the origin of the Bamar ethnic group today. Most historical sources refer to the city as Pagan, so I’ll use the terms interchangeably throughout this article.