Myanmar: Bagan Day 2

by - February 01, 2020

It’s been almost 1 year and 6 months since we went to Myanmar and I am sooooooo delayed in writing this down. I can’t remember the tiny details anymore huhu. That’s why it’s always good to write while your memory is still fresh. This is one of the highlights of my 2018 and it just sucks that I didn’t blog about this sooner. I’ll just probably write what I can remember and believe me when I say I don’t really trust my memory that much but I’ll try. hehe. I’ll take notes from the photos I took and see if I can remember something from that. So yep, here it goes…

Well, as you probably know, I’ve been wanting to visit Myanmar because of many reasons. Well, for one, my Southeast Asia bucket which I also completed last 2018, and 2 mores reasons are because of the hot air balloons in Bagan and the stories my father told me when he worked for a time in Thailand and Myanmar’s border in Mae Sot and Myawaddy. As my previous post about Bagan, there are no hot air balloons at the time of our visit, it’s not in season (1 reason to go back LOL). Of course, even there are no hot air balloons at the time, there’s still so much Bagan has to offer.

Breakfast - that I can't finish because the serving is oh so generous

We started the day having our breakfast at the hostel. Breakfast was supposed to be buffet type but it seems that it’s offseason so instead of preparing buffet breakfast, guests are asked to choose from a menu of breakfast they’re currently offering. Me, being the noodles lover chose stir-fried noodles, or also known as pancit here in PH. haha.

We only have a map of the old Bagan, rented an e-bike and went on our way. BTW, Myanmar is one of the most conservative countries you’ll ever encounter so wearing skimpy clothes is a no-no. Proper attire should be observed when going inside temples. Also, what’s a trip to a foreign land when you won’t at least try wearing their clothing right? So yep, that’s what I did! When I and my father were in Yangon with his former student Lin Ko, we went to a public market that sells longyi. It’s a sheet of cloth that’s 2 meters in width and is worn from waist to toe. It’s being tied to the waist and there are many variations. My sister once used this as her national costume during the united nations event at her school. Useful LOL.

So for the highlight of our day, I wore a maong shorts while going to the temple and wore the longyi when we’re about to go inside. The highlight of the day? Shwezigon Pagoda! 

Shwezigon Pagoda

Shwezigon pagoda at first glance is unbelievable! Well, I’ve seen a lot of temples in my SEA backpacking but this one is really pretty. Include the birds that are flying around. I wouldn’t bore you with the history because even myself cannot remember it already LOL. but the main attraction which is the gold stupa is surrounded by small temples and is huge in size. I think we spent most of our morning here because the place is nothing like what we saw on our other days on this trip.

 Just look at its architecture.

Dhamma Ya Zi Ka Pagoda

After Shwezigon, there’s a certain pagoda we wanted to visit but Waze cannot locate it correctly so while on the way and we’re stumbling across different temples, we decided to visit them as well. One of which is Dhamma Ya Zi Ka Pagoda. during our visit, the temple seemed to be under maintenance. None the less, we still decided to go inside. 

Old school clay pot water container. People can drink from this containers. My father told me we once have these here in PH but it seems that no one uses this anymore.

After getting lost and not finding the pagoda we are looking for, we decided to look for the place where tourists catch the sunset. If you will google on where to catch the best sunset in Bagan, there are many recommendations that would pop out. We didn’t really followed any of those and just decided to look for a temple that has a terrace where we can see the Thousand temples of Bagan. There are some reported cases before where tourists climb temples just to get the bird’s eye view of the temples but it was strictly prohibited so yep, no climbing temples. hehe.

We are lucky to find a temple with a good view. Imagine if there are hot air balloons. How beautiful would this view be?

I have fragments of memory in this trip but I don’t know the exact order so maybe I’ll jot down what I can remember?

I remember our e-bike got its battery drained out in the middle of nowhere and good thing we have a Myanmar sim card we could use to call/text the rental shop. This is like a common scenario at the time because we always see some people waiting for a battery replacement too. 

I also remember going inside a temple where there sand painting being sold.. just like the one in Cambodia.

After taking our time looking at the thousands of temples of Bagan, we had our late lunch at a restaurant. Finally some good food because our dinner the night prior to this day was in a small restaurant that sells different kinds of curry. I’ve been having a hard time eating in Myanmar because while I am not a picky eater, I didn’t expect Myanmar’s food to be hmm.. not my type? Also, I have trust issues in terms of how well they prepare the food. When the food was served to us, the food was not warm, the smell was not appetizing, at least to me. So I only ate the hard-boiled egg that was included. The rest was eaten by my father. That dinner was probably the least appetizing meal I had in Myanmar. Also, when we got back, my father was diagnosed to have e. coli which I think he got from that dinner in Myanmar. 

So yup, finally some hot and good food. hehe.

After lunch, we went back to the hotel to rest for a while and had our afternoon beer. Let me just say we are probably drinking beers in Myanmar almost every day. haha!

As for our last dinner in Bagan, we went to this restaurant we saw while biking around the neighborhood.

I would say Bagan is one of the best places you can visit in Myanmar. I enjoyed every bit of our stay here except maybe for the food. Maybe we weren’t just looking in the right places.

If you go here, prepare to see beautiful pagodas but at the same time getting tired of it because there’s a thousand of it here. haha!

So yup. That’s it for Bagan. The next day, we were picked up by a tuktuk and we were dropped off to the terminal where we rode a mini bus going to Mandalay. The mini bus was a whole lot of new experience! I’ve been into many overnight buses across Southeast Asia but this one is cool too. Because since it’s during the daytime that we’re traveling, I can see the houses and locals on the streets and how they live their life. I like observing people. People chewing betel nuts, selling nuts and other local delicacies. I even had to pee at the gasoline stopover which thank God, the toilet has a bidet, is clean, and has an actual toilet bowl. 

It’s already after lunch when we arrived in Mandalay and this one is for another post. 

Mandalay is a lot more urban than Bagan. Mandalay, for me, is my favorite on this trip. The weather is better than Yangon, cleaner than any other places we visited, and I liked the vibe better. Plus the food! I’m saving this for another post. haha!

And yup. That’s 2 days in Bagan. :)

Cheers! xx

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