Bagan Journals

Bagan's Endless Bounty

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An April 2010 trip to Bagan by nmagann

Ananda Temple Photo, Bagan, Myanmar More Photos
Quote: 4400 sacred structures fill 26-square miles. Built during 12th-century, incredible structures in and of themselves display fine works of metal casting, wood carving, lacquer ware, paintings, silversmith and so much more. To travel back during its heyday.... so remote these many temples...were they alive with activity? Wow!

Bagan Temples

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Carriage Ride thru Temples"

My Carriage Awaits Photo, Bagan, Myanmar
As agreed upon, MewMew and his horse drawn carriage were waiting for me outside my place. I let him know ahead of time the sites I had visited the day before as well as the general area. I knew there was no way I could recall all the names, not-to-mention describing the many that had no names at all.He took me to some great temples such as two sisters. Here, two identical temples sat without any tourists around. Unlike the others I was able to climb to the top through telescoping stairways where I nearly beheaded myself in the absence of light. I took panoramic photos of the plains with some of the 4000 temples dotting the photo. I was also to able to obtain a photo, up close and per...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 19, 2010

Ananda Temple

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Attraction | "Biking Bagan"

Ananda Temple Photo, Bagan, Myanmar
I hopped on a bike with 15 minutes of arriving Bagan feeling that the 4 days I had here would not be enough time so I had none to waste. The terrain is flat, albeit dusty when off the main road. I wanted to see as much of the three top-rated sites as possible. I soon as I headed out, I was distracted by all the "lesser" temples in route. Just as an FYI, it would have taken me about 35 minutes had I bypassed them and gone straight to Ananda Temple.This Buddhist temple, purported to be the finest in Bagan, was built in 1105 and is one of the four surviving in here. In the center is the magnificent golden topped "hti" or umbrella. The design in the gold and the shape is similar to a cor...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2010

Ananda Temple
Old Bagan
Bagan, Myanmar

Warnings and Tips for Bagan

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Women Cleaning on the River Photo, Bagan, Myanmar
Yangon offers a far better rate of exchange than Bagan and far more choices which isn’t saying much. Prices of little things are so much more costly, stock up in Yangon if you didn’t bring enough into the country.At the tourist sites water is 40 cents a bottle while the restaurants and markets charge 30 cents. Across from Shwe Na Di Hotel was the only place charging less at 25 cents as well as offering the 5 liter bottles which is highly recommended.Beware of the infinite number of people selling paintings. While walking, riding a bike, in a horse carriage, on a moto or visiting a temple you will be pursued. Yes, I mean on all these occasions I was hit up. Come-ons includ...Read More

Shwe Na Di

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Hotel | "Dump of the City"

Better to Stay Here Photo, Bagan, Myanmar
Shwe Na Di was listed in the guidebooks as run by an ex-teacher and newly approved for foreigners. I don't know what agency approved them, or what criteria was used, but they shouldn't have.Had I spent an hour there in lieu of grabbing a bike as soon as I arrived, I would have left. Unfortunately, the following day I tried to find another place, but the festival had started and none were available.The cement floors were so pitted they obviously couldn't be cleaned. My socks were back within minutes so I always wore my tennis shoes. A stand alone metal meant to hang clothes on was so rusted I feared staining my damp from the festival clothes and laid them on my bed. ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 10, 2010

Ohnmin Cave Temple

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Attraction | "Cool off to the Cave"

Kyauk Gu Ohnmin Cave Temple Photo, Bagan, Myanmar
MewMew, my terrific carriage driver from the day before, found a boat driver to take me solo to Kyauk Gu Ohnmin Cave Temple for $15. I was delighted to have MewMew accompany me. He picked me up at my hotel and drove me to the dock.I was looking forward to getting away from the dust as well as the mud from the buckets of water. It would also mean cooling off in the evening which I was unable to do in my accommodations.From here, the trip takes about 45 minutes one-way with a 10-minutes walk across a sand dune to the temple. Located in the side of a ravine, the only the front of the caves was visible. He found a key master who took me inside, and by candlelight, pointed to t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 10, 2010

About the Writer


Ventura, California