I took the night bus from Yangon to Bagan on the first day of my arrival in the country. Together with a fellow Taiwanese backpacker, Boris, we reached the ancient city around 3 a.m., eyes barely opened, shivering like crazy. It is cold season in December but I underestimated the coldness as my hoodie barely enough to shed me some warm. No visible streetlights and the 'bus terminal' is nothing but a row of shops in the middle of a road, all closed. Disoriented and without a map, it was not a good situation to be in.
|Our driver that brought us to the hotel and around Bagan|
Luckily for us, there are horse carts and motorcycles waiting for potential customers and we hired a horse cart to bring us to a budget hotel. We found one in about 10 minutes, Hotel Eden, a simple and decent one with its double room costing about US$ 30 per night. We settled ourselves down and called it a night.
|Friendly Burmese going through their days|
After 4 hours of rest, we began the day cruising the many temples and fallen ruins in Bagan. I find it the best way to get yourself familiarise with the place is to hire a horse cart on the first day only to continue exploring with bicycle the following days and that was what we did. We hired the same driver that brought us to the hotel for the whole day at a reasonable price of 20,000 kyat (about US$24) for the whole cart.
|The temple at the background being Htilominlo Pagoda|
|Buffet lunch with Burmese food at Golden Myanmar 2 Restaurant|
|Atop an nameless temple, overlooking the surrounding monuments|
To end the day, we went to Shwe-leik-too Pagoda for sunset. As the sun slowly descents into the horizon, we just sat on top of the temple, absorbing the stunning view and doing nothing else. Watching the sky turning into a myriad of colours is a wonder itself.
|Ananda Pagoda, the holiest of them all|
*TO BE CONTINUED*