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Bagan

MYANMAR | Monday, 8 September 2014 | Views [451]

Sunset, Bagan Archeological Area

Sunset, Bagan Archeological Area

I HAVE ONLY ONE REGRET — THAT WE DIDN'T PLAN ON more time in Myanmar.  Coming here was an afterthought, another of our “while we’re at it” moments.  We weren’t even certain of getting visas in Hong Kong and we do have to be in Mongolia in less than two weeks.  Excuses aside, there is so much to see and do here, the people are so forthcoming and the price is right.

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    Stupas and Palms, Bagan Archeological Zone

Take Bagan, for instance, only an hour’s flight from Heho including a stop in Mandalay.  We arrived in time to see some of the thousands of Buddhist stupas and temples in the soft evening light then watched night fall on the Ayeyarwady River from the outdoor restaurant at Hotel Bagan Thande.  Our cabana, which sits under a spreading acacia tree in a wonderful garden, has everything one could ask for, including reliable wi-fi.  The restaurant is pricey by Burmese standards but reasonable by any other reckoning.  

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    Wagon and temple

The Bagan Archeological Zone ($15 please, payable upon landing) spreads over 26 square miles. It would be impossible to visit all 4000 or so temples and stupas, and why would you want to?  We were soaking wet by 9 AM and had seen only a few dozen.  

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    Work goes on in spite of tourists

But wandering the dirt trails among thousand year-old monuments is only one reason for visiting.  We, of course, are always on the lookout for new birds.  There are many hiding among the scrub, their calls taunting us farther and farther from the road.  

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    Showing off

And there are the interesting people photos, especially kids.  The people are friendly but have a more commercial agenda than other Burmese we have met.  Want a carriage ride?  How about a boat?  Or an electric scooter?  Lacquer-ware?  OK, maybe later?  I think we will return, maybe later.

 

 

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