The plains of Bagan


The next day I excitedly got up for breakfast on the roof terrace. Myanmar for a tourist is not cheap, all prices are exaggerated and its difficult for the budget travellers here, but do able of course, so I had paid more for this hotel than others, but still at only $40 a night, and it was nice to have a bit of luxury as well for a few days.
The hotel had a choice of E bikes, electric bikes or normal bikes, I took the normal bikes, which I think was the right choice, although by day two I realised a mountain bike was needed as I was constantly getting stuck in the dirt tracks or should I say deep sand!.
There are about 2,000 monuments in Bagan covering an area of 16 square miles on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady river in Myanmar. They vary in stages of preservation and disrepair, in all different shapes and sizes, but mostly you will always find a Buddha statue inside and in good condition
The city of Bagan dates back to the early 2nd century, although it was established as a walled city in 849 by King Pyinbya. Originally Bagan was known as the Tattadesa, the parched lands, and you see why, it’s so dry and arid here, the land being so difficult to work.
From the 9th to 13th centuries Bagan was the capital of Pagan, the first Kingdom to unify the regions that would later make up Myanmar.
During the Kingdoms heyday between the 11 and 13th centuries more than 10,000 Buddhist temples, Pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains. They make a majestic sight and you could easily spend a week here looking at them all in detail.
My hotel was in Nyaung U about 3km from Bagan itself, so I started off at the closest Pagoda, Shwezigon, where tradition has it that the collar bone and tooth of the buddha are enshrined.It is important architecturally as it became the prototype for future Pagodas in Myanmar, dating back to the 11th century. From there I cycled towards old Bagan, I never made it. There was much to see on the way I didn’t get that far. Sunset was fast approaching so I tried find a good vantage point in the middle of a field, that was the first day gone already!IMG_0326 IMG_0329 IMG_0328 IMG_0297 IMG_0294 IMG_0290 IMG_0289IMG_0379

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