Breakfast at our hotel, Yar Kine Thar Hotel, was around 6.30am ready for our 8.00am sight seeing departure in the tour company’s minibus….a bit swishy but we managed. Bagan is one of the most impressive sites anywhere in Asia…..Vince had seen images of the Bagan Plain Temples in a DVD and was really looking forward to seeing the real thing.
We drove to the small village of Wetkyi- in to see the wonderful Htilomin Lo Pagoda, which houses four Buddha figures on the ground floor and four more on the first floor. Then we visited the magnificent Ananda Phaya temple, one of the most reserved monuments in Bagan, with its amazing architecture and courtyard.
We stopped at U Ba Nyein, a bamboo and lacquerware factory,….where each of the ladies was given a gift of a small bamboo bracelet made in front of us….and the extensive and lengthy process of how they make and decorate the items was explained …..it takes a year to make just one bowl! The artisans were simply amazing and I was particularly impressed with a man who was hand carving the most intricate and beautiful water lily design by hand and eye…..unbelievable…..I am still gobsmacked at his skill! The showroom was filled with exquisite things…..luckily for Vince none had the water lily design…..so I bought nothing …..even though they do offer shipping home…..it really was out of this world what they can do.
We also saw the Dhamayangyi Temple, the most massive structure in Bagan which has a similar architectural plan to Ananda Temple. It was built by King Narathu (1167-70), who was also known as Kalagya Min, the ‘king killed by Indians’. After murdering his own father in order to become King, Narathu ascended the throne of Bagan and he built this temple to atone for his sins but he never saw it completed as he was assassinated.
At the Dhamayangyi temple (were I had trouble finding a toilet), Nyi, our guide, explained that depending on the day of the week you were born you get a certain animal totem…….he said most of his clients are all BIG Ainimals…… Stefan, Aad (Art) and I are Lions, Vince, Mike and Annett, are Garudas, Claire is a Tiger…….but Emiel is a Guinea Pig!
We ended the morning at a restaurant near our hotel….where Vince and I had the hottest green curry chicken we have ever tasted! (Lunch 19,400 Kyet for both).
By 1.00pm we were back at the hotel for a rest before being collected st 3.00pm to head off to catch a sunset view of the Bagan Plain Temples.
We stopped off at the Thatbyinnyu Phaya enroute to Shwezigon San Daw Pagoda, and whilst there we spoke with a local sand painting artist…….so talented!
At the Shwezigon San Daw Pagoda it was a long, steep, hot climb to the top and we had a long wait for sunset at 5.30pm…..but the group held our position to ensure we could try to get the best photos! The view was breathtaking and very special for Vince and I to share as part of our honeymoon……I really do have the best husband in the world….he takes me to the coolest places on earth!
Back at our hotel around 6.00pm we freshened up and went back to the same restaurant we had been to the night before……this time we ordered “beef burgers” and they were the most delicious home made burgers we have ever eaten…..so much so Vince and I ordered a second one to share. Desert was had ….along with some alcoholic drinks….beer for Vince and Pina Colada Cocktail for me…..yum! (30,700 Kyet for both)
We did a few routine chores back at the hotel and were asleep in bed by 8.30pm……what can I say …… we are such party animals!