Bagan & Beyond

Bagan P

It’s impossible to capture the magnitude and magnificence of Bagan. 

Upon arriving in the Bagan Archaeological Zone, I was asked where I was staying so the driver could drop me off at a hotel. Having not made a reservation, I glanced around,  spotted the only other Westerner and pointed at him. This is how I met my travel buddy for this trip, Kevin.

With more than 2,200 structures still remaining it would take more than a New Orleans’ minute to see all that Bagan has to offer.

Same, same but different.

Kevin and I took in as much as we could from the saddles of our ebikes.

Clouds killed any chance of catching a good sunset so I gave dawn my best effort.

Irrawaddy River Sunset

A sunset cruise on the Irrawaddy yielded one fair result.

 While I spent most of this trip in Bagan, I did get a glimpse of Mandalay as it was my entry/exit airport. Here are the highlights…

U Bein Bridge

I walked across the world’s longest teak footbridge, the U Bein Bridge, which spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura.

I walked to the top of the tower at Mandalay Palace, around the Su Taung Pyae Pagoda, Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, and Mahamuni Buddha Temple.

Maybe it’s the teak, but I found Shwenandaw Kyaung Monastery, or the Golden Palace Temple, to be the most charming.

I wouldn’t even mention Kuthodaw Pagoda but that’s where the world’s largest book resides. The entire text of the Tipitaka Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism is inscribed on huge stone slabs. All 730 “pages” are housed in individual shrines, called kyauksa gu. Most impressive.


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