Magical Bagan

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Bagan, Myanmar
Magical Bagan - Bagan afternoon
Magical Bagan - Happy folk
Magical Bagan - friendly taxi guide
Magical Bagan - More Pagodas of Bagan
Magical Bagan - Sarah & Buddha

Magical Bagan Reviews

lunardragon lunardra…
3 reviews
Aug 10, 2007
Our bus ride to Bagan was at 3pm, a 16hr journey costing $15US. We were seated across from 2 english chaps. The road is shocking and the bus driver is not much better, its pointless trying to sleep as the jostling got worse the further we got out of Yangon. At 4am in the morning, the bus broke down. Something had gone wrong with the gear box & I confirmed it with the driver and his little team of workers, when I said gear box? And he confirmed with a nod. I gave them 30mins to see if they could fix it and noticed that the driver and his bettle nut intoxicated team consisting of the ticket collector and the all important role of screaming over a loud hailer "All Aboard" or something like that in Burmese, job. These guys were slowly dismantling the gear box and didn't have a clue as to what they were doing. So I suggested to Sara, Ben and Tom that we needed to flag down the next vehicle and negotiate a rate to get us the remaining 4 hrs to Bagan, as I didn't think this bus was going to be fixed at all. The first car that came along was the typical ute taxi, which became our own personalized taxi, that didn't stop for anyone except the policemans daughter who was standing on the side of the road with her uniformed dad. I sat on the roof of the taxi with the young guy that collects the money. He was very smiley and happy (probably because he was slightly high from the bettle nut they chew so often, its a mild narcotic), we tried to talk with each other, but failed, though hand signals worked well and he pointed at the top of the palm trees where thick bunches of palm coconuts hung and with his hand he motioned drinking, and his big wide grin made me think this is no ordinary drink, I nodded my head in agreement, whereby he yelled for the driver to pull-over at the next house. He dashed into a thatched hut with me in tow, spoke to the owner of the house, grabbed a plastic cup and dunked it into a clay pot. Fermented palm juice mmmmmmm nodding my head with approval to the house holder & his family….though only a low alcohol content, it needed more work in being something palatable. We drove through small towns & villages, the roads were hard work, as was the taxi with its metal and wooden benches and roof, and yet we stirred a lot of interest with the locals as everyone was waving as we drove by…it was so much fun….much more fun than the boring bus. The smiles and waves were endless :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :). The driver stopped the taxi at one point to refresh their depleting stash of bettle nut and I watched as they hand made them. I enquired how much and my young friend bought me a bag of 4, banged his chest, "on the house" he said in sign language.

We finally arrived in Bagan after 27hrs of being awake, 18 of those traveling from Yangon to Bagan. We got dropped off at the hotel Kopwint recommended, and they gave us the room rates, $15, $20, $25 US per night, though they regretted to informed us that there were no more $15 & $20 rooms (it is the off season and we beat the bus to Bagan). We told them we could only afford $15 or we go elsewhere, which they quickly said we have rooms for you at $15. Bagan is a magical place & must be seen. The people of this area during the 11 th century onwards have built pagodas for Buddha and there must be thousands of them. It's a popular place and the people in this area are fantastic, gentle, friendly, and respectful, as experienced elsewhere in Burma. Since we were all so wiped out, Ben & Tom rented a horse and buggy and took off to explore some of the archeological wonders. Sarah and I jumped aboard a taxi cycle getting chauffeur biked slowly to various pagodas, finally all meeting up at one of the largest pagodas you can climb to watch the sunset. We were all keen to watch a sunrise, but couldn't muster the energy for a 5am wake up to climb onto our rented bikes.

A quick 1hr flight back to Yangon was what we needed, as time was running short for me.
Happy folk
friendly taxi guide
Bagan afternoon
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