Before we go to a new destination we have a quick look online and in our guidebook for accommodation locations and options. This gives us an idea of where to ask around at when we arrive. It was Chris’ turn to do this task before we left to Bagan so it was all in his hands when we arrived. After our very long journey we were met with the only mode of transport to take us to our accommodation being a horse and carriage. I was preoccupied with some adorable puppies as Chris was telling the horse and cart man where we’d like to go so I had no idea where we were getting taken to. To my surprise we got dropped off outside a gorgeous resort. Chris told me he’d booked it for us to stay in as it would be my birthday during our time in Bagan. I couldn’t quite believe it as we strolled into the reception with our rucksacks, looking like two lost backpackers in this luxury resort. Our room was a massive treat! We had balcony views over the temples at Bagan! It was fit for a king. I was a very happy lady. This place was definitely the crowning jewel of all the places we’ve stayed and probably will stay during our travels.
That night as we strolled around Old Bagan we ate at a really pretty vegetarian restaurant and I enjoyed my favourite curry of our travels so far (tomato and peanut.) As we strolled back to our palace for the night we found that the road down to our hotel was very poorly lit and we were scared of the dogs that lurked about after our Mandalay experience. Chris asked a local boy on a bike if he would drop us off which he had no problems with, we even had a little detour to a temple by the river. Such a friendly young man, with perfect English just happy to help us out. A lovely end to a lovely day.
The following morning we were both so excited to get up and head down to breakfast. This may sound silly but for the past however many months our breakfasts have consisted of makeshift muesli eaten out of a cut off from a water bottle or if we’ve had breakfast included an egg on toast. So when we were greeted with a buffet of anything and everything you could possibly imagine we were two very happy travellers. We obviously made the most of it, starting with French pastries then moving on to the full English, then diving into the fruit and cake assortments washed down with juice and tea! The bread and cheese selection was also particularly good so to doubley make sure we made the most of the breakfast we made ourselves some bree and bacon sandwiches which we would keep in the fridge in our room until lunch. They went down a treat too.
Anyway back to Bagan. We were walking distance to some of the thousands of temples so set off on foot to look at the nearest ones. As we were setting out we noticed the temperature in the shaded hotel reception at about 10am was already 39degrees so we wouldn’t be able to stay out for too long before the heat of the day baked us. The first temple we visited was a little pretty one with a viewing platform that gave us our first views over the Bagan plain. The image you see in all the holiday brochures and postcards etc was right there infront of us. Amazing! We followed this up with a trip to the tallest of all the Bagan temples, it was a biggy. We couldn’t go up to the top of this one, only walk around the first floor but it was the view of it from the outside that was the best.
During the middle of the day when the sun was at its hottest we relaxed by the hotel pool, which was also hot but a nice retreat from the heat. As it started to cool a little we ventured back out and headed to “Shwe Sandaw” better known as the temple with the 360degree views. As the sunset we sat and looked out over Bagan, over the thousands of temples spread as far as the eye can see. It was definitely a highlight of travelling so far. I was so at peace sat looking out at that view.
The next morning was my birthday (hooray) so we decided to get up at the crack of dawn and view sunset over the temples. Unfortunately it was a little cloudy so sunset wasn’t really worth getting up for but it meant we could explore some more temples whilst the temperature was low. A popular way of getting around Bagan due to its size and the heat is by electric bicycle. This may sound like a good idea, which it was, however we couldn’t help but feel like being on a mobility scooter. It was funny anyway and definitely more enjoyable than cycling (you may remember Chris’ Nyaung Shwe blog…) although Chris couldn’t help but critise the poor machine but I think he was just sulking that he couldn’t have a motorbike. The temples we saw were again all very amazing to look at and it was nice to explore them when there wasn’t many people around. We headed back to the hotel in time for breakfast- of course- then had a nap before spending the rest of the day by the pool. I enjoyed some birthday cocktails by the pool before we headed out for a nice Italian meal for my birthday tea. A very special happy birthday for me!
Sadly we had to check out of the beautiful hotel the next day but we didn’t have to leave until that night when we would have a long bus journey back to Yangon. We’d had our fill of the temples and the heat so we had a day well spent at the pool which was just what was needed before a night journey. When we arrived in Yangon after a sleepless night we hopped straight back on another bus to a small town called Hpa-An which would be our last destination in Myanmar. There wasn’t much to do in the area and what little there was to do, such as explore the mountains and lake were dampened by the rain which set in all day. This gave us the opportunity to relax before we set off back to Thailand for possibly the last time in the trip.
We had an amazing time in baking hot Myanmar but are ready to be welcomed back to all the familiarities of Thailand.
Until next time!
Photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskcazrTb