I took my shoes off at the entrance of the temple, and thought, no problem finding the right way out as the Buddha was just inside. Well, there were four exact entrances and Buddhas, and I thought “crikey, I’ll never see my shoes again!”
Bagan, Myanmar has over 3000 temples, all with one to hundreds of Buddhas each. The temples rise out of the fields in every direction.
There are a couple of paved roads, but otherwise it is just dusty dirt roads and streets.
There are taxis, tuk tuks and horse carriages, but the best way to get around is to rent an ‘e-bike’. Here that means an electric powered moped.
Not exactly my Harley, but they cost less than $1/hour and gives wonderful flexibility to go and stop wherever you want!
The temples are incredible! They were all commissioned by kings in a building spree between 1057 and 1287.
Some are huge and there are some so small that may or may not have a number. In the large temples the hallways are cool from the thick walls and cross breezes.
There has been major earthquake damage (2016 most recent) and reconstruction is ongoing.
Disclaimer: I hope all the photos are under the right heading. After five days I was at some sites twice and have so many photos…
Gawdawpalin Temple is where I lost my shoes.
Ananda Temple (1105) has had major work to remove the black. There are many niches with Buddhas.
Sulamani has beautiful murals
Shwezigon Pagoda, the big bling
Dhammayangyi can only be viewed from outside but they have a huge reclining Buddha in another building.
Mahabodhi Temple is covered with Buddha-filled niches
That’s the Ayeyarwaddy River. It’s the end of the dry season, but it can be very high.
I didn’t research my options well before booking a flight from Mandalay, but there is a boat that takes all day, but I’ve heard was very enjoyable.
My hotel is by the river, and has amazing Acadia trees which provide wonderful shade.
And just a mix of random temples and stupas
A great sport here is to try and find the best place to watch sunrise and sunset. The officials forbid climbing on temples, and lock gates if possible. The sanctioned areas are boring ‘viewing mounds’ where tour buses disgorge the loud and pushy. But there are quiet places where you can view without climbing.
Hot air ballon are also popular, and expensive. I splurged in Cappadocia, Turkey last year so resisted the temptation here.
I stopped to take this photo, and ended up getting my picture taken with other spectators. I’ve talked to other travelers too, and we’ve had our pictures taken with entire families!
I haven’t forgotten the food, though I’ve been on an veg curry and naan kick.
I have had Burmese curry too, but rice is not my favourite every day.
Tomorrow I have a flight to Lake Inle. If this post manages to go up without crashing, I’m off for some pool time😎