Where to Bagan

It’s the place that keeps giving
Tonight I watched the sun set over a vast plain covered with more than two thousand temples. – as far as the eye could see.

The rays reflecting off the ancient stones, turning them Into shades of pale pink and red
And glinting off the tops of golden stupas
Posing for pictures with locals happy to see a Westerner here.
I saw alll this from the top of a 2000 year old temple

Twenty two years before William 1 invaded England , a similar visionary was taking power in Northern Burma.
In the city of Bagan to be exact.
The Normans left us with a legacy of beautiful churches in almost every village in England.

King Anawrahtra and his descendants built more than 13,000 Buddhist temples.

Crammed into a plain which stretches for 26sq miles

Well over 2,000 still remain. Just one more jaw dropping sight this country keeps producing

A ten hour bus journey north brought me here. On a reclining seat the bus company told me would be as comfortable as a bed (Ha!)
I arrived at 4am. Blagged my way into an empty room and was out temple searching at 8am.

I say searching , but that is absurd
They surround you. On roadside verges. In the middle of fields. Down goat tracks.

It is simply overwhelming
For more than 200 years they toiled here building temples that range from (relatively) simple red brick structures to impossibly ornate palaces – in one case built to imitate a Kingly vision of a Himalyan landscape
They rise everywhere among the banyan trees and grassland.

Huge teak Buddhas in silent hallways, painted with gold leaf.
Thousand year old frescoes depicting the life of The Buddha.

In the end it’s too much really Far too much to take in on one day
So it’s another night in Bagan for me. Trying to get in on the card school which somehow combines push ha’penny with bar biliards played on a coffee table.

The night will fly by


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