THE PHILIPPINES SERIES PT16
It’s well documented that the highlight of Myanmar are the Temples of Bagan and I made sure to plan my trip around it.
IT’S NOT OFTEN PLACES LOOK AS GOOD AS THE PHOTOS
Between the 9th and 13th centuries over 4,400 Buddhist temples were constructed in the town of Bagan and to this day over 3,800 still remain!
WHERE IS MYANMAR?
Trains, temples and Bagan
Myself and Tiny flew in via Singapore and arrived into Yangon (Rangoon), the largest city of Myanmar. It’s a strange city but as you’d expect, full of history. The most famous attraction is the Shwedagon Pagoda, located in the centre of the city. Unlucky for us it was raining here and even worse for me, my flip slops that I was ‘given’ in Thailand decided to fail me.
We kept it short and sweet here and got the train up to Bagan to start the adventure. Out of luck we were put into a cabin of two, the rest are 4 berths. Let’s be honest here, it was never going to be the Orient Express, it was old, shabby and dirty but I loved every last second of it! It was a 14 hour trip that I didn’t want to end and similar to my Sri Lanka exploits I could well have just spent the entire time on the train. That was until I saw what Bagan had to offer.
The exchange rate in Burma is crazy
Arriving into Bagan we checked into Hotel Yadanarbon Bagan ($30), and made a dash to rent a scooter. A scooter in Bagan is probably the most important part of your stay. The temples cover such an incredible area that having a scooter is almost essential to get around, not to mention to and from your hotel for sunrise.
The first day we went with the flow, checked out any temples that took our fancy and really just got to know the place. It doesn’t takes long until you find a temple that you’re content in sticking around in. We hung around one in particular and then headed to the Dhammayazika Pagoda for sunset.
The highlight of anyone’s trip here is without doubt watching the sunrise in Bagan. It was all I could think about since arriving. After a minor mishap in the morning we made it to Shwesandaw Pagoda for sunrise. Of course we weren’t the only ones here but there was plenty of room to walk about and enjoy the views.
I could have stayed in Bagan for a few more days at least but I had an itinerary to stick to and it was off to Inle Lake. Inle Lake is in the Shan State, not far from the ongoing conflict. But don’t be worried about getting caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time, Inle Lake is a million miles from what you would consider a warzone.
Trains, temples and Bagan
We stayed in the nearby town called Nyaungshwe and had the hotel arrange a tour of the floating markets. I’ll be honest, the local markets I see on a daily basis tend not to offer me anything in what they sell or how they operate but the markets here are a different story. Apart from some bizarre and interesting methods of crafting, you see some incredible landscapes on the way and all from the comfort of your own boat. The market is just not accessible any other way.
- PEOPLE – 7.5/10
- BACKPACKING – 7/10
- WEATHER – 8/10
- THINGS TO DO – 7/10
- FOOD – 6/10
- VALUE – 8/10
- ARCHITETURE – 8/10
- PHOTOGRAPHY – 8/10
- CULTURE – 8.5/10
- HIGHLIGHT – Bagan!
- LOWLIGHT – N/A
- MVP – 🤷🏻♂️
- VISIT AGAIN – Absolutely
- RATING – 7.5/10
We had one night in Yangon before heading our separate ways and Burma has won me over like the rest of South East Asia!
After being on the move for so long I decided to have a few nights in Bangkok before meeting a friend in Dubai. Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
This episode is part of The Philippines Series. Click to view episode1.
- Have you been to Myanmar?
- Did you get the trains and visit Bagan?
- What was your highlight?
Let me know in the comments below . . .