Anthony and Erica on the road to Mandalay 2006 travel blog

Ruins amongst the fields and forest at Bagan

A Bagan temple


Temples crowded amongst the forest

Two temples

My 30 course lunch, and that doesn't include dessert!

More crowded temples

Erica and our driver and transport

Bagan panorama

So the alarm went off at 4 a.m. I am half-psychotic from sleep deprivation, having only slept about ten hours in the last three days, and am quite confused about how long we have been here, which is actually just over a day! On the drive out to the airport there was this hugely overcrowded lorry with several people clinging on to the back, apparently asleep, but even stranger, several spread across the bonnet, also apparently asleep! My state of mind wasn't helped by a crowded noisy airport with no air-conditioning. The new one is unfortunately not open yet, and the old one is a bit scabby and small.

80 minute flight to Bagan, or more specifically Nwuang-U, which is where I am now, paying $5/hour for a generator-run PC as the electricity has gone in the town for the second time today. Booked in our hotel, and straight away hired a horse and trap to head off to explore the Bagan Archeological Zone, which we are actually in, I can see two old temples from here!

Words cannot describe how fab it is. There are some 2,000 old temples scattered throughout about 40 square kms of forest in various states of size, design, age, decay, etc. Very like Angkor Wat, but less jungley. It is like being in a movie or a fantasy epic, a view probably strengthened by my sleep-deprived state of mind. The only downside is lots of persistent sellers of quality handicrafts.

So we spent the whole day puttering around in this horse and cart, taking pics and exploring. The lunch break was a mad buffet of nearly 30 Burmese dishes, few of which I even wanted to try, and even less of which were tasty or even acceptable to my delicate Western palette. Then more mind-blowing temples and views. It is fractionally less muggy than Yangon, but even hotter though, and there was a full-on tropical storm this evening, seconds after we got home. What a great place!

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