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Published: February 21st 2015
Bagan. Bagan is like a dream land. Some people might call it Disneyland, but we're not going to be that cynical. Lizzie and I loved Bagan, so the naysayers can move along. Bagan is an ancient city that is in process of being lovingly restored, and since there are literally thousands of temples, monasteries, pagodas and structures for which I could never name correctly, all bully a thousand years ago, so it's taking a while. But while the restorations are going on, we were lucky enough to get to trip around the huge expanse of temples, checking them out at will, and as well as our rickety rental bicycles could take us.
We arrived in Bagan and decided we would stay in a nice place. And we did. Our room had a tv with CNN and Star Movies!!! This is a big deal for me, having not seen English television in 9 months. I watched Blood Diamond like I had never seen it, or anything else, ever before! We also decided to eat a lot in Bagan as there are some great restaurants. First up, burger. Second, Indian food. And beer throughout, obviously.
several different parts to it: New Bagan, Old Bagan, and Nyuang U. We stayed in the last and then the temples are more or less in the first two. With about a 3 km bicycle ride in between. Which doesn't sound bad at all. Except at 5:45 in the morning and you're on a bike for the first time in...a while, and you're trying to catch sunrise from the top of a temple. Any temple would do really, just one that gets you off the ground a little bit. So off we rode, on bikes that were built about the same year as the temples, and tried to beat sunrise. We ended up at a random temple that we saw some people at the top of and it turned out being a great view. No idea which temple it was.
This sunrise viewing was our first glimpse at Bagan, when we realized where we had come. Acres and acres of paths going in every direction to temples of all shapes and sizes, which from the height of this temple looked endless and spectacular. And then the hot air balloons came. Yes, hot air ballooning in Bagan is
a huge deal, and this very first morning in Bagan, those balloons took off relatively near to us, and cruised right past our lovely sunrise perch. Waving good morning to a bunch of people in a Hot air balloon is rather surreal and firmly cemented in Lizzie and my minds that yep, we had to get into one of those balloons. But for that morning, we were on the ground, well on two wheels, but those wheels were on the ground, so floating like Phineas Fogg was going to have to wait.
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