I have to first say that this is going to be a really long review because I wish to have it as a history mixed journey.
" See Bagan and Live " I'm not sure who said it but it's so true. Seeing Began truly made me want to live more. It's like we have gone into an ancient kingdom in a cartoon. This review is the last review of my trip to Myanmar.
The previous episodes documented the details of the trip from Bangkok to Yangon for asking blessings from Thep Than Jai, taking photos with Sweet Eye Reclining Buddha, before ending with Shwedagon Pagoda. After that, I took a sleeper bus from Yangon to here.
The trip of "Yangong-Bagan" started with the episode of "Thep Than Jai" "ย่างกุ้ง - พุกาม" ตอน "เทพทันใจ" followed the episode of "Sweet Eye Reclining Buddha" "พระนอนตาหวาน" and ended with the episode of "Shwedagon Pagoda" "ความศรัทธาแห่งมหาเจดีย์ชเวดากอง" After that, I came to Bagan.
There are several ways to go to Bagan, be it bus, train, or airplane. In most cases, if our destination is Bagan, people usually fly to Mandalay, spend a night there and hire a car to start the journey in the morning. For me, since I'm quite a backpacker and adventurous kind of a person, I chose to go by bus which takes about 10 hours. I think it's quite a great choice as I can save some room fee too. I left Yangon at 9 p.m. and reached Bagan in the morning. For the train option, I think it's too long and I didn't have that much time.
>> Starting by booking the bus of 12Go at https://12go.asia/th/bus/yangon/bagan which provides full details of how to book and such. I booked a round trip ticket and paid by credit card. About a week later, the bus company sent me a ticket in PDF format via email for us to print and use it as a ticket proof. I booked the Mandalar minn Express (VIP) for a round trip which costs 1,326 THB. I think it's quite good value for 10 hours ride. I'm quite impressed with the staff who was so polite and took good care of me. More importantly, the staff remembered me when I took a return bus too (got on the bus from Aung Mingalar Bus Station.)
>>The bus is spacious and comfortable, I think it's better than our bus. There is a blanket on the bus which is also fragrant. For all this, I give it a pass. The staff also give us drinking water, soft drinks and snacks on board. After a while, the bus would stop for bathroom and food for about 30 minutes. We all had to go down. After that, I took a long sleep.
And then we arrived earlier than scheduled and it's still dark. According to the plan, we supposed to arrive at 7 a.m. and then I planned to go to the city and rent an e-scooter which only costs 8,000 MMK. But since I'm still yet fully awake and it's dark, I was surrounded by so many taxis. At first, I only wanted them to take me for the sunrise and I would go rent e-scooter later but instead, I paid them for the full day ride. From 8,000 MMK, I paid 90,000 MMK. That's right, hilarious, isn't it? Oh my, but yeah, this is the cons of travelling alone. Oh well, for the sake of experience and the fact that I still have money left, it's alright. Because I think I might get all lost if I were to drive myself. When the deal has reached, I asked him to immediately take me to the sunrise spot. As of now, it's too late to see the sunrise along the pagodas so he took me to the hill instead which is prepared for tourists. The sunrise wasn't that amazing as it was blocked by the trees but the color of the sky was so amazingly beautiful.
The most striking thing is the balloon. Many of them are going up to the sky but it is on the opposite side of the sun. That means that he brought me to the not 'wow' side, so sad. But anyway, let's turn to take some balloon shots.
Since it has a lot of fog in the morning, the photos that I got weren't so clear. So sad, but even though the picture is blurry, the feeling is clear. Yes, I clearly remembered how excited I was when seeing a lot of balloons floating up. They were full of the sky and I couldn't stop pressing my shutter.
After taking enough photos, it's time to roam around. I did my homework by writing down the highlight destinations and handed it to him. His English was so good which I'm just opposite to that. Anyway, we were able to communicate. After seeing the list, he started to take me around.
Dhammayan Gyi Temple It is the largest pagodas in Bagan. It is a temple for whitewash that was built by the forced labor. It is' the story of the pagoda and the throne gained from killing and lying so that this pagoda was built as a way to baptize. But the sin cannot be washed away that fast so it remained. Here are more photos of this temple เจดีย์วิหารธรรมยางจี
In short, this temple was not completed. Inside the temple is a long path which we can see this pattern in many temples here.
Actually, I was puzzled by how Buddha statue in Bagan has no neck, or let's say very short one. So here is the explanation. " Burmese art in Bagan style was truly developed around the middle of the 11th century (1113-1287), a period that occurred after a turning point of the deteriorating influence of Mon culture. Bagan art has evolved, changed, and built on from the original culture, with a more unique identity. It was started in the reign of King Alaungsithu who has built many large temples. The interior of the temple had rooms and corridors which were more spacious than before. Burmese art in Bagan period was very prosperous while Mon's influence began to fade away. And the Burmese alphabet began to replace the less popular Mon language. But when the Mongol army of China defeated Bagan in 1287 which corresponded to the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai period in Thailand, Burmese art and Bagan kingdom deteriorated". Click here for reference (อ้างอิง) In summary, it is a Mon art.
There are many things selling around the temple but I didn't dare to buy any back. It is my personal belief that when we go to holy places, we shouldn't take anything back aside from the feelings and the things that we can see (I'm afraid of the unseen things).
Ananda Temple It is so speechlessly beautiful. The golden peaks contrast with indigo blue sky. It is said that this temple is the ultimate beauty of Bagan architecture (which I agree 100%). For more beautiful photos of the temple, please click "วิหารอนันดา"
The pagoda is a tall and in square shape. Inside, there's a large Buddha statue and murals along the wall.
Shwesandow Pagoda Previously, this pagoda was open for tourists to take pictures of the sea field of beautiful pagodas, the image that we often see, but it is now closed because they were afraid that it could be damaged. I think it makes sense to conserve it because it is a tall pagoda with stairs going up from four sides. According to the textbook this pagoda contained the Buddha's hair too ... Then why people were allowed to go up and step on it from the first place (- "-)
Shinbinthalyaung Temple It is a long box temple with a Reclining Buddha statue sleeping in the entire area so some people call it the uncomfortable Reclining Buddha. Yeah, it was here that I was followed by a Burmese lady who tried to exchange money with me, like THB, USD, MMK. She kept saying what she wanted and I said in my term, seemed like we didn't understand each other but I actually understood her. But I just kept saying no. When exchange money task failed, she offered to take me to the great spot for watching sunrise and I said I will go back home tomorrow. She then tried to sell me poster. But of course, my answer was no. She followed me a while before decided to leave me alone. Now I felt so good that my English was poor.
Thatbyinnyu Phaya Pagoda I felt that the name was quite strange. We Thai people known it as Sapphanya. It is the tallest pagoda in Bagan (it's so huge). We can visit inside too. It was a huge open area where Buddha statues were enshrined periodically. I took so many photos from this pagoda, please click here for more photos วิหารทัตบินยู
Shwezigon Pagoda Yes, shwe means gold, so this temple was glowed with gold plates. If Yangon has Shwedagon, Bagan then probably has this mini size of Shwezigon. The pagoda is an inverted bell shape. For more photos, please click here เจดีย์ชเวซิกอง
With so many angles for us to take photos
One of the highlight corners is looking at the temple's shadow in the water. At first I didn't know but I saw a large crowd there and here is what I got.
Htilominlo Temple This temple was built as a memorial to the event when the King Tilomilo was chosen. It is said that the father of King Tilomino had 5 sons, so he couldn't choose who would reign after him. So he asked all his sons to sit in a circle with a tiered umbrella in the middle. Wherever this umbrella fell, that person would be the next king. It's so cool. I thought it's only us who like to use this method. It's just like when doing an exam and we don't know the answer, so wherever the pen fell, that was the answer. When His Majesty ascended the throne, the temple was built at the point of that selection ceremony. This is a kind of Burmese art that is really Burmese. For more photos, click at my page here ติโลมินโล
There were a lot of foreigners here. Probably because it's already late. There were also a lot of things selling around as well but I still didn't dare to buy.
Bupaya Pagoda Or as known by Thai people as Calabash pagoda. It stands majestically on the Irrawaddy River. It is expected to be built from the 8th century in Pyu time before the Bagan Empire. This one is a newly restored one. The old one had been damaged by the earthquake.
This area is also a viewpoint for the Irrawaddy River.
Mahabodhi Temple It is quite a strange shape pagoda among the Bagan pagodas. So I came back to search for more information. This pagoda was built to resemble the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India. Thai people call this pagoda as Mahabodhi Pagoda. The distinctive feature is the exterior wall with small compartments containing the Buddha images and some count it to have 465 in total.
Actually, I visited two more places but I think I should stop here. If you want to know and see more of the photos, please go to my page where I have divided photos into different album. Before saying goodbye, I'd like to take you to the enchanted sunset in the ancient kingdom of Bagan.
That's it. I then took a sleeper bus back to Yangon and flew back to Thailand. In summary, I slept two nights on the bus. I took a shower in the morning at the bus station when I reached Yangon and took taxi to the airport. Then, a very impressive story happened. I forgot my cell phone in the bathroom of the airport without knowing it. Soon, a Burmese girl came out, tapped my shoulder and handed me the phone. Since my brain was still blank, I didn't respond her with enough gratitude! When my brain started to function again, I was thinking so many things and really felt panic if I actually lost my phone as it's our life when traveling abroad. I also felt regret that I didn't even talk to my kind helper, all I could remember was she's wearing yellow shirt ...😂 Yes, I should really end now. I'm planning to visit Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom next and I will come back and share my experiences with you guys again.
Feel free to stop by for photos, chatting and reading more of my journey here 😊 " เที่ยวให้ได้ "เรื่อง"