It was already noon time when we arrived at The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate – our official residence during our two nights stay in Bagan, Myanmar. Upon arrival, we met the General Manager of the hotel and other officers including their Pinay Executive Chef Jana Garcia. After exchanging pleasantries, the General Manager hosted sumptuous lunch then we headed to our designated rooms to freshen up and prepare for our afternoon activity.
Sunset in Bagan Myanmar
The rest of the guys decided to bike around the historic town and since I’m not a biker, I just hired a horse cart that brought me to some temples and pagoda’s with Shwesandaw Pagoda as the final stop just in time for the fabulous sunset viewing.
Bagan is not only popular for its pagodas and stupas that sport a look covered with golden sikaras, wood carvings, exotic cotton trees and an arid landscape. This old Kingdom is also popular for its orangey sunset that continues to gain attention of tourists from different part of the globe.
Staircases to the Pagoda
I don’t know if you will be surprised or inspired if you saw the sunset viewing area when I arrived. The Pagoda was surrounded with souvenir peddlers and more than a dozen of Buses and Horse Carts making the area more dusty and a little bit noisy. I was quite disappointed but I guess thats what happens if a tourist attraction becomes a tourist destination.
Crowded Pagoda in Bagan
To prepare for the sunset viewing, I started climbing up to the 3rd level of this precipitous temple with loads of other photographers and tourists who are all aiming to capture the best sunset shot. Reaching the third level was a bit of a struggle due to narrow and steep staircase, good thing the temperature is already bearable but it was still a little bit humid.
Beautiful Sunset in Bagan
Sunset can be viewed from Shwesandaw Pagoda, which provides visitors a magnificent platform to see the sunset. The pagoda contains a series of five terraces, topped with a cylindrical stupa, which has a bejewelled umbrella. The pagoda was built by King Anawrahta in 1057, and once contained terra cotta tiles depicting scenes from the Jataka.
Sunset Photos at Ground Level
If you don’t want to climb, you can also take sunset photos at ground level to get the sky and use the pagodas as a perfect dark foreground.
A glimpse of the sunset will motivate anyone to take photographs, and there is no chance of anyone getting tired of seeing the photos of sunsets taken in Bagan. The setting sun and the pagodas act as a counter-weight to each other, and the composition offers an incredible balance to it. The entire sunset image is more than just romantic, it also hides a pleasing harmony in it.