We spent our first morning in New Bagan where we stayed overnight at Bagan Central Hotel. I just had 4 hours of sleep but I already felt recharged and ready for our next adventure. I’m not sure if its cool or not, I woke up with “We’ve only just Began” song playing in my head. I just cant blame anyone, It has been our running knock knock joke since we arrived in Myanmar.
Bagan Central Hotel Dining Area
As I left my room heading to the open area dining for breakfast, I noticed the cold temperature – one thing weird about the weather in Myanmar is it can be very cold in the morning and extremely hot by noon time until midnight. No wonder, Ive been seeing water stations scattered on the road side in Bagan. The water is kept in large clay jars to keep it cold and these are strategically located to help locals avoid dehydration.
Breakfast at Bagan Central Hotel
Bike for Rent
We still have ample time to walk around the area so we headed towards the white colored temple that is visible from our hotel. As we walk towards the stupa, I noticed several bicycles for rent and some horse carts waiting for passengers. Upon reaching the white temple we were welcomed by kids selling beautifully printed postcards as well as handmaid postcards.
A white Temple in Bagan
Similar to other touristy areas in Asia, some of the postcard peddlers kept on following us asking to buy more. Some of them even followed us in the restaurant where we had a short stop and they only left after the restaurant owner demanded them to leave the premises. Our original plan is to have a cup of tea but since they have free wifi, we ended up having our second breakfast. To be honest, that moment was one of the happiest moment I had in Bagan, having a nice affordable meal with free Wifi connection.
Burmese Kid Selling Postcards
We headed back to the hotel to checkout and prepare for our trip to Old Bagan which is roughly 20 minutes away from the hotel. From the moment we left the hotel, we were impressed when we started seeing temples, stupas in different designs and sizes visible along both sides of the road. I have to agree with the famous writing which says encompassing every church and monastery from Europe and putting them into a small valley would describe the sites of Bagan better.
Burmese Kid in New Bagan
After entering the Tharabar gate, I was truly amazed by the number of temples I saw which are unique and literally on the top of one another. The valley is indeed filled with temples both brawny and small, built thousands of years ago.
Typical horse cart in Bagan
Clay Water Stations in Bagan
Melo Villareal in Bagan Central Hotel
Unlike in Yangon, Motorcycles are allowed in Bagan but only locals can drive and own one. There are no Taxi’s in the area and the most common mode of transport around Bagan is a bike or a horse cart. If you want to rent a car, the easiest way is to ask your hotel concierge.
The best way for a traveler to explore the beauty of Bagan would be renting a bicycle. With a bike or bicycle the travelers can move around visiting the monasteries and pagodas in the place. The other advantage of renting a bicycle or a bike is that one can stop at picturesque places, to quench their photography thirsts with their cameras.