Bumpy Road, Broken Bicycles, and Buddha Images in Bagan
Bagan Day 2: October 6, 2012
Mark and I decided to downgrade our room at Kaday Aung Hotel http://www.kadayaunghotel.com from superior ($45USD) to standard ($30USD), which better suited our budget. After breakfast we exchanged our rickety bikes for what appeared to be much better ones…but they weren’t. Nonetheless, we were ready for a day of cycling around to see temples. There are just so many!
This was a few kilometers down the road and today we were ready to see more of Old Bagan.
The first big temple we perused had gigantic Buddhas in all directions of the temple. All similar, yet different.
Temples temples everywhere!
Buddhas everywhere too!
Buddha imagery in the ruins
This is an artist’s rendition of Bagan at sunset probably from the viewpoint of a hot air balloon. Mark wanted to go in Balloons Over Bagan, but the season started the day we left Burma, and tickets were sold out months in advance. Oh well, next time.
This nice man showed us upstairs to a better view.
And a better view it was.
Just beware of wasps nests…
…and Tokay geckos
More friendly vendors who we bought art from.
We then headed for a temple that was one of the most famous in Bagan, kind of like the Shwedagon of Bagan as is evident here.
Maybe it was because we were hungry, thirsty, and sore from cycling over a million bumps, but there was a strange feeling at this temple. I didn’t take pictures of many people, but there were a lot of people begging for money and trying to giving us ‘presents’ we didn’t want so we’d buy something from them. It was the only temple that felt like that, and the sketchiest people we met in Burma outside Yangon. The expression on the face of the monk above gives you an example of the not-so-welcoming atmosphere.
Unique temple details…
…and different perspectives, but it was time to get out of there.
Little did we know at lunch that day that we’d discover Mandalay Red, a 7% alcohol beer that was very tasty and went down all too well in the heat of the day.
After 2 Mandalay Reds, we rode to a temple that supposedly had good sunsets.
As you can see, it was starting to get dark and we were about a 7 kilometer, bumpy, and traffic filled ride away from our hotel. On my bike, I could only use one pedal. Let the adventure begin!
By the time we got back it was dark, and we were exhausted, but still okay for a refreshing dip in the pool and a couple more Mandalay Reds to send us to an early slumber.