Blogs from Bagan, Mandalay Region, Burma, Asia - page 7

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Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan October 22nd 2013

Thanks to Mum and Ohnmar’s inside knowledge we timed our visit to Bagan to coincide with the full moon. The place was a buzz with festivities, weddings, and pilgrims paying homage at pagodas. The town of Nyuang U was alight with candles and lanterns, the sound of fire crackers could be heard everywhere. The festivities would continue for the next 3 or 4 days, the children had school holidays and the workers also had time off to enjoy themselves as well. One thing we noticed was that anywhere a large crowd was gathered everyone was so peaceful and happy, in Sydney in any large crowd there are always problems fuelled by alcohol, but not here, there was a pervading air of loving-kindness everywhere we went. We spent four nights here and had an interesting time enjoying ... read more
night 1
night 1
4 Tooth Relic Pagodas

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan September 22nd 2013

It's no surprise that Aung San Suu Kyi is treated with great reverence here, but I have been surprised by how openly she is idolised. Her portrait - almost always alongside that of her father, Aung San - appears on walls in shops, cafes, houses, tourist offices. Her image is for sale everywhere (I saw her likeness embroidered in sparkly thread on a black velvet wall hanging yesterday, for sale at a temple), as are DVDs of her life and speeches, and everyone speaks openly of how wonderful she is. Really it amounts to a personality cult, but it means a lot to the Myanmese to have someone on an international stage who they feel they can be proud of, and, I guess, a symbol of hope for the future. I am sure that Aung San ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan September 15th 2013

Bagan is the number one tourist destination in Myanmar, so the main town is dotted with Western-style shops, bars and cafes aimed at tourists - very welcome after the difficult journey to get here. The draw in Bagan is the ancient temples. Across an area a few miles square there are hundreds of these temples and pagodas, most in a similar architectural style, and mostly well-preserved (or, rather, well-renovated, though apparently some of the renovation is considered insensitive). Some are individually spectacular but it is the effect of seeing hundreds of them across the landscape that make the trip here worthwhile. We did not enjoy the main large temples as we were mobbed by sellers and touts the moment we arrived, but it is easy to get away from these and just as enjoyable to explore ... read more
Bagan temples
Farming with oxen and cart
View over Bagan

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan September 14th 2013

Today we planned to travel from Pyay to Bagan, but things did not quite go to plan. The first choice was to go by train - the station is outside the town, but we managed to find a pick-up to take us there. On arrival the station was unmanned, but after discussions amongst the station vendors, the station master materialised. He explained that there should be a train every night to Bagan, but unfortunately there was last night an accident on the line - the train "might" run tonight and "probably" tomorrow, but he could not be sure. So we then took a scooter taxi (two of us crammed on the back) to the bus station, where they explained that the only coach leaving today for Bagan is a very basic, non air-conditioned rickety old bus, ... read more
Transport to the station
The bus station

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan August 9th 2013

"On August 9th we flew to Bagan, Myanmar. When we got there we took a horse ride to the temples. One of them had bats. I can prove it because I stepped in bat poop because we cannot wear socks and shoes in the temples. My dad downloaded an app on my ipod and we had to find these pictures or buddhas. In Bagan, there were 100s of temples. Then we ate at 'Be kind to the animals on the moon'. It was a vegetarian restaurant, but I am not a vegetarian and neither is my dad. It was good though. Then we went to other temples. What I liked about the temples was that the Buddhas had different poses. Some sit, some stand, and some lye down. Most of them sit. Then we went back ... read more
Taking it all in
My fish with lots of bones
Looking Cool in my Poncho

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan July 13th 2013

Arrived back into sweltering Bangkok from Siem Reap, having negotiated the time-consuming land border between Cambodia and Thailand and the seemingly omnipresent freeway jams. Met up with an old university friend for the weekend - visiting Wat Arun by the river for impressive views over the city, before trying Durian fruit (horrible !) and a Pad Thai (pretty tasty) from a street market. A quick swim in our upmarket hotel swimming pool preceded a few beers out on the town, watching the Lions rugby in a local Irish pub. The following evening returned to the same lively bar to catch more British sporting success with a posse of expats, as the Wimbledon final stretched late into the evening. Next flew further west to Yangon, the capital of Myanmar (or Burma depending on who you listen to ... read more
Wat Arun
Stone elephants
Sculpture

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan May 15th 2013

Inle Lake and Bagan are Burma's top two tourist attractions, and constitute 2 corners of an almost equilateral Golden Triangle between either northern Mandalay or southern Yangon. You'd expect this frequently-plied route to boast an abundance of comfortable and efficient tourist buses. Unfortunately, our bus to Inle Lake from drizzly Mandalay ranks as one of the worst journeys either Chris or I have taken, and it left us with crippled backs and minutely short fuses when, at 4am and rattled to oblivion by the roads and knackered suspension, we stepped off the bus into the village on the outskirts of the lake. After having a few arguments with the various touts who swarm like flies, even in the middle of the night, around the newly-arrived buses, we took a trishaw to the nearest budget hotel. Chris ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan April 3rd 2013

Bagan has more than 3000 temples, these are known as stupas. I was given some real gold leaf but no-one can touch it! If the Gold does not crumble then i might show and tell it if we find a safe place to keep it. We went on a horse and cart of road it was bumpy but fun! The stupas were built by kings in the 11th and 12th centuries but some were damaged by earthquakes.There was even a tremble the day before we arrived.We climbed to the top of the tallest which is 61 metres high and saw the sun set. ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan March 31st 2013

The Plains of Bagan are dotted with pagodas, temples and monasteries in every direction. If one were to turn back time a thousand years, history buffs would discover Bagan at the centre of the Pagan empire which unified the country for the first time, and set the stage for what has become modern day Myanmar. During the height of the empire there were over 10,000 religious sites, proving to be an incredible achievement. In modern times there are still over 2,000 sites standing, and considering this is a major earthquake area in Myanmar that's a mighty impressive number. Bagan is heavily geared towards tourism, and most travellers to Myanmar have a visit near the top of their travel itinerary. The town is situated in a remote area of the country, and the roads are not that ... read more
Sunset at Bagan
Boys at Bagan
Bagan temple

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Bagan March 1st 2013

Bagan, 21-25 January The next morning, we decided to take the other mode of transport in Bagan that seems to be very popular - the bicycle. I haven't ridden a bike since I was about ten and C since he was 15 (which, weirdly, was at the same time) but, consistent with popular saying, it turned out to be easy. The only time I have attempted to ride in the past few years was when I went to visit my friend in Copenhagen and on a very hungover January morning, we decided it would be a great idea to cycle to the beach. Turns out hangover plus freezing temperatures and a bicycle do not mix so that was that. Bagan, on the other hand, may be the most perfect place in the world to cycle. On ... read more
A tight squeeze
Pagoda in the sunset
The long walk home




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