Bagan

We left Yangon and headed to Bagan. Bagan was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan which existed about 1000 years ago. What remains today is some 2300 odd Buddhist temples, however there were originally believed to be double that amount. However due to earthquakes and time many have been lost. This temples were within the midst of a large city, but the houses no longer exist leaving a large expanse of beautiful temples.
The first day of temple touring consisted of riding in a horse cart. We figured this would give us a lay of the land and then allow us to see whatever we missed the following day by biking around. So Christmas day we spent touring around temples for about 8 hours giving us a chance to take in the sites and see the bigger temples. One of the most amazing things about Bagan was the limited number of tourists that we saw throughout the day. At the larger temples there would be some tourists but for many of the temples we felt like we were the only ones at the temple. The views from on top of the temples were absolutely amazing as you saw the spires of all the other temples sticking up above the vegetation.
The second day of visiting the temples we rented bikes and biked from temple to temple with the systematic approach of climbing up one temple and choosing which one to head to next, always scoping out the easiest way to bike through the fields. We quickly learned that the ground was sandier than it looked at times making it impossible to bike through. There was multiple times that I kept pedaling harder and harder only to slow down to a stop.
One of the best moments of walking through the temples was, while walking through one of the temples Caitlin was looking up at one of the buddhas and walking at the same time. When she looked down she realized she was surrounded by a field trip of young monks with a couple of older monks chaperoning. It was cool to watch but got funnier when I saw one of the older monks smack the head of a younger monk who was not behaving, I couldn’t resist a chuckle.
I’ll let the pictures give glimpses at what our couple of days in Bagan were like.
Sunrise from our hotel room.

The view from our porch

Walking around one of the temples.

Caitlin enjoying the porch. 
Some of the spires in one of the temples.

Many of the doors had similar designs, with varying levels of detail left intact.

One of the temples.

Another Pagoda.

Caitlin walking around one of the temples barefoot. Thankfully the stones were not scalding allowing us to meander rather than an all out sprint.

Buddha’s inside one of the temples. As you can see they are still covered in gold.
Caitlin making faces at our horse.

Still messing with the horse.

One of the field trips of young monks.

Our faithful transportation.

On top of one of the temples.

Walking up one of the many stair cases.

Burmese lunch. Not pictured here are the fresh okra, eggplant and other vegetables.

This temple was more in the Indian fashion.

Many of the temples are still in use.

All the alcoves for the buddhas.

One of the many monks touring Bagan. We were glad to see we weren’t the only ones picture happy.

Water buckets for anyone who was thirsty. I overheard a guide say that the moss helped the water stay cooler. Not sure if this is true or intentional but it was cool how uniformly the moss grew around this one.

A mom holding up her daughter to put gold onto the buddha.

This temple looked like something out of a hollywood movie.

Peeking at a Pagoda.

The bud of some cool looking plant.

Gate of a temple.

Inside one of the temples. As you can see some of them were once painted.

Temples and pagodas sticking out above the trees.
Doorways looking through.
Another angle of the temple that we watched sunset from.
We sat on this temple and watched sunset.

Sunset.
Another picture of all the pagodas peeping above the trees.

Taking a break on one of the pagodas and deciding which one to bike to next.

This temple was one of the ones rebuilt after a large earthquake in 1975.

Biking around the temples.

Shepard moving his sheep.

Caitlin posing after having to stop because of deep sand.
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