At the beginning of this year I went on a 5 month trip around the globe (lucky me, I know), 3 1/2 months of this trip I was in South East Asia. As part of the link party that I joined up to, here is 24 hours in the temple city of Bagan in Myanmar…aka Burma!
My alarm goes off at 5.00am! Ugh, I manage to roll out of bed and throw myself into the shower to try and wake up. After that me and my very sluggish boyfriend head across the road from our hotel to hire eco bikes. They are a mix between a bicycle and an electronic scooter, for some reason here in Bagan this is all the tourists can hire; you barely manage 35 kms on it!
As you can see they are very small…but I liked mine very much (well that was because it was purple!). So after purchasing our snazzy rides, we headed off to the Shwesandaw Pagoda for our sunrise experience. We opted out of the balloon ride as it was $300 Australian dollars per person…say what?! It takes about 10 minutes to ride to the pagoda and another few minutes to climb up the stairs to get prime position. Then it was the waiting game, we arrived at the pagoda around 5.45am and the sunrise was not scheduled until 6.15am. Believe me when I say this there was a lot a people already there, around about 20-30 people. However that did not change the magic that was the sunrise, it was timed so perfectly that the balloons came drifting over; it was amazing!
We stay on the pagoda for half an hour after sunrise and then we make our way back to our hotel to have breakfast. The breakfast is quite Indian influenced with rice, curry and a sweet pancake which is smiliar to roti. Around about 9.00am we head back out on the road to visit the smaller pagodas, there are over 2200 pagodas in Bagan. I had to double take when I read the brochure at one of the pagodas, it seems really excessive but hey that is only my opinion.
Most pagodas are all this brown brick colour, the larger important ones have either marble, gold or bronze on the outside. Its now hitting midday and its time to retire to a restaurant, the temperature easily peaks at 40+ degrees (Celsius) during the day. So off we went into the old Bagan township to find out little hideaway until about 2pm or when we can muster up the courage to get back on the bikes.
It was our lucky day, we found this sweet restaurant of the main road that specialised in a mixture of Burmese and European food. For the next few hours we drank and ate while playing cards, there were a few dogs around so we enjoyed watching them play also. The food was good and the people were really friendly, it was a shame we couldn’t go back as we were leaving the next day. When I say the food was good, it was the European food, sadly a lot of Burmese food is covered in oil (even the rice!). So it was mixing and matching or as I confuse just straight European food.
After our lunch, we did more exploring of Bagan where we found the more extravagant Buddha statues, the one in the picture above was over 10 ft tall and covered in gold leaf. As this was around 3pm many of the locals were still at home, therefore we got to enjoy this statue a little longer.
We headed back hotel around 6pm for dinner, in Bagan you work with the temperatures; at 6pm it was still 38 degrees (Celsius). It is best to break at midday as I said before for a few hours and then again at dinner time. Once dinner was finished we decided to do one more temple before we called it a night, so back on our ebikes and off to another section of Bagan.
We discovered a gold temple near the river in Bagan, this was a big local spot as there was only 2 other tourists hanging around the pagoda. It was very serene and fantastic way of finishing the day, looking out onto the river while we had a beautiful pagoda at our backs. Once the sun was setting we made our way back to our hotel, where we dropped of our ebikes and tucked in for the night, to watch an episode of the walking dead.
To gold pagodas!
As part of a #LBLinkParty this post is about my 24 hour experience in Bagan, this was an amazing experience and something I will never forget.