Friday, December 27, 2013

Photos of Bagan

I decided to use my time off over the holidays for a "staycation", relaxing and exploring Mandalay. I also wanted to visit Bagan and am glad I did.  Some fellow teachers said they preferred it to Angkor Wat.  Primarily because it is still relatively not overcrowded with tourists.  I'm glad I saw it now since I suspect in a couple of years it will be mobbed.  Here are some photos.

The boat to Bagan took off just after sunrise.

Doing laundry in the river.

The dining room on the boat.  They had surprisingly good and inexpensive hot meals.  I was expecting ramen but it was made to order.

Comfortable seats, not too crowded and plenty of places to sit or walk on deck.

We arrived in Bagan at sunset, 11 hours after leaving Mandalay.  The flight back to Mandalay took 19 minutes.

Let the tour begin!

One of the over 3,000 temples, stupas and pagodas in Bagan.  All in praise of Buddha.

A close-up of the carving on the sandstone exterior of the temple shown in the photo above.

They are various sizes and shapes.

Many were destroyed during the devastating earthquake in 1975.

The jugs with conical tops are seen everywhere - public drinking fountains.

Horses and buggies are a popular way for tourists to get around.  They are to Bagan what tuk tuks used to be to Thailand.

Are they starting to all look the same?

Waiting for sunset.

View from the restaurant adjacent to my hotel.  In the foreground is an artificial Christmas tree covered with "snow" made of cotton balls.

Getting close to sunset.  This is the dry season.  Can you imagine how green and lush this looks in the wet season?

The guide who led me up the inside stairs to the top of the pagoda to watch the sunset.  She has four children and is very proud that her oldest daughter is attending university.  She's wearing the traditional thanaka (pronounced tanaKAH) on her face.  It is for beauty and protection from the sun. Many of my kids wear it every day.

The biggest temple (pagoda) I saw was across from my hotel.

One of the columns decorated with mirrors and colored glass.

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