• Day4


    May 24, 2018 in Myanmar ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We were up bright and early again this morning to make sure that we had a chance to grab some breakfast before jumping on our electric bikes and setting out to explore. The bikes were very similar to our scooters at home but with no engine noise and a slightly different way of accelerating.
    Well what can I say, Bagan the town is nothing to write home about but the pagodas and temples, wow! One of the locals told us there were about 3,000 of them in total and looking at the photos I can well believe it (although there’s nowhere near 3,000😎), everything from quite small ones to grand majestic ones almost everywhere you looked all with really easy access. We literally rode right up to and around most of the ones we visited, although you’re not allowed to climb them any more, all except one and you have to take shoes and socks off to go inside some and even in the grounds of others.
    We started out trying to keep a track of the names of those we visited but not all had name boards and some weren’t named on the map so we gave up on that after a while and just tried to make sure we visited the main sites along with some of the others that are everywhere. I think we did quite well considering it was about 40 degrees in the shade and so hot that by about 1030 most of the temple grounds were too hot to walk around barefoot without burning the soles of your feet. We even had a few ouchey moments walking between where we had to leave our flip flops and the entrance to some of the temples and we could have definitely done with an icy foot bath by the end of the day.
    We had some adventures as we went round as well what with having a few tank slappers (or wobbly moments to you non bikers) as we rode through the sand, having to walk barefoot through bat poo in some of the larger temples and disturbing the odd snake as we rode past. But I have to say that all the locals we have met have been really friendly, there was a chap who took us to a temple and took me, via a very narrow, steep set of steps and a couple of narrow passageways to the top so I could see across the plains a bit better. I’m not sure that we were supposed to be up there but he said it was okay and this was the one last Temple you could climb. All he asked in return was the opportunity to show us his sand paintings and he wasn’t even put out when we didn’t buy any as we had already bought some earlier. There was also a very nice chatty lady who was okay with not being able to sell us anything but still wanted a chat and helped Tanya sort a problem with her hat, which kept blowing off.
    But there was so much to see it feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface of what Bagan has to offer and could have definitely done with a few days more here, but most of the guides advised that you could squeeze a visit in in one day but two was better so we went with that, huh, what do they know! For me this place is up there with Angkor Wat and in some ways better because it hasn’t been fully discovered by the tourist mass market yet. Although I don’t think it’ll be too long before it is so I’d advise anyone thinking about visiting to get a move on before the hordes descend, it’s not the easiest place to get to but we will certainly be visiting again before too long.
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    Angela D Robson

    As you say, wow !