The 2nd leg of our trip to Burma/Myanmar, Bagan.
It contains over 4000 Pagodas (and by the time I left, I felt like I’d seen every one !).
People joked about getting Pagoda’d out in Bagan, but seriously after a while, you honestly can get sick of seeing these beautifull things.
Anyway, more about the trip…
Logistics in Myanmar are a farce, so much of the travel on the trip, was done by plane rather than road.
We arrived in Bagan, and then were given the rest of the day free, so Nikki and I went out exploring on our own.
We got a taxi to the Bagan Archaeological museum. Our guide Kay offered to help organise our transport, but we said we’d be fine (a decision we’d regret later).
Inside, the museum was very atmospheric and reminded me of the Egyptian museum in Cairo.
They were doing extensive renovation work in the museum, but instead of big screens and the like, it was photocopied pages and blue-tack.
As we walked back, I saw this – Nuclear Catastrophe Overcome Pagoda ?
Couldn’t work out what that was all about, but at one level, I suppose it speaks for itself.
The Bu Paya Pagoda is famous on the banks of the Irrawaddy river.
What should also be famous is the River View “restaurant” next to it. It had some of the worst food I’ve ever eaten.
But I was so hungry, I just ate it anyway.
We walk through the city gate, of old Bagan and its time to head home. We thought if your somewhere popular, there is bound to be lots of transport.
No there isn’t, what our guide had meant was you need to schedule a taxi to take you, and then wait until you want to come home.
We hadn’t done that, so we had to make our way back on foot, in the baking heat. We found a guy with a horse and cart, but Nikki was concerned about the well-being of the animal.
After about 3 miles, we came to a bit of a village and hired a minibus and driver. As my friend Nick would say, we had our “hats nailed on“
Back in town near our hotel now, we decided to get something to eat and drink.
There were lots to choose from, but the sign above swung it for me.
Our next excursion is at 3pm, so an hours nap for me and a swim in the pool for Nikki.
Outside Hti Lo Min Lo Temple the architecture is impressive even before you’ve been inside.
Once inside, its even more impressive.
We got to see an example of sand painting.
The basic idea is that you take some fabric and “paint” glue onto it. Soft sand will stick to the glue.
Once you’ve done this several times, you end up with an elaborate layered picture. I didn’t buy one (which I regret now) Nikki bought one of Ubein bridge and I admire it every time I’m in her living room.
Ananda temple is one of the earliest built in the area and a fantastic snow white colour.
It’s also very popular and and the entrance is like a market.
There are 4 of these Buddha statue and each one is 9.5 metres high.
Exploring around inside, it was like Tomb Raider !.
Just had to put this up here.
It’s easy for pictures of century old beautiful buildings to look tired.
Luckily, the owner of this car has helped by parking it right in front of Pagoda. Thanks !.
Sulamani temple (told you you’d start to get bored of them).
Standing outside the temple, it’s early evening and our group sort of hang out and relax.
Some local lads play Chinlone or Caneball in the shade under a tree outside.
Now its time to watch the sunset from Shwesandaw Pagoda.
I’d heard about this, and it was even worse than I’d expected. Massively noisy and overcrowded.
So, I walked around to the back of the Pagoda (which was empty) and sat there relaxing.
Looking out for miles was across began in peaceful silence was one of the highlights of the trip for me.
Back to hotel, out on our terrace, I update my blog.
I had been testing a new function on my camera. You could place the camera somewhere convenient, and then run an app on your phone, which would show you what the camera could see. One you were happy with the shot, you could take the picture remotely from the phone.
This picture was taken that way, and I was really impressed with the results.
Later that evening (fantastically) we find an Italian restaurant.
They did pasta and other Italian dishes, rather than just pizza’s which we’d become bored of.
The also sold red wine, which was very welcome.
The following day, a few more Temples and Pagodas
Shwe Gu Gyi.
Dhammayangyi, an interesting “pyramid” shaped temple.
We got the usual tour of some traditional crafts.
Which as usual finished in the showroom/shop.
They had several pictures sowing Barack Obama who had visited there. Some of the Americans on the tour wondered if they’d by so proud if it was Donald Trump.
I try to get 1 small souvenir from each place I go. I bought a small porcelain figure of a local traditional fisherman (I’m running out of shelf space at home).
More wandering around and exploring on our last evening.
And to finish off, dinner and drinks in this iconic establishment.