But at least I was now in Bagan. And if Yangon was a boring city with little to see, Bagan was the opposite; a tiny village surrounded by thousands and thousands of temples. Literally thousands. Apparently there used to be 10,000, but earthquakes and time have done their damage, and now there are only 2500. But that’s still quite a lot.
I got a taxi from the station with a Canadian guy called Carson, and, not having booked a place to stay, checked in to the same hotel after finding out that they had dorms for $10 a night. We dumped our stuff and went straight to the electric bike rental. Bagan, in a surprising pro-environment move that seems contrary to the rest of Asia’s attitude to the planet, doesn’t do petrol fuelled scooters.
And then we went out exploring and driving round temples and meeting people and seeing suns set and balloons rise.
Here are pictures. Big ones. Just for you.
It all looks pretty good eh?
I spent two full days exploring Bagan, catching a dawn and two dusks, spending them both on the highest accessible points of temples and watching as the sun fell and rose. It was beautiful.
My research in the town led to the confirmation that there definitely was no legal way to cross over to the Tachilek border through the Shan state. I would have to go back. Back to Yangon. Then back to Hpa An. And then to the crossing nearby at Mae Sot. Sounded like a lot of bus time. Thank goodness I loved buses.
18 hours later I found myself on the border to Thailand. Why did I rush so much? I can’t remember. I definitely had a reason. I’m sure it was good. Either way, that was my Burmese part of the trip over. I highly recommend it.
It was time for Thailand Part 2: the Wintry North
Except it wasn’t really wintry. It was North though.