Recently, while doing a bit of a blog overhaul, I bumped into a folder full of photos from Myanmar. I started to get annoyed that I had never written about Bagan, one of the most impressive ancient wonders in Southeast Asia. I figured that since it was over four years since I visited the Bagan temples that it was too late, but then I remembered that this is my blog and I can post literally anything I want.
There isn’t a whole lot of useful information or vivid descriptions in this post, but there are plenty of photos that will hopefully inspire you to add the temples in Bagan to your Southeast Asia travel itinerary. This could even be thought of as a photo essay, but I’ll never use that term!
Cycling around the Temples of Bagan
Bagan is the perfect place to cycle around — there are temples everywhere and there is always something to look at. I spent two days cycling around the temples of Bagan and never got bored. Most of the temples are quite similar so it’s best to just grab a bike and see where it takes you. Make sure to climb up some of the taller ones for amazing views of the temple covered plains — I’d also recommend watching the sunset at one of the temples if you don’t mind cycling back to town in the dark.
Also, try and find the “Indiana Jones” temple. An old guy in a restaurant told us (a Dutch guy I’d met while cycling and I) about a temple where you can act like everyone’s favourite male tomb raider. There were bats everywhere and it was pitch black — it was pretty scary but it did help me conquer my fear of bats. I have no idea if it’s still open or what its official name is, but try and seek it out and you’ll have a really fun temple adventure.
Down by the River
I took a bit of a detour while cycling around Bagan and ended up in a small village close to the river. The low, dry season river level made it look like a desert. I passed by a family who urged me to stop and take their photo. The locals in Myanmar were some of the most genuinely friendly people I’ve met in my travels — that was four years ago though and things move fast once full-scale tourism rolls in. It was still a fairly uncommon place to visit back then, but hopefully the people haven’t changed their attitudes towards tourists too much.
Would you like to visit the temples of Bagan? Have you been to Myanmar recently? If so, let me know how your trip went in the comments below.
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