Getting Around Bagan

Notes by yeyette on Saturday, March 12th, 2016 under A Week in Myanmar, Bagan
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I woke up at 5:30AM by the sound of a gong. I went out and saw some villagers paraded asking for donation for the temple and the monks.

I checked out at 7AM and leave my things in the reception. There was no sun, only heavy clouds, so watching sunrise in Bagan is cancelled. I prayed that it won’t rain.

I took my bike to get around Bagan and everything I saw was lovely.

This signage make me stop. Mukha in Philippines means face.

Going to Chatu-Mukha.

Chatu-Mukha area:

And found this place in another area to take a selfie.

No Shoes Inn, wait. It’s not an inn, it means “Take Off Your Shoes”. 😉

Saw these kids playing hopscotch.

hopscotch

These kids will ask you where are you from. Then, they will show their money collection from your country and they will ask you if you have some to give. If you don’t have (or don’t want to give), they will show you your currency in any amount and will ask you how much is the equivalent to KYAT (Myanmar’s currency). The boy in striped asked me if I can change my country’s currency into their currency. I told him that I don’t need my currency, that I need Kyat to spend in Myanmar. His answer? “But you need your money in your country, right?” I smiled at him and said, “Yes, but at this moment, all I need is Kyat, and I use card in my country.” That stop him from bothering me. Even though you are in your bicycle, some of them will stop you or talk to you while you are cycling just to ask where you are. Just reject them politely no matter how irritated you are.

The road to temples.

The lady in orange dress amuses me.

The guardians of the temple.

Beautiful place to relax or have some coffee.

Beautiful and colorful vases.

And saw this bistro in Bagan!

Euro bistro in Bagan

Even if you are outside the bistro, you can still see temples. It’s everywhere!

Another colorful vases.

And figurines too!

A lot of them!

And cute marble elephants!

Pretty little-piece-vases.

Full of colors!

Nothing but colors…

Okay, enough of it. Saw these sweet horse carriage. It’s just so old times that I love the feeling of it. No crazy cars and not much pollution.

And they have handcraft shop as well. I didn’t go there.

A boy monk walking on the flood. It rains heavily last night by the way and the cool breeze that gets inside my room and the sound of the rain puts me to sleep.

There’s one ATM here in Bagan.

The road going to famous temples like Swesandaw and Ananda Pagoda. See the heavy-thick clouds? It worries me a bit.

A little help from a brother, if not, a friend.

Ananda Phaya, holiest temple in Bagan.

Ananda Phaya

Burmese selling thanaka wood.

As for history about thanaka; Thanaka cream has been used by Burmese women for over 2000 years. It has a fragrant scent somewhat similar to sandalwood. The creamy paste is applied to the face in attractive designs, the most common form being a circular patch on each cheek, nose, sometimes made stripey with the fingers known as thanaka bè gya, or patterned in the shape of a leaf, often also highlighting the bridge of the nose with it at the same time. It may be applied from head to toe (thanaka chi zoun gaung zoun). Apart from cosmetic beauty, thanaka also gives a cooling sensation and provides protection from sunburn. It is believed to help remove acne and promote smooth skin. It is also an anti-fungal. The active ingredients of thanaka are coumarin and marmesin. Source: wikipedia.org

Then, saw a food stall near Ananda Temple and I asked them what’s in the menu. The guy answered me in a Burmese menu. I only understand the word noodle and since I am hungry, I gave it a shot and here it is, one of my favorite! Mimi used to served me this noodle whenever I visit her place in Singapore.

This noodle only costs me USD1.00 with drink. Cheap but tasty!

Back to Swesandaw again.

Top view:

Ayeyarwaddy River in between.

Morning here is quiet and peaceful. Not much tourists. You can feel the serenity of the surrounding.

I can do it!

I heard that that temple is haunted. I plan to go there and see why it’s haunted.

Dhammayangyi Temple

A perspective:

I went down ready to explore Dhammayangyi Temple when a coconut vendor got my attention. I decided to stay for a while and bought a coconut.

Sleepy vendor

Then, this cute little gullible girl sits in front of me. We are talking and I cannot pronounced her name so she just laughed at me. She’s so cute that whenever she don’t understand what I say, she just said, “I don’t know.” She has a lot of I don’t know answers, haha. They don’t have class so she went with her mother selling clothes.

She asked me where I want to go and I told her I wanna go to Dhammayangyi Temple. She said she can go with me. I looked at her older sister and she looked at this girl and said something in Burmese. This girl then leave and run to her mother. Her mother came in our table and just smile at me. I told her, “I promise, I will bring her back safely before lunch.” She said yes but on one condition, bring her older sister. And so we go.

Found a flower along the road.

Old tree:

My lone bike.

Going to Dhammayangyi. If you are facing Swesandaw Pagoda, proceed to your right.

Then, you will see this road. Turn left.

Road to Dhammayangyi Temple

I asked her to sit on the bike in front of me but she refused. Glad I know how to ride the bike just like walking.

Hello there!

Almost there.

It kinda look creepy outside I think because of its heavy built. The place is eerie actually. It’s very quiet but we are at the back side. I don’t know how it looks like in front.

The entrance. Well, I don’t feel this place is haunted. There are tourists around.

What’s creepy? It’s the puppets hanging on a tree!

But this one is cute.

No dolls please!

I’m glad it’s day time or I’ll freak out. They are selling this puppets from 15,000Kyat above (USD12.50). No, thank you.

See what I mean?

Inside the temple:

Artist inside the temple.

Burmese kid.

The story of Dhammayangyi Temple.

According to wikipedia.org, Dhammayangyi is the largest of all the temples in Bagan, as it is popularly known was built during the reign of King Narathu (1167-1170). Narathu, who came to the throne by assassinating his father Alaungsithu and his elder brother, presumably built this largest temple to atone for his sins.

I think that’s what makes it haunted. The story speaks itself.

View on top of Dhammayangyi Temple. It’s not as high as Swesandaw, but the view is still awesome.

The far right temple is the Swesandaw.

Lovely view!

Way on top of the temple. The stairs are steep and the way is narrow. The roof are low so the tall people has to dock.

I leave the place at 2PM and gave the kids 5,000Kyat (USD4.00). They probably didn’t expect it because she was like holding the money and just looked at me. I told her to share it with her older sister.

I was in the middle of the road when it started to rain. First thing that came out of my mind is to find a shelter though I have a rain coat with me but if it rains heavily, it won’t help. After five minutes of pedaling fast, I found a shelter beside the road and stop there. A few minutes after, the rain pours heavily and some cyclists stops as well. My bus will leave to Inle at 7:30PM and I have to be in the guesthouse at 6pm because the bus to Inle will pick me up. The other night, I asked the reception if the bus station to Inle is near the guesthouse. He said it’s far and he asked me if I have an e-ticket. I showed it to him and he called the bus. He said that they will pick me up at the guesthouse at 6pm. Great help.

After an hour, the rain slowed down and I started cycling again. I stopped at the Archaeological Museum to check what’s inside. I saw that they sell petrified wood and I bought the smallest one which costs 29,000Kyat (USD24.00). That’s the cheapest that they have.

I reached around 4PM in the guesthouse and rest for a while at the lobby and took a shower. You can take a shower even you already checked out since the bathroom is shared. I also returned by bicycle just beside Pann Cherry and I saw there’s a food court and since I’m hungry, I went inside.

Burmese watch their past-time afternoon drama.

I ordered their set which costs 15,000Kyat (USD12.50) and I have no idea what are the foods that they are going to serve.

Then, they put all these foods in front of me.

I told the server, “Wait, I have to eat it all?” She’s grinning and said, “Yes, those are small plates, you can finish it.” I was like, yeah, right.

But honestly? I enjoyed it. I always love their salad.

Blanched vegetables and yes, I finished them all, with love.

Burp! Lovely.

I went back to the guesthouse after my felt-good meals.

At 6:10PM and there’s no bus showing. I approached the reception and he told me that I have to wait until 6:45PM because the bus will go around to pick up some passengers as well. He told me that in an unfriendly, irritated way.

At 6:30PM, there’s a van that stops infront of the guesthouse which has a sign of Bagan Min Thar which is the bus liner name going to Inle. I approached the driver because the reception was busy doing something on his phone. I showed my e-ticket to the driver and he said that I can get in. I was the only one inside. We go around and he picked-up some passengers from the hotels and guesthouses.

The bus leaves in Bagan at 7:05PM going to Inle and it will be an eight hours drive.

 

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