BAGAN (Myanmar)-THE dagsVStheworld DEFINITIVE GUIDE!
Bagan is incredible, temples by the thousands, amazing history and great adventures. If you love photography you are going to shit your pants with excitement when you visit this spectacular little town.
What began as a phallic ‘my-pagoda-is-bigger-than-yours’ battle in the 9th-13th century between the hundreds of incredibly wealthy kings ended up with an area (once known as Pagan) literally drowning in fantastically decorated, plaster-coated, brick pagodas.
They were originally whitewashed or covered in gold leaf and inside were numerous statues and paintings of buddhas and stories about the kings lives and other legends. Over time with the extreme Burmese weather, earthquakes, allied bombing during WW2 and the inevitable Japanese occupation, the pagodas are now devoid of their once glossy appearance. But don’t let that deceive you because now at sunrise and sunset the red glow of the sun is reflected in the exposed brickwork and the sight is breathtaking to say the least.
There are some temples that are more frequented than others but you are free to wander at your own leisure and create an Indiana Jones style adventure-trying to find that elusive magical place from where to take your photos from.
Young kids will ask you see their paintings, this is a ploy to buy from them. They don’t earn much money so don’t be a tightass and give em a tip. 1000 kyat (less than a dollar US) is more than enough for a tip. If they are small children don’t give them more than 500kyat (about 50 cents US)
I stayed here for one week and in the map below I have outlined the best places for sunrise/sunset and exploring. You will need to rent an Ebike (electric motorcycle) as the temples are spread out in a large area. You can rent a bicycle if you are very fit. Remember it’s going to be hot as all fuckery so bring a water bottle with you!
here’s a map to the cool stuff!……