Central Plain

exploring bagan by e-bike: sulamani pahto, goat & cow encounters, more temples {& the flip-flop debacle – part 2}

Friday, February 20:  After leaving Shwe San Daw Pagoda, I zip on my e-bike to the fabulous Sulamani Pahto, built in 1181 by Narapatisithu (1174-1211), and known as the “Crowning Jewel.”  It was built after filling the concave ground where the king found a small ruby; one translation of Sulamani is “small ruby.”.  With its five doorways and lush grounds, it is one of my favorite temples in Bagan.

It is here, when I take off my flip-flops to leave at the door, that I notice something doesn’t seem right about them.  They’re blue, alright, but they have flimsier and shinier straps than mine.  Upon closer inspection, I realize they are not nearly as nice as my Havaianas; in fact they’re not my flip-flops at all!   I immediately jump to the conclusion that someone must have accidentally taken my Havaianas and left theirs behind at one of the earlier temples I visited.  I’m so disappointed because these are not as good as mine, and besides, my Havaianas have taken me all over the world.  I’m strangely attached to them, although, after all, they are simply cheap rubber flip-flops.  They can be easily replaced.  But.  Probably not here in Bagan!

Sulamani Pahto

Sulamani Pahto

After my initial shock and disappointment, I leave the flip-flops, along with all the others left by visitors, and go into Sulamani Pahto to explore the wonders within.

Sulamani Pahto

Sulamani Pahto

The inside is like an ancient art gallery, with sprawling frescos from the Konbaung period, as well as traces of earlier frescos.

Buddha in Sulamani Pahto

Buddha in Sulamani Pahto

frescoes in Sulamani Pahto

frescoes in Sulamani Pahto

Sulamani Pahto frescoes

Sulamani Pahto frescoes

reclining Buddha fresco in Sulamani Pahto

reclining Buddha fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco & Buddha in Sulamani Pahto

fresco & Buddha in Sulamani Pahto

Buddha in Sulamani Pahto

Buddha in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

Sulamani Pahto

Sulamani Pahto

Buddha in Sulamani Pahto

Buddha in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

fresco in Sulamani Pahto

I spend quite a long time exploring the inside of this temple and then decide it’s time to move on.

Sulamani Pahto

Sulamani Pahto

When I go back to pick up my second-hand flip-flops, I do so with a pang of sadness and nostalgia for my lost Havaianas, now on someone else’s feet.  I can’t help but look around through all the flip-flops lying about to see if I can find mine.  I’m unrealistically hoping that whoever has my flip-flops will be on the same circuit as I am, and we will be reunited.  Foolishly, I think fate will bring us back together.  I also can’t help myself from glancing surreptitiously at the other tourists’ feet to see if they are wearing my Havaianas.  But what is the point?  Even if I do see some that look like mine, am I really going to accuse that tourist of making off with my flip-flops?

Sulamani Pahto from afar

Sulamani Pahto from afar

Off on my e-bike again, I find myself in the midst of a herd of goats on the move.  I stop the bike and take pictures of them as they kick up dust around me.

mingling with the goats

mingling with the goats

the goatherd

the goat-herd

Next, I make a brief stop at the Singapore Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple.

Singapore Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple

Singapore Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple

Buddha in Singapore Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple

Buddha in Singapore Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple

the temple minder at Singapore Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple

the temple minder at Singapore Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple

I stop briefly to explore Temple #820, about which I know nothing.

Singapore Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple

#820 temple

Singapore Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple

#820

On the road again, I’m nearly overrun by a herd of cows kicking up dust.

mingling with cows

mingling with cows

cows on the move

cows on the move

cows in a dust storm

cows in a dust storm

cows on the plains

cows on the plains

cow friends

cow friends

cows going the wrong direction

cows going the wrong direction

cows and Suliman Pahto

cows and Sulamani Pahto

Last views of Suliman Pahto

Last views of Sulamani Pahto

Farewell to Suliman Pahto

Farewell to Sulamani Pahto

It’s so hot, dry and dusty here on the plains of Bagan that I’m feeling quite congested, especially being on the e-bike where I’m creating a mini-dust maelstrom wherever I go.  It’s no wonder I see people all over wearing bandanas around their faces.  I am coughing and hacking away and my eyes are filled with dust.  A thin layer of dirt has settled all over my clothes and body.  By now, it’s 1:30 in the afternoon, and I’m hungry and thirsty.  Though I thought I would pass a lot of restaurants along the way, I’ve hardly seen a one.  Thus, when I find this little hole in the wall, I’m thrilled to take a seat and order a lunch of tomato salad, vegetable soup and a bottle of lime juice.

Lunch time

Lunch time

a hole in the wall for lunch

a hole in the wall for lunch

The tomato salad isn’t like anything I would have imagined, and the soup is rather tasteless, but that lime juice really hits the spot.

tomato salad and vegetable soup

tomato salad and vegetable soup

After lunch, as I have to head back down the long road to Old Bagan, I decide maybe I’ll stop back by the “many elephants temple” in the small hope that I will find my flip-flops there.  When I get to the temple, not a soul is in sight, but there, sitting in the dust near the entrance, are a pair of blue flip-flops.  My heart skitters with hope as I approach.  When I get to them, I see that, voila, they are my Havaianas!!  The universe has worked to reunite us, and I feel like we are meant to be together.  Nothing can separate us now. 🙂

But.  It hits me.   The fact that my Havaianas are there means that it wasn’t someone else who took off with my flip-flops, it was ME who took off with someone else’s flip-flops!  Ouch.  Since my Havaianas are here, all alone in the dust, that means the person whose flip-flops I took must have had to leave in bare feet!  I feel so bad!!  What can I do?  I leave the other person’s flip-flops there, take my Havaianas, and off I go, hoping that poor barefooted person will come back and be happily reunited with her flip-flops.

Stay tuned for the continuing saga of the flip-flops.  The story doesn’t end here. 🙂

Categories: Asia, Bagan, Central Plain, Myanmar, Singapore Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple, Sulamani Pahto | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

exploring bagan by e-bike: kicking up dust among pagodas & herds of goats {& the flip-flop debacle – part 1}

Friday, February 20:  This morning after having a buffet lunch on the lawn of the Floral Breeze Hotel, I rent an e-bike for 7,000 kyat, or around $7, for the whole day.  I’ve never driven an e-bike before, so this will be a challenge.  The rental guy shows me briefly how to drive it, and I’m off.   The brake and the accelerator are both on the handlebar of the e-bike.  It turns out this will present me with some challenges and funny scenes throughout the day.

I drive down the main road in New Bagan, which luckily isn’t heavily traveled, and cruise smoothly along until I come to the first temple, #1056, name unknown.  I pull up to the entrance on the dusty road and hop off the e-bike. With a start, the bike takes off with me hanging for dear life to the handlebars.  It ends up going up some of the rough ground with me running frantically after it, still attached, and then the bike hits a bump and falls down on top of me.  Ouch!  It’s a lot heavier than it looks.  I get out from under the bike, pick it up, and it spurts to life again, running away with me again.  This time it doesn’t get far as I realize I need to stop turning the accelerator on the handle.  I do so and park the bike, shaking and dusting myself off after the whole ordeal.

Temple #1056

Temple #1056

There is another couple with a child at the temple and they have a laugh at my shenanigans and offer to help.  There isn’t much they can do at this point, but I do take them up on their offer to take a picture of me.

Besides the fun of riding the e-bike today, I’m also wearing some of the ubiquitous baggy cotton pants that so many tourists throughout Bagan are wearing. It feels like I have pajamas on.  What could be better than riding an e-bike in PJs through thousands of gorgeous temples on the plains of Bagan?

me & my e-bike

me & my e-bike

Next, I venture to another nearby pair of temples, on foot, leaving my e-bike on the sidelines to give myself a break. I’m now a little worried about taking it back on the road, afraid that I won’t be able to stop the bike in an emergency.

The temples are a side-by-side stupa and shrine, Seinnyet Nyima Paya & Seinnyet Ama Pahto.  They’re traditionally ascribed to Queen Seinnyet in the 11th century, although, according to Lonely Planet Myanmar, they clearly point to a period two centuries later.  The zedi rests on three terraces and is topped by a beautiful stylized umbrella.

Seinnyet Nyima Paya & Seinnyet Ama Pahto

Seinnyet Nyima Paya & Seinnyet Ama Pahto

Buddha at Seinnyet Nyima Paya

Buddha at Seinnyet Nyima Paya

Seinnyet Nyima Paya & Seinnyet Ama Pahto

Seinnyet Nyima Paya & Seinnyet Ama Pahto

When I finally get up the nerve to get back on the bike, I ride for a bit until I come across a herd of goats.

goats on the plains in Bagan

goats on the plains in Bagan

goats on the plains in Bagan

goats on the plains in Bagan

As I carefully drive up and park my bike at Somingyi Kyaung, I see a Japanese young woman across the road who is having the same problems with her e-bike as I did. She’s running frantically after the bike, which is taking off with her holding on dearly to the handlebars!  I can’t help but laugh and I tell her I was just having the same problems.  We both have a good laugh over the whole affair, and then we take pictures of each other on our e-bikes.

me & my e-bike

me & my e-bike

We walk up together to Somingyi Kyaung, and she tells me she is traveling alone.  Her name is Sunoko and she works in interior design in Shanghai.

Somingyi Kyaung is a typical late-Bagan brick monastery, believed to have been built in 1204.  A zedi to the north and a gu to the south are also ascribed to Somingyi.  This monastery is unique as it has monastic cells clustered around a courtyard, according to Lonely Planet Myanmar.

Soc Mingyi Monstory

Somingyi Kyaung

Buddha in Soc Mingyi Monstory

Buddha in Somingyi Kyaung

Soc Mingyi Monstory

the zedi north of Somingyi Kyaung

Sunoko takes another picture of me and I take one of her, and then we take off in separate directions to do our exploring for the day.

me at Soc Mingyi Monstory

me in front of the zedi at Somingyi Kyaung

I drop by another temple along the road, but as you can see from the sign below, I can’t read the name of it.  One of the locals tells me when I’m leaving that it’s known as the “many elephants” temple, something like Shimsa (?), but I can’t find any reference to it online or elsewhere.  Just another one of Bagan’s thousands of temples.

Here, I leave my favorite blue Havaianas flip-flops at the entrance and go in to explore.

unknown temple in Bagan

unknown temple in Bagan

unknown temple

unknown temple

Buddha in unknown temple

Buddha in unknown temple

unknown temple

unknown temple

unknown temple

unknown temple

This temple is wonderful, with some marvelous faded frescoes and Buddhas with a variety of enigmatic expressions.

Buddha in unknown temple

Buddha in unknown temple

Buddha in unknown temple

Buddha in unknown temple

Buddha in unknown temple

Buddha in unknown temple

Buddha in unknown temple

Buddha in unknown temple

When I leave the “many elephants temple,” I see a pair of blue flip flops and, thinking they are mine, absentmindedly put them on.  I hop on my e-bike and take off down the road, heading north and then getting off the main Bagan-Chauk Road.

I stop next at Shwe San Daw Pagoda; the name means “Golden Hair Relics” as it enshrines sacred hairs of Gautama Buddha.  I ditch my flip-flops at the entrance, as you have to do at all the Bagan temples. According to Wikipedia: Shwesandaw Pagoda (Bagan), the pagoda contains a series of five terraces, topped with a cylindrical stupa, which has a bejewelled umbrella, or hti.  King Anawrahta built the pagoda in 1057.  It once contained terra-cotta tiles depicting scenes from the Jataka.

Shwe San Daw Pagoda

Shwe San Daw Pagoda

All four sides of the pagoda have a stairway leading up to the fifth terrace. At the side of the second terrace on the west, there is a tunnel dug by robbers which enabled them to access the central chamber in which relics and treasures were enshrined. Up till 1957 the whole structure of this pagoda was in its original condition— fine brick-red in color with no plaster covering, according to BaganMyanmar.com: Shwe Sandaw Pagoda.

figure in Shwe San Daw Pagoda

figure in Shwe San Daw Pagoda

Shwe San Daw Pagoda

Shwe San Daw Pagoda

Shwe San Daw Pagoda

Shwe San Daw Pagoda

After looking around the pagoda for a while, I take off on my e-bike, where I stop to take pictures looking back on Shwe San Daw Pagoda from afar.

Shwe San Daw Pagoda from afar

Shwe San Daw Pagoda from afar

Shwe San Daw Pagoda from a distance

Shwe San Daw Pagoda from a distance

I head off now in search of Sulamani Pahto, one of the most beautiful temples in Bagan, which I saw only in passing yesterday.

This is the most fun I’ve had on a holiday in a long time!

Categories: Asia, Bagan, Central Plain, Myanmar, New Bagan, Seinnyet Ama Pahto, Seinnyet Nyima Paya, Shwe San Daw Pagoda | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

exploring bagan by car: nyaung u & back to the central plain for sunset {part 4 of 4}

Thursday, February 19:  After leaving the Bagan Viewing Tower, my driver takes me to the Nyaung U area to visit the enormous gold-plated zedi, or stupa, known as Shwezigon Paya. It was built by King Anawrahta, who founded the Bagan Kingdom in 1044.   The King built it to enshrine several Buddha relics, including a “copy of the sacred tooth relic of Kandy in Sri Lanka. According to legend, the spot where the pagoda was to be built was chosen by a white elephant carrying the relic on his back. Construction started around 1059, the pagoda was completed at the end of the 11th century during the reign of King Kyanzittha” (Renown Travel: Shwezigon Pagoda).

Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

monks at Shwezigon Paya

monks at Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

Before Buddhism was introduced to Bagan, Burmese people were generally either Nat worshippers or alchemists, according to The Temple Trail: Shwezigon.  According to Wikipedia: nat (spirit): nats are spirits worshiped in pre-Buddhist Myanmar. They are divided between the 37 Great Nats and all the rest (i.e., spirits of trees, water, etc.). Almost all of the 37 Great Nats were human beings who met violent deaths.

King Anawrahta allowed the images of the 37 most highly venerated Nats to be put on the lower terraces of the Shwezigon Pagoda. The Nat images have since been moved and can now be found inside a small hall next to the platform. Nat worship is still very much alive in current day Myanmar (Renown Travel: Shwezigon Pagoda).  Below are some of the nats in the hut at Shwezigon Paya.

horseman at Shwezigon Paya

horseman at Shwezigon Paya

figures at Shwezigon Paya

figures at Shwezigon Paya

figures at Shwezigon Paya

figures at Shwezigon Paya

I walk all around the beautiful Pagoda, glowing in the late afternoon sun.

Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

Shwezigon Paya

I also get glimpses of some monks strolling around the pagoda.

monks at Shwezigon Paya

monks at Shwezigon Paya

Buddha figure at Shwezigon Paya

Buddha figure at Shwezigon Paya

The driver takes me back to the Central Plain to see sunset at Pyathada Paya, a 13th-century temple that has Bagan’s largest open terrace, perfect for sunset-viewing.  I can see the temples dotting the plain before me.

Central Plain of Bagan from Pyathada Paya

Central Plain of Bagan from Pyathada Paya

standing atop Pyathada Paya

standing atop Pyathada Paya

Central Plain of Bagan

Central Plain of Bagan

Central Plain of Bagan

Central Plain of Bagan

I chat briefly with a man from north of San Francisco who traveled two weeks in Thailand and two weeks in Cambodia before coming to Myanmar. Like me, he’s loving Myanmar so far.

temples on the Central Plain of Bagan

temples on the Central Plain of Bagan

As I’m watching the sun go down, I see a caravan kicking up dust on the plain.  As it gets closer, I can see the chaotic group consists of cattle, tour buses, cars, SUVs, motorbikes, horse-drawn carriages, walkers and bicyclists.  Yet another thing I love about Myanmar: the blend of the modern with the traditional and surprises around every corner. 🙂

Central Plain of Bagan

Central Plain of Bagan

IMG_5080

paintings for sale

IMG_5079

sand paintings for sale

Central Plain of Bagan

Central Plain of Bagan

IMG_5068

controlled chaos on the plains

controlled chaos on the plains

sunset on the Central Plain of Bagan

sunset on the Central Plain of Bagan

cattle drive

cattle drive

cattle & cars kicking up dust on the Central Plain

cattle & cars kicking up dust on the Central Plain

After sunset, the driver takes me back to my hotel.  I’m exhausted from this day of visiting 20 places: one village, one viewing tower, and 18 temples!  After settling in briefly at the hotel, I walk down the street to Mother’s House, where I enjoy a dinner of fried noodles with vegetables and a Myanmar beer.

IMG_5110

Mother’s House

Tomorrow, I plan to rent a motor scooter for the day to explore more of Bagan’s thousands of temples.

Categories: Asia, Bagan, Central Plain, Myanmar, Nyaung U, Pyathada Paya, Shwezigon Paya, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

exploring bagan by car: the central & south plains {part 3 of 4}

Thursday, February 19:  In Bagan’s Central Plain, we go to Dhammayangyi Pahto, a sprawling, walled 12th-century temple that is visible from all parts of Bagan.  It apparently has a cruel history.  It’s said that King Narathu built the temple (between 1167 and 1170 AD) to atone for his sins: he smothered his father, poisoned his brother and strangled one of his wives, an Indian princess, for practicing Hindu rituals.  The temple was never completed and many passageways are walled off today.

Dhammayanngyi Pahto

Dhammayanngyi Pahto

vendors at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

vendors at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

According to MyanmarBurma.com: Dhammayangyi Pahto, the king required that bricks were to be placed so tightly that mortar was unnecessary. If even a pin could be inserted between the bricks, responsible masons were either executed or had their arms cut off.

King Narathu was assassinated in 1170, perhaps by his father-in-law in retribution for the princess’ murder, and the workers stopped laying bricks. The inner passages of the temple are stoned in and some people believe that the workers filled them in with rubble on purpose after the king’s death.

Buddha at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

Buddha at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

According to Lonely Planet Myanmar, “others quietly argue the temple dates from the earlier reign of Alaungsithu, which would refute all this fun legend behind it.  It’s also likely that this bricking up of the passages was a crude way of ensuring the massive structure didn’t collapse.”

Buddha at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

Buddha at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

sleeping baby at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

sleeping baby at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

entrance to Dhammayanngyi Pahto

entrance to Dhammayanngyi Pahto

Buddha at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

Buddha at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

The western shrine “features two original side-by-side images of Gautama and Maitreya, the historical and future Buddhas.  This is the only Bagan site with two side-by-side Buddhas” (Lonely Planet Myanmar).

side-by-side Buddhas at Dhammayanngyi Pahto: Gautama and Maitreya

side-by-side Buddhas at Dhammayanngyi Pahto: Gautama and Maitreya

monks walk past the side-by-side Buddhas at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

monks walk past the side-by-side Buddhas at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

In the dark reaches of the temple, some of the stucco reliefs and paintings are still intact.

frescoes at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

frescoes at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

frescoes at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

frescoes at Dhammayanngyi Pahto

Gautama and Maitreya

Gautama and Maitreya

Next we head to Minnanthu Village, an agricultural village which specializes in sesame and peanut oil production.

Dhammayanngyi Pahto

a temple on the outskirts of Minnanthu Village

My driver drops me with a local guide, who takes me around the village.

my guide to the village of Minnathu

my guide to the village of Minnanthu

We walk around and she tells me how the village produces sesame oil and peanut oil, and makes jam from sour fruit.

It’s quite hot at this time of day, around 2:30 p.m. and it seems life in the village has slowed to a long extended nap.

walking through Minnathu Village

walking through Minnanthu Village

pretty entryway at Minnathu Village

pretty entryway at Minnanthu Village

my guide at Minnathu Village

my guide at Minnanthu Village

naptime in Minnathu Village

naptime in Minnanthu Village

still life in Minnathu Village

still life in Minnanthu Village

beasts of burden at Minnathu Village

beasts of burden at Minnanthu Village

drying nuts at Minnathu Village

drying nuts at Minnanthu Village

Minnathu Village

Minnanthu Village

colorful house at Minnathu Village

colorful house at Minnanthu Village

workshop at Minnathu Village

workshop at Minnanthu Village

The village is also known for its cotton-weaving.  My guide demonstrates the process.

weaving at Minnathu Village

weaving at Minnanthu Village

strands

strands of cotton

still life at Minnathu Village

still life at Minnanthu Village

As I head back to my driver, a guy with a scarf over his face buzzes into the village on a motorbike, kicking up a tornado of dust.  He is lost and asks my guide for directions.  Then he takes off in another cloud of dust.

Our next stop is Payathonzu, meaning Three Stupas.  It’s a complex of three interconnected shrines.  According to Wikipedia: Payathonzu Temple, the “interior of the temple contains frescoes, believed to be Mahayana and Tantric in style. However, the temple was not completed. The temple was recently renovated, with the completion of the three stupas atop the temple, which are lighter in color.”

Payathonzu Phaya

Payathonzu Phaya

vendors at Payathonzu Phaya

vendors at Payathonzu Phaya

No photography is allowed inside the shrine, but inside are white-washed walls and “vaguely Chinese- or Tibetan- looking mural paintings that contain Bodhisattva figures” (Lonely Planet Myanmar).

Payathonzu Phaya

Payathonzu Phaya

Just north of Payathonzu is Thambula Pahto, a square temple decorated with fading Jataka frescoes.  It was built in 1255 by Thambula, the wife of King Uzana.

Thambula Pahto

Thambula Pahto

Thambula Pahto

Thambula Pahto

Thambula Pahto

Thambula Pahto

Thambula Pahto

Thambula Pahto

Thambula Pahto

view of an adjacent temple from Thambula Pahto

Buddha at Thambula Pahto

Buddha at Thambula Pahto

The Jataka frescoes are intricately detailed and beautifully done.

faded Jataka frescoes at Thambula Pahto

faded Jataka frescoes at Thambula Pahto

Jataka frescoes at Thambula Pahto

Jataka frescoes at Thambula Pahto

Nandamannya Pahto, a small, single-chambered temple, dates from the mid-13th century.  It has fine frescoes and a ruined seated Buddha image; its murals are similar to those at Payathonzu and some art historians believe they may have been painted by the same artist (Lonely Planet: Myanmar: Nandamannya Pahto).

Nandamannya Pahto

Nandamannya Pahto

The temple’s mural of the ‘Temptation of Mara’ is its claim to fame; in the painting, “nubile young females (vainly) attempt to distract the Buddha from the meditation session that led to his enlightenment” (Lonely Planet: Myanmar: Nandamannya Pahto).  It was once thought to be shockingly erotic, but not by today’s standards.  Sadly, no photography was allowed inside the temple.

Iza Gawna Pagoda is our next stop, but I can’t find any information about it.

Iza Gawna Pagoda

Iza Gawna Pagoda

Iza Gawna Pagoda

Iza Gawna Pagoda

Buddha at Iza Gawna Pagoda

Buddha at Iza Gawna Pagoda

Buddha at Iza Gawna Pagoda

Buddha at Iza Gawna Pagoda

Iza Gawna Pagoda

Iza Gawna Pagoda

Iza Gawna Pagoda

Iza Gawna Pagoda

Buddha at Iza Gawna Pagoda

Buddha at Iza Gawna Pagoda

Finally, we head to the Bagan Viewing Tower, also known as Bagan Nan Myint Tower.  The tower was built to “provide a high-rise vantage point for the public without interfering adversely with the Bagan skyline and secondly to help preserve cultural heritage by providing an alternative viewing point to the tops of the crumbling ancient pagodas” (BaganMyanmar.com: Bagan Nan Myint Tower).

Bagan Viewing Tower

Bagan Viewing Tower

I climb to the top, where I have amazing views of the Bagan South Plain.  As it is after 4:00 in the afternoon and the sun is low in the sky, the views opposite the sun are the best for photos.

View of the Minnathu Village area from the Bagan Viewing Tower

View of the Minnathu Village area from the Bagan Viewing Tower

the South Plain of Bagan

the South Plain of Bagan

Tayoke Pyae Temple

Tayoke Pyae Temple

Tayoke Pyae Temple

Tayoke Pyae Temple

South Plain of Bagan

South Plain of Bagan

While atop the Viewing Tower, I meet Marsha from Baltimore, Maryland, who is here visiting with wealthy friends.  She is staying at the fancy resort, Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Bagan, shown below. She talks on and on for quite some time about her friends and family, telling me all the details of her holiday.

Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Bagan

Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Bagan

After leaving the Bagan Viewing Tower at about 4:30, we head to the Nyaung U area to see Shwezigon Paya and then on to Pyathada Paya for sunset.

 

 

Categories: Asia, Bagan, Bagan Nan Myint Tower, Bagan Viewing Tower, Burma, Central Plain, Dhammayanngyi Pahto, Iza Gawna Pagoda, Myanmar, Nandamannya Pahto, Payathonzu, South Plain, Thambula Pahto, Travel, Village of Minnathu | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

sloveniangirlabroad.wordpress.com/

A blog about expat life and travel adventures written by an Slovenian girl living in Switzerland

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Can I have a bite?

Running Stories by Jerry Lewis

Personal blog about running adventures

Finding NYC

exploring New York City one adventure at a time

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