Myanmar – Bagan

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.

Old golden stupa

The sun sets over old Bagan, and its thousands of little temples

One Buddha out of thousands, chilling in his alcove

A low lying sun lying over Bagan

 

Another cheery Buddha

And another Buddha, buried away

I’m going to stop captioning these now. Most of them anyway

This is my foot. This photo is probably symbolic. Or an accident

This is what I looked like in Bagan. It’s pretty similar to how I look now, but grumpier

Every morning the day in Bagan starts with hot air balloons at dawn

Ceiling artwork from many years ago

Standard obstacles on the road to temple

The best and only restaurant I went to in Bagan

 

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.

 

Somewhere that the bus stopped, but is not a bus stop, on the way from Bagan to Hpa An

 

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.

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