Live Phuket The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News Phuket Travel
The Phuket News Arts | Community | Culture | Dining | Education | Entertainment | Environment | Health | People | Technology | Travel XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Travel: Traipsing around the temples of Bagan

It’s five o’clock in the morning and our bus has just pulled up to the terminal. Dozens of cabbies run towards the large heap of groaning metal as it lurches to a stop, hoping to be lucky enough to have a tourist hire them for the day.

Myanmar, tourism,


Jean-Pierre Mestanza

Sunday 18 September 2016, 12:00PM


They are all heading the same way, along a dusty road towards a crumbling, earthen-coloured temple where we will glimpse the sunrise as it slowly illuminates the serene and piercingly beautiful landscape of Bagan, the city of temples.

This is where I met my cab driver U Maung, a short man with a big smile showing stained teeth, well-worn by years of chewing paan – a type of chewing tobacco, usually mixed with betel nut and other ingredients, which is ubiquitous throughout country.

Together, we head over to one of the main temples to check out the sunrise and as our taxi ambles along, tourists pass us on their electric motorbikes waving, clearly they’ve already been here a few days.

It takes about five minutes to scramble up Shwenshandaw Pagoda, and its not exactly easy going in the morning darkness. This activity is not for the faint-hearted, as scrapes and scratches can easily happen if you’re not careful going up and one slip means a rough tumble down the ancient, cracked and sometimes jagged stones.

Once I reached the top the view was breathtaking, and soon the lengthy ten-hour bus ride from Yangon, where I sat next to a teenaged boy pumping death metal through his headphones at full blast, fades from my memory. My new “friends” from the bus trip are already at the top, and they want nothing more than to admire the view with a friendly stranger, though they seem to prefer seeing it filtered through a smartphone.

Slowly, the sun creeps up, pulling away the blanket of darkness that was hiding the mosaic of time-worn pagodas and stupas that make up about 90 per cent of Bagan. Even the colours of the sky look older than they did before, as the magic of the city transports you to a time before modern borders were drawn.

C and C Marine

After an hour atop the pagoda, U Maung and I spent the day heading from temple to temple, stupa to stupa, climbing, and ducking under massive, perfectly-cut stones. It wasn’t until midday that I found my new obsession: tamarind flakes. These little drops of heaven are sweet, small and simply melt on the tongue, the perfect snack for temple-hopping.

Though the tourism industry in Myanmar is growing rapidly, Bagan has a fair way to go before it will see the hordes of tourists that Angkor Wat or even Ayutthaya regularly attract. Hawkers selling clothes, gemstones and Buddhist figurines are seemingly at every attraction, but with over 2,200 pagodas and temples, many of them still seem abandoned to the landscape.

The temples were built over a long period of time, the oldest being just over 1,000 years old. Most of the attractions are Buddhist in nature, but many have Hindu influences and even animist features.

One day in Bagan is probably enough for most people, but the quaint locally-run guest houses are very accommodating and friendly, so if you decide to spend a extra few days there it will be a very laid back experience.

Local laws aimed at preserving the city only allow tourists to hire electric motorbikes if they wish to get around independently. Horse and buggy taxis are very common as well, which makes the city all the more peaceful.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
CAPTCHA
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Phuket rain brings slew of motorbike accidents on wet roads

Christy Sweet,did you read the article well?It says :many tourists were involved.Seems to me not only thais have no basic driving knowledge....(Read More)


All car passengers now required to buckle up

Marcher: The new law is to force passengers in the rear of the vehicle to buckle up. You don't wear a seat belt? That is akin to riding a motorbi...(Read More)


All car passengers now required to buckle up

If section 44 really means something than use it to take minivans, taxis and tuk tuks without safety belts off the road until safety belts are install...(Read More)


All car passengers now required to buckle up

Kurt: Are you commenting just for the sake of seeing your name or do you not understand why section 44 was used? If the government went by the normal...(Read More)


Phuket rain brings slew of motorbike accidents on wet roads

Bravo Carol Jadzia, You did explain it so well. Fantastic! Lets hope people read it, think about it and use for themselves in more careful driving....(Read More)


All car passengers now required to buckle up

Interesting reading, that use of section 44 just for buckle up. In this case a inflator use of section 44, for a simple matter. Why not to use sec...(Read More)


Phuket court hands suspended sentence to Aussie tourist Keating for jet-ski death

So the price of a life in Thailand is now a huge AUD $188-84. So sad...(Read More)


Phuket gunman in Patong tuk-tuk boss slaying hits ‘most wanted’ list

Easy solution. Move ALL tuk tuks from Patong and only have the great motorbike taxi service, the taxi meter and the normal taxi service. The Tuk tuks ...(Read More)


Out-of-control pickup ploughs into four vehicles in Phuket, two people injured

Its not the drink thats the problem. ( yes it counts for a small amount). But the real reason the fact that too many just cant drive, have no license ...(Read More)


All car passengers now required to buckle up

Let's see who polices this then!!! Marcher, what else do i need to add you manage to insult yourself!...(Read More)

The Phuket News
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.