We’d arrived to Bagan as two broken humans. 16 hours in the back of pick ups where they will pick up and take anyone along the way. At some points there were easily 25 humans + countless bags of rice, veg and luggage all packed in, in some sort of human cargo Tetris. I must admit, although it was unbelievably uncomfortable at times the drive through the night was spectacular. They lad who collects the money for the pick-ups had taken pity on us and upgraded up to sitting on the tailgate. This was around 11:00pm at night going through the mountains around Kalaw. The entire scene was unreal. The rain was coming down hard but missing us completely due the trucks speed. Above us was one of the most spectacular lightning storms I’ve ever seen then all around us were small forest fires. Meanwhile this was all set in the stunning mountain ranges. At the time I knew this was the makings of an unforgettable memory. My only regret here is not owning a GoPro.
We got dropped off by the final pick-up in Nyaung-U. This is the cheap backpacker town for visiting Bagan. We’d managed to muster the strength to walk around trying to find a cheap room and ended up at Veiw point inn. Checked in and instantly went to grab some food. Bagan has some amazing restaurants. You could very easily stay here for a week getting fat and looking at pagodas. Then the inevitable happened and we slept. One of the best sleeps of my life. We woke up about 4:00pm and decided we should try to go and catch the sunset and one of the temples. This was a totally failed mission. Both exhausted we rented two bicycles, went the wrong way and mine then broke. We headed back after 40 minutes defeated. Still wanting to do something we went to view the sunset at Ayeyarwardy River. It was a great end to the day, the sunset wasn’t too spectacular but we did get to go for a swim.
One the way home we went through the large markets where we learnt from a stall owner about how to make Thanka.
We went to grab a bite to eat and had been recommended a place that serves Dagon beer on tap. Unfortunately I couldn’t remember the name of the place but people will point it out to you. The food is excellent we even tied the “famous green tea leaf salad” it’s worth trying but isn’t too appetizing. After a few beers and a good feed we went to make our way back to the hostel. On the way we ran in to two Dutch people I’d met in Yangon. They asked us to join them for a sunrise boat trip on the river in the morning.
Paying Bagan Entrance fees
If you arrive by bus they will make everyone get off before you arrive in Nyang-U and tell you pay a 10,000kyats “Bagan Entrance Fee”. You should do your best not to pay this. We’d met people who just refused to pay and were allowed to board the bus and enter for free. You will only get asked for your ticket once at Shwesandaw Temple the Sunset Temple. They have people stood at the entrance waiting for you to show your ticket or making you buy a new one. You can just walk around the back and go through one of the many other entrances for free.
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