Temples of Bagan and the train to Mandalay

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Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan
August 2nd 2011
Published: August 9th 2011
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Bagan is all about the temples. Apparently there are over 4000 temples in the area - the oldest ones date back to the 9th century. The best way to explore the temples is to either hire a bicycle or a horse cart. We were happy that we took the time to do both. The horse carts were fun, and the drivers were quite knowledgeable. The bicycle rentals were a little bit hit and miss and unfortunately, Jordan’s bike ended up with a flat tire one morning. It’s interesting to note how dry it is here compared with what we saw further south. Often we’d see threatening clouds, but didn’t really get much rain. When it did rain, we were thankful for some relief from the heat as it is hotter here than anywhere else we’ve been in the country (nearly 40C). Probably the thing we will remember the most about Bagan is watching the sunsets from different vantage points each night.

After our exhausting overnight bus ride from Pyay, we decided to give train travel a go for the journey to Mandalay. It was actually really fun on the train. The train itself is like most things in Myanmar - old and falling apart. The seats were surprisingly comfy despite being stuck in permanent recline mode. It wasn’t the smoothest ride in the world, kind of like riding a horse that’s stuck between a trot and a gallop. We were the only foreigners on the train as generally most travelers tend to fly or take the bus. It was a classic train ride in every sense and it traveled slowly enough that we could enjoy the views of the countryside along the way.

Additional photos below
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10th August 2011

Horse carting around the temples look like fun!
Certainly in my bucket list. Don't know when I'd get to go. Thanks for this, from one armchair traveler here.

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