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Exploring beautiful Bagan

Bagan is seriously beautiful. If you love architecture, you will love Bagan. If you love photography, you will love Bagan. If you love travel, Bagan. Siiighh! I spent 3 days exploring the place. Day 1 via horse cart, day 2 & 3 by bicycle. It was very, very dusty...and touristy. There's loads of tourist buses overtaking you on those dusty roads & letting you eat all the dirt. If I had enough money, I would probably just do the horse cart. Hmm..some temples are inaccessible to horse carts though. I'm torn. Wish I brought my dust mask.
Highlights: Gorgeous, fantastic, incredible scenery!!!!
Cast of Characters: I was exploring Bagan by myself. Although on the second day I teamed up with Cho Cho (from New Bagan) & Xandy (a journalist from Austria). They were really nice.
Logistics/ Links: Here's a good site that seems to have all the info-
When: I went to Bagan mid-Feb, 2012. It was a little bit warm but still a nice time to visit the place.
Location: I stayed at Nyaung-U which is not as close to all the temples as Old Bagan. Nyaung-U is cheaper though.
- Accommodation- I paid $12 for my own room with bathroom & breakfast at Eden Hotel. I love their staff at that place! They are just the friendliest folks on earth!
- Food around Nyaung-U costs about $1.5, and of course you have to get some yummy drinks too. So a meal will probably be around $2-3. Not bad!
- Horse cart for the day is around $18 or something. I also paid for the lunch of my guide.
- Bicycle rental is like $1 or $2 for the whole day.
Trip Report: I love Bagan! Sure I ended up with like 5 sand paintings, but its all good. The locals also have this hobby of collecting different currencies for souvenir. When you visit temples, they'll start flattering you saying how beautiful you are blah blah blah. Next thing you know you've got sand paintings, little handcrafted containers, longyis, thanakas...gaaahh!

I have a love/hate relationship with biking around the temples. It's sooo dusty! And you're biking on sand! Have you ever tried biking on the beach?! That's how it was like at some parts in Bagan. Its freakin' hard! Biking early in the morning is nice though. On my second & third day I just came out during early mornings or late afternoons for optimum photography lighting. The temples & the landscape look like its straight out of a fairy tale story. It was beautiful!
Everything is just so picturesque

Gorgeous temple. Love all the details. I really think Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples pale in comparison to the temples here.

Morning light reflecting on abandoned temples

Yey! There's me biking around the smaller paths.

Cho-Cho was my photographer for the day.

Not too many people exploring the temples early in the morning. That's Cho-Cho & Xandy ahead of me.

Rural life with the temple backdrop. So freakin beautiful!

Some umbrella thingies. Not sure what they mean for the religion.

Local currency- kyat.

Friendly, always smiling staff of Eden hotel at Nyaung-U, Bagan.

Cute little baby with thanaka on her face.

Little betel leaf stand. My horse cart driver always had a little stash with him & was just happily munching along all day. I heard this has some negative health effects. I dunno. I was chewing coca leaves (for cocaine) all the time in Peru & it seriously did not do anything to me. Not sure about betel leaves.


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