Published: June 12th 2011June 12th 2011
Bagan can be described as a place where time has stood still and life continues in much the same way as it has done for centuries, as people ebb and flow languidly in Bagan's mystical and timeless setting. Huddled around the main road was a small town where people are making errands from their nearby village, on foot, on motorbike or by traditional horse and cart. It really set back the date as we saw people sitting in small carriages holding baskets of shopping as a horse trots and pulls the people along a dusty road.
The real awe-inspiring scenes are in the surrounding areas of the town. There are hundreds of ancient temples of many designs scattered across the land. After climbing some of the taller temples, we were granted the spectacular views where we could see many other temple complexes stretching across the horizon, before finally becoming tiny spires on distant hills. We spent a lot of time just gazing out while hunkered in the shade.
Another thing to say about our time in Bagan is that is was extremely hot! So much so that we wasn't at all surprised to see cacti growing amongst the desert-like
terrain. While exploring the temples, we acquired fetching red noses as well. We had a couple of days to enjoy visiting the temples. We first wanted to make sure we saw all the major and particularly interesting temples so we hired a good old-fashioned horse and cart driver to canter us along to the main sites. The next day we hired bicycles to navigate our own way around. Although this was a draining task in the extreme heat, it was extremely worth it as we could meander at will while picking our own choice of temples out of the hundreds available. It was a spectacular Angkor but without any crowds and we could be entirely alone to explore the temple in a serene atmosphere. We ended our time in this landscape nicely by scaling the precariously steep steps of one of the taller temples just before dusk so we could watch the spiritual land sink into darkness.
There are more photos below