Myanmar: Bagan Day 1

Ananda Temple

Hola!! It's been over a year now since our Myanmar backpacking and I promise I'll try to blog all of these backlogs as fast as I can now. I've been busier than ever because of new work, you know the stuff... Trying to learn as fast as I can so I can be effective in the role right away... And because I'm also fixing requirements for this stuff I've been praying for since I don't know when. Life's just been so pretty darn good in the past days it's like God telling me He or maybe She? Haven't forgotten about me. It's quite an emotional topic for me so I'll blog it maybe some other time. Hehe.

Puppets inside one of Bagan's restaurant

Right now, the focus is non-other than ~*drum rolls*~ BAGAN!!! *clap clap!* I've been so excited to see Bagan mainly because of the hot air balloons over the temples. I mean if you know the hot air balloon situation in Capadoccia then Bagan is almost the same. The only difference I guess is that in Bagan, it's over the beautiful temples with the amazing sunrise. <3

If Yangon has their Shwedagon Temple, then Bagan have their thousands of temples to choose from! It was said to have more than 4000 temples with 2000+ of it still standing up to this day. Bagan used to be the capital of the Pagan Kingdom which is the current Myanmar we know now. Just like other Indochina countries, Myanmar or as previously known as Burma has a long history which I will not bore you to death because yeah... While I am also quite interested in history now, there are times that it really bore me. I appreciate history when I can see it myself or if I can experience the culture by traveling. And if you haven't read any of my posts before, the reason why I love traveling and why I wanted to visit all Southeast Asian countries is to learn their version of history. 

Bagan, Myanmar

This is my last backpacking trip to Southeast Asia so I really gathered my strength and my backpacker skills because I know this wouldn't be an easy one. This is like the end chapter, or like the bosses of the boss in an arcade game. This reminds me of the time I and father slept in Suvarnabhumi airport in Thailand to save hotel costs. Little did I know sleeping at airports is just level 1. LOL. 

As I've mentioned in my Yangon blog, Lin Ko, my father's student when he taught in Mae Sot way back 2013, bought our overnight bus tickets to Bagan from Yangon. We just paid him when we arrived in Yangon so that we already have a sure ticket to Bagan. The overnight bus is just like the one in Thailand so yep, it's a good one. I cannot remember if it has its own CR but either way, I won't dare use it unless I cannot really hold it off anymore. LOL. I think I got dehydrated when we did this backpacking. 

Inside Yun Myo Thu Hotel

So when we arrive first thing in the morning, the first order of business is to go to our hotel and freshen up. We rode a tuk-tuk going to Yun Myo Thu in New Bagan. I usually observe this "new" and "old" stuff in Indochina countries. There is always a wall to everything. I mean we have Intramuros, Thailand have Chiang Mai's "old city", as wells as Ayutthaya, Vietnam has their "old quarter" in Hanoi. It just goes to show that there were many uninvited people coming to these places that these places requires walls to isolate itself. It's just my observation though.

Anyway, as I've said, the hotel is located in New Bagan... Which is definitely not the main area of attraction because of course, it's the old we want to see. Old Bagan though is just a few kilometers away from New Bagan and there are many hotels, tourist centers that offer bike, and motorbikes to tourists. There are also cars for rent if you're that type of traveler. The room is so-so. I liked that the CR is clean and well maintained though the TV doesn't offer many channels. Breakfast is also provided so yey!

Bagan, Myanmar

Right after freshening up and getting some rest, we rented a bike for the day which we will use to roam Bagan. Our first stop was a nearby restaurant for brunch. The server told us it wasn't their peak season so the tourist isn't that many.. Which I think is good because it won't get crowded as much as when it's peak season. To be honest, this is one of the decent meals I've had here in Myanmar. There are days I only eat biscuits because I'm not so sure about the food. Can't also be so sure about the water as well. 

Bagan, Myanmar
First meal in Bagan in this quaint little restaurant.

But anyway, we're here for the temples so with just a bike and a map on one hand, we roam around Old Bagan. There are more than 2000+ temples here in Bagan so I don't know about you but I'm pretty sure you cannot really visit each one of it plus you'll get tired seeing temples. I, myself, got overwhelmed with temples. LOL. It is literally e v e r y w h e r e!  So the game plan, of course, is to visit those worthy of our time and effort. Remember we are using bikes so it can get sweaty and hot and tiring all at once. Plus I have to bike with a maxi skirt (yeah, ootd purposes haha). 

Bagan, Myanmar

Before anything else, note that every tourist location in Myanmar has entrance tickets if you're a foreigner. During our visit, it is 25,000 kyat (pronounced as Chat) for Bagan Archaeological Zone which is the entirety of Old Bagan. I just don't know how much it is now. Also, I heard they are transitioning to e-ticket? Not sure though.

Bagan Archaeological Zone ticket

This is the fun of spontaneous traveling you see. You get to decide which ones to see within the day. So our first stop of the day? Ananda Temple. Actually, for me, this one stands out well compared to the other temples because of its color. The usual color of temples here are either gold or are made of bricks, so brown to magenta, something like that, but this temple is squeaky white! 

I am not sure about the architecture of temples or what does it needs to have but what I noticed is that each side has one buddha. So when you enter a temple, you can roam around and see that each side have a giant buddha. Also, if you are not yet aware, you will need to take off your foot ware at the entrance, not outside the temple. So if this temple has a gate, you have to take off your foot ware at the gate!

"Oohhh it's not that bad" you say? Yes, not really but the thing is they chew betel nuts and just spit anywhere they fancy. My number 1 problem when I take off my foot ware. They do it even on tiled floors. 

Ananda Temple:


Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar
One of the giant buddhas inside the temples
Bagan, Myanmar


Thatbyinnyu Temple:

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

Bupaya Pagoda:

Bagan, Myanmar
Ayeryawaddy River 

Bagan, Myanmar

Located just beside Ayeryawaddy River, there's also a mini praying area where people can sit and offer to their Gods.

These are just some of the temples I can remember we visited. There are many more but I can't remember their names! Screw me for not taking notes while traveling. Next time when I travel, I promise to take down notes so I won't forget. LOL. Yet again, this happened over a year ago so yeah...

Bagan, Myanmar


As for the hot air balloons... guess what? It wasn't in season when we went to Myanmar!!!! GRRRRR. I mean that's the reason I wanted to go to Myanmar then you'll tell me it's not in season? That's what happens when you book flights first before researching. lol. It was the rainy season when we went to Myanmar yeah. Kinda sad.

So, don't make the same mistakes I did. If you really want to see the iconic hot air balloon in Myanmar, take note that the season for it is October to mid-April. Maybe in the future, I'll have the chance to go back, who knows, right?

I would say with or without the hot air balloons, go visit Myanmar. It is not yet a very popular destination so this is the best time. Once the word gets out of how beautiful it is, you might regret not visiting it this sooner. ;)


Bagan, Myanmar
Sand Paintings

I think my shade went 2 times darker haha. This is just our first day in Bagan! There's day 2, Mandalay and Inle Lake!

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

Here's a pic of me and father inside Ananda Temple. Di naman halatang haggard no? =D


Safe Travels! xx



If you like this post, check out my other blog post in our Myanmar Backpacking Diaries:

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