Horse, Buggy, and the Best Lit Photos of Bagan
Day 3 in Bagan, Burma: October 7, 2012
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!
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.
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.
Buddhist Temples, Benevolent People, and Boat Rides in Beautiful Bagan
Day 1 in Bagan: October 5, 2012
After being in Yangon and its surrounds, Mark and I took the night bus to Bagan. Bagan is a city in Burma known for having more than 3,000 remains of its ancient Buddhist temples. We’d seen stunning pictures, but no picture could compare to the vast amount of beautiful temples it offered all in one place.
We arrived at 4:00 am hopped in a jalopy and headed down dark and bumpy dirt roads to Kaday Aung Hotel http://www.kadayaunghotel.com/ in New Bagan. The staff was extremely friendly and set us up in a superior room ($45USD) upon arrival. We slept until around 8 am and got up for a complimentary breakfast in the outdoor dining room. Mark cracked me up by going barefoot and saying, “Whop, whop, whop, whop an, Panyaden style.” (Panyaden is the school where we work in Chiang Mai. Throughout the day neither teachers nor students wear shoes in the classrooms, and usually not outdoors either. It’s healthier for the feet.)
After our leisurely breakfast we got maps and information from the hotel staff, rented mountain bikes that looked sturdy, but we soon found were not strong enough for the bumpy roads, and were off to see the temples.
Much like in Thailand, in Burma the day of the week you were born is culturally significant. Each day of the week is associated with different symbolism, in Burma, it’s an animal. In this temple you make an offering to your animal, and then switch on a light.