Bagan – Light and shadow (SEA 42)
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Its all about timing. Our night bus dropped us off in Nyaung U at 3 am and 10 seconds later the local taxi drivers tried to force us to use their taxis. And there is one rule about this. Start walking. It doesn´t matter if you know where to go or not. Just walk and you will get rid of them. And so we did and luckily we walked into the right direction. All guesthouses where closed and we found a small restaurant where some locals watched soccer. We stayed there for 1 ½ hours had a simple breakfast and lots of green tea. Then we had a look for a cheap guesthouse and found one at the end of the village. Clean and cheap.
It was 5 am and we hired a taxi until noon to see the sunrise on top of one of the hundred temples. In Old Bagan we climbed the temple and saw an amazing sunrise. The pictures are not able to describe this view. This is one of the places you have to be there on your own to feel what I felt. A perfect moment full of silence.
After this amazing moments our taxi driver brought us to many temples. We went to Uplain Thain, Htilominlo Phato, Ananda Phato, Schwegugyi and to Thatbyinnyu Pahto. There where much more on the list but there are definitely to much temples in this area.
I knew that Bagan is the most popular place in Myanmar and one of the highlights in whole SEA but it gave me a bad feeling to see how capitalism is taking over here. On every temple some guys or kids want to sell you some handmade art. When you say “No thank you!” it is not enough. There people here are trying to make their profit out of tourism and that’s okay. But when I think about the people in this country I´ve met so far this is not how Burmese people are.
But when you visit the temples you should enjoy the stay here. It is still amazing how the Khmer kings built this many temples in this area. In between 230 years they built 4000 temples on 41 square kilometers. Most of them are around 2000 years old and now we are standing on top of them. Unbelievable.
Tomorrow we are planning to hire a bicycle to visit even more of the temples. This time around New Bagan.
(This post was first written on 20th of January 2014)
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