As the usual clichés go, you have to do Bagan at both sunrise and sunset. And yes, I jumped on the bandwagon and did them both. It was one of those nights – I was pretty damn tired…
The sunrise journey began at 4am. We sorted a bed for the night on arrival in Bagan after the night bus from Mandalay and myself and fellow bus passenger Il Goo (from South Korea) roomed together and shared a horse and cart together as we headed for sunrise. We couldn’t get into our room until after breakfast so to make the most of it, we just did sunrise on our first day in Bagan.
The horse guys were real rip off merchants so be careful. I’ll be honest and admit I even thought paying them 1,000 Kyat to get there for sunrise was a rip off and that was my first bid. They hit us back with 10,000 Kyat! I couldn’t believe it. We eventually got it down to 3,000 Kyat each and basically used the driver to get there and back and wouldn’t want to talk to him or ever recommend using him again. Why didn’t we get bikes? Because we had just arrived off the bus and it was dark, we were tired and we weren’t sure where to go. (We hired bikes later in the day).
We head to the Buledi Pagoda and it’s pitch black. So dark – we all need to use our headlights and torches to climb up to the top. We wait for about 1.5 hours there just chatting.
Then the sun comes up.
And that’s it. Nothing inspiring, nothing really mega to write home about (hence the shortness of this post).
It’s just a load of scattered temples and pagodas in the middle of obscure countryisde in Myanmar.
I ended up heading on a bicycle to a load more of the temples that day and later watched the sunset from the Buledi Pagoda again.
You don’t need me to tell you how disappointing Bagan is. It was hyped up and I expected to really love, but I just wasn’t taken by it – a mildly average place.
Perhaps I picked the wrong time, saw the wrong sunsets and visited the wrong temples. I met tons of people who raved about Bagan.
For the sake of it, here are the videos I took at the time of Sunrise at Bagan: