we took an early flight out of yangon to go a little further up north to the ancient city of bagan. it was our good luck, that a few minutes on our way to the hotel, we passed by a street procession. mr. sun, who was our guide for the duration of our stay, told us it was a family celebration for children who are going into the monastery. there, they'll be taught the ways of buddhism. there was a horseman, and an elephant dancer. mr. sun said that richer families would sometimes rent a real live elephant.
after that was a little trip to the local market, to look for souvenirs, interact with the locals, and of course, take more pictures...
and try on the local dress. i only wanted to try the skirt, but the lady in the store decided to put the top on as well.
after that, was a brief stop at a local coffee shop. food was finished faster than you can say "bagan".
and what do you know, the coffee shop was beside a small artist's house. i was haunted by this painting.
but decided to buy one of these. they just seemed like a positive likeness of our experience (so far)in myanmarour guide offered to take us to the hotel for some lunch and rest. but we all knew we had limited time to look at a lot of temples, so we decided to set aside the hotel trip. i mean, really, who can think of the airconditioned comfort of the hotel, and the normalcy of hotel food when one sees these on the road?
we had a lot of road stops to take pictures. after that, it was information overload: on each temple's history, burmese history and of course, buddhism. each and every one of those structures had a special story, and a special name. i'm still having trouble connecting the name to which temple. but each one of them, was breathtaking..
if it were up to us, we would have continued to go around, take hundreds (maybe thousands) of pictures. but mr. sun, with his gentle but firm manner, told us to have some lunch to prepare ourselves for the highlight (what highlight? everything we saw were highlights) of the trip. but first, was lunch with a view of the irrawady river. this is one of the cleanest rivers i've seen, considering that it runs from north to south of the whole country.
mr. sun was right. we needed to sit down, and contemplate on the amazing things we've just seen. we had after the meal, we proceeded to the "sunset pagoda", popular because of it's view of the whole of bagan. we didn't go inside the pagoda. we climbed this:
and from the top, this is what you see
there was no sunset to speak of, because the grey clouds started moving in. and there was a slight drizzle. taking one lst look at the pagoda, we headed off, finally, for the hotel...
...where we had a nice dinner, and a taste of the local beer. the perfect end to a perfect day (well, not too perfect. our feet got burned, after all)
more, more pictures of the second day here
how hot was it in bagan? find out here