Part of my travel to Myanmar was the overnight trip to Bagan in the central region of the country. To reach there I took a night bus trip from Yangon. I arrived Bagan in the early morning. The hotel I will be staying was located at the Old Bagan where the thousand pagodas and ancient temples are located.
Immediately after I arrived at the hotel I hurriedly left my luggage at the reception and hired a horse drawn carriage just outside the hotel since there was no more available car at the hotel, and went to Shwesandaw Pagoda where tourists are allowed to climb up on top for sunrise and sunset viewing. It was breathtaking as the sun rises, to see as far as the eyes can reach the thousand pagodas in different sizes, the most notables are the big temples as it soars above the tree heights. And while I was there on top of the pagoda, I imagined eliminating the trees and replacing them with structures in between those temples and pagodas. It would be beautiful and expansive city, a breathtaking scenery to behold.
After the sun rises, I descended to a steep and narrow steps. Climbing up is easy but coming down was difficult and a bit nerve wrecking. We proceeded to exploring the temples scattered around the vast land of pagodas and temples. Most of these temples were built by the ruler kings during their reigns. I will try to expand one by one all the temples I have visited on separate entries. Photos of the temples at this post were taken while I was on top of the pagoda. Though the temples have almost the same layout plan, they were distinguish by how they were decorated and by the content images of Buddha. The temples were constructed each by the ruler kings during their reign.
Dhammayan Gyi Temple, built by King Narathu in A.D. 1170
Ananda Temple , built in A.D. 1091 by King Kyansittha
Thatbyinnyu Temple, was built by King Alaung Sithu in A. D. 1144
Htilo Minlo Temple, built in A.D. 1218 by the king who bore three names, " Zeya Theinkha," "Nan Taung Mya Min" and " Htilo Minlo Min"
Gawdawpalin Temple, built in A. D.1175 by King Narapati-sithu
By 9:00am I was already back to the hotel. I stayed in Aye Yar River View Resort. The architecture of the hotel blended well with the location as it employs red brick materials similar to how the pagodas and temples were constructed. I was allowed for early check in but I requested to change room as they assigned me to a two single bed room and the air-con is not working well. I stay the rest of the day in the room, catching some sleep and avoiding the 42 degree celsius temperature outside. During summer months Bagan weather is at its hottest. In the afternoon I go for the boat ride at the Irrawaddy River as prearranged by the driver of the horse drawn carriage I hired in the early morning. Should I have known that the river is just behind the hotel I would have not avail it and just observe the sun set at the open deck garden of the hotel and could have been much better enjoying the sunset with the company of a cocktail drink. I took pizza for dinner inside the room as I was too lazy to go down and rather enjoy the hot tub.
I woke up early the following morning and rented a 4usd per hour bicycle at the hotel and proceeded to Shwegu Gyi Pagoda which is close to the hotel. Just as nice viewing place for sunrise viewing. Shwegu Gyi has terrace or open platform. I could have gotten some nice shots should I have brought a tripod, nevertheless I was there to enjoy the view. I left just in time for the sun to rise up and enjoy a young coconut drink at the nearby drink stall. Going back to the hotel I passed by the Royal Palace, but since it was still close and will open only by over an hour, I decided to just proceed back to the hotel.
I took a quick shower then I go down and had breakfast at the open seating restaurant just beside the hotel lobby. I checked out after my lunch at around 1:00 in the afternoon and planned to just wait for a few hours at the lobby. While at the lobby initially the temperature was bearable but as minutes passed it becomes unbearable. I was approached by the hotel manager and asked what time was my bus schedule and told her 7:00 pm and it was just around 2:00pm. She told me that I can go back to my hotel room and can stay until it's time to leave the hotel. And the good thing I can still use room even it was already tidied up. That was my only my second time in the many times of my travels, the first one was in Phuket were I was allowed also to stay until my scheduled flight at 8 in the evening.
I arrived at the bus terminal fresh and with enough time for the bus to leave for Yangoon.
To enjoy your trip to Myanmar, include a trip to Bagan to truly appreciate the country well. Bagan has story to tell about how the people was then way ahead and well passioned with their religion and how thriving the old city was then.