14 Responses

  1. LarryInNYC
    LarryInNYC at |

    A half-day on a bike at Bagan almost finished me. Much preferred to tour by horse drawn cart which was reasonable enough that we rented to — one for the grown-ups and one for the kids. Of course, I’m old and fat which makes a difference.

    I thought the best part of the experience was the temples away from the paved roads which you get to on bumpy dirt roads or paths. There’s also a village at the south-east end of the temples area which you can visit and where they’ve set up demonstrations of traditional agricultural operations and weaving techniques. It’s clearly intended for the horse-cart trade but seems to be a purely local endeavor and was quite nice and interesting.

    We found a decent mid range hotel that had a swimming pool — I’ll have to look up the name.

    Bagan is one of the great sights of the world.

  2. Joey
    Joey at |

    Kudos to you for cycling! I went a few years ago in May during the hot season and the only times I could visit the temples were during the morning or late afternoon.
    Having visited Angkor Wat and Borobudur in the past, I absolutely loved Bagan. Lesser tourists, more locals, and less hawkers. Actually, when I went in 2009 I probably saw only a handful of hawkers compared to 3-5 times more in Angkor Wat!
    By the way, your sunset photos look pretty good to me. By the way, does Myanmar still have no ATMs whatsoever? I recall making sure I had a stack of hundred dollar bills (freshly new) when I arrived.

  3. John
    John at |

    Seth, I am going to be there next month. Where did you stay? I’ve heard Nyaung U is the best place as there are some great restaurants around and the bike ride is really nice..any insight is appreciated!

  4. Ofer
    Ofer at |

    We had an amazing time in Bagan in 2007. I miss this place so much. Please rent bicycles! It is healthy and fun. Using horses is animal cruelty.
    We arrived in Bagan on the government ship from Mandalay. Took 15 hours and just an hour from Bagan we hit the sand and were forced to sleep on the ship all night. Great story.
    With Burma changing, I am sure it is no longer the place I visited. The temples are amazing during sunset.

    Nyaung U is were we slept. Sleep on the main road and you will see the priests in the morning walk in a line and get food. Lots of places to eat.

  5. TJ
    TJ at |

    BURMA, only in america

  6. ikonos
    ikonos at |

    @TJ It is called BURMA in lots of other places as well.

  7. sixteen
    sixteen at |

    @ikonos and TJ: I don’t know if you are locals, but I (a local) find it curious that foreigners have stronger opinions on our country’s name than we do. The reason may be that to us, “Burma” (an English name from the British, not us) and “Myanmar” (also an Anglicized name, from the current government) are actually the same word in our language! Things are a lot more nuanced then they seem — e.g., Obama uses both, Daw Suu Kyi has decided to use both too, “myanmar” is actually more inclusive of our minority races while “bama” from which “Burma” is derived refers to the majority race, some saffron monks that foreigners thought are pacifist Buddhists (I’m Buddhist) belong to the 969 movement that are terrorizing our Muslim brothers, etc. It’s complicated. I personally find the following a more respectful position: http://www.onourownpath.com/myanmar/myanmar-or-burma-the-confusing-history-behind-the-names/498/post

  8. TJ
    TJ at |

    The world should have some order. Everyone calling a country by it’s offical name would be a good start.
    obama calling it both just makes him look a little more ignorant then he is. There is no Burma , no Persia , no colonies and no Easter Bunny.

  9. john
    john at |

    so you cant rent a taxi for the day like in Angkor?

  10. Aptraveler
    Aptraveler at |

    Seth, thank you for this brief travel report and for letting the GREAT shots tell the alluring story of your visit. Myanmar is on my list of places that I want to explore. I just need to work it into my schedule sooner!

  11. RakSiam
    RakSiam at |

    Having a guide is helpful. Having a guide with a car is even more helpful. When I was there I had a guide with car for a day and half and then the other half day we did the horsecart thing in the afternoon.

    At sunset I pretty much turned around and shot the temples in the warm light rather than facing the sun like everyone else was.

    The Balloon Over Bagan flight is totally worth the expense too as far as I am concerned.

  12. One of the many Buddha in Bagan, Myanmar | Daily Travel Photo

    […] leaf applied by pilgrims visiting the site. This is one of the many, many Buddha on display in the thousands of temples scattered on the plains of Bagan, Myanmar. Get the daily photo […]