Temple Bothering In Bagan, Myanmar – The Smug Monday Series Ep. 14
This is probably our longest smug Monday adventure ever, as we started it well before the sun came up at 05:30 in the morning, and it didn’t finish until long after the sun had disappeared behind the mountains in a blazing storm of reds, pinks and oranges. We started off the day with hiring e-bikes and buzzing silently in the pitch black to thousands of deserted ancient Baganese temples to catch the sunrise. What are e-bikes you may ask? They are electric bikes which are as quiet as quiet can be, and are as environmentally friendly as a pigeon. We buzzed off into the darkness until a friendly cyclist appeared out of thin air and said
“Temple that way, you go now, no temple that way. No no!”
So we followed his advice and went to a really good temple that you could climb to the top of. We saw loads more temples, an ox cart and about twenty balloons. And so the day “Bagan”.
After watching the sunrise and exploring a few more temples, we headed to the hotel for a buffet breakfast and and a swim in the pool. We got straight out again because it was cold enough to worry any brass monkeys. We then whizzed out to Old Bagan, on the way we visited a really good temple where Sam learnt to drive an e-bike, visited the only Hindu temple in Bagan and looked at a skyscraper temple. We decided it was too crowded so we left it until the next day. When we left, me and my dad went the wrong way so eventually we had to ring my mum up and we said
“WHERE THE ‘ELL ARE YA?”
Us numpties had gone to New Bagan when we were meant to go to Old Bagan. On our way back to Old Bagan, a man yelled loudly
“AV YOU LOST YOR WIFE?”
He lead us into a car park (yes, they have car parks) where Sam and my mum were just leaving. Turns out the man was a boat driver so he sold us a luxury sunset cruse, which was nice. So in the end we got on a sunset boat [with no beer:) ] and went to bed.
Bagan is a 13km by 8 km wide historical site that boasts over 2200 ancient Buddhist temples. There used to be over 10,000 temples built between the 11th and 13th century but most were destroyed by earth quakes. In 1990 the military government rebuilt it as quickly as possible with modern building techniques. When UNESCO came along they said that the government had ruined it and did not make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I think that it’s actually quite cool despite the rebar coming from most of the spires.