Bagan is one of the those sights that you will have seen in an old copy of National
Geographic. Or on the Discovery channel. Over 2000 temples, stupas and pagodas dating from the early 12th century in a small area of 80km2. All originally build when the Kingdom’s capital was based there. Each individual household would build their own temple to worship in. Hence the large numbers, hundreds and hundreds but all exist in various states of disrepair. Interestingly, UNESCO only has oversight of 2-3 temples, the rest remain under control by the military who do not want foreign entities involved. A real shame. Bagan would benefit from World Heritage Status. It is worthy of it.
We were visiting for 3 days. We saw some beautiful sunsets and had time to explore the sites (as best you can with a toddler). We loved the old town of Bagan, we loved the architecture and we absolutely loved the temples. I don’t think anyone comes away unimpressed. They are just awe-inspiring.
Zaki did well in the heat and with the exploring. We hired a guide for the day and at times when Z was fed up of looking in dusty caves, he hung out with the driver of our van (who fed him sweets and got him all candied up) whilst we looked around. He was much more enthralled by the umbrellas that were on display in Bagan. Hundreds of handmade paper and cotton colourful umbrellas. I wanted to buy a whole load and adorn our house with them. We bought a big one for the garden and Zaki bought a little one. We are STILL carrying the big one around. Tried to post it from Myanmar – too expensive. Thailand – too big to fit in Thai Post boxes. We’ve been told by the Laos Postal Service that we can post it from here so we are taking it to the post office shortly. Otherwise, it might be one of those things that we might regret buying as it has to travel with us through Asia. Oops.