When we arrived at Bagan Train Station, we decided to roam around and walked from one end to another end. The local taxi and minivan drivers keep harassing and offering us the ride to the nearest town either the Old Bagan or New Bagan. After a quick negotiation with one of the taxi driver, we then decided to pay 4000 Kyat (USD 4) per pax to New Bagan in that super cramped car. There are 8 of us all together! We were the last couple in the car as New Bagan is even more far compared to Old Bagan.
Not far from the train station, we were stop by the roadside and we were told that we are required to pay for the Bagan Archeological Zone entry pass with the price of USD 20 pax. We were shocked as we thought the price is only USD 10, as per our research and information found via the internet. The price was recently increased to double since January’15. :( Just remember that visitor are required to hold the pass at all time since Local Officer will do a random inspection or checking anytime at selected temples within the Cultural Zone.
The taxi ride to New Bagan
The ticket sale counter
We were then arrived at Bagan Nova Guest House after a 20 minutes taxi ride. It’s time for some hot shower, to put on our super clean shirt and pants and definitely a bowl of instant noodles!
Without wasting any of our time, it’s time for us to explore the town! We have actually talked to the receptionist earlier (during the room check in) to secure 2 numbers of E-bike for us to move around in Bagan town. We were told that each bike will be charged at USD 5 and that can be considered cheap since e-bike are normally been charged from USD 7 and above per day. Without further argument, it’s a yes for us! It’s a deal! E-bike are easily operated and way better than riding the manual bicycle even though you have to compete with others big vehicle. One thing that we learned, when using e-bike, just be careful of the sand as you can get out of control on loose dirt and crash. Or if you’re not lucky, you can even got stuck!
With maps in hand, we are then ready to hit the road. FF’s lead the way while I followed him from behind. Our main modus operandi is to experience and capture the best sunset in Bagan from Shwe San Daw. In between, we roamed around town just to kill the time right before sunset by visiting a few temples and pagodas. Oh ya, Bagan is a home to over 2000 temples and pagodas dating back for more than 1500 years.
The Old Tharaba Gateway
We also managed to discover the Irrawaddy River boat jetty based on the local signage. The Irrawaddy River or Ayeyarwady River is a river that flows from north to south through Myanmar. We were made to understand that the river are the country’s largest river and most important commercial waterway. A few local boat operators offered us a chartered boat river cruise with the price of 12,000 Kyat for an hour. It’s really worth the money if you have a group of 4 to 6 people for the ride.
On our way out to the main road, we encountered upon Lacquerware Museum. We were undecided at first sight, looking at how bad the condition of the building is and not sure whether the museum are currently open to public or not. We couldn’t spot anyone around except a bicycle which park right in front of the entrance. A white young lady appeared at the main door entrance and we were told that it is open. Lacquerware artifacts recovered and rescued across the centuries are kept and displayed here. The Museum personnel even showed and explained us on the lacquerware process where it is really a time-consuming job where processes are repeated several times.
There’s also a small lacquerware outlet right next to the museum. I was a lil bit skeptical at first where I actually thought that it will be much cheaper outside. But FF persuaded me to buy some for mum’s as well as others back home and he was actually right! It’s way cheaper here!
Enough with all the ‘shopping spree’ that we did, we then continue our journey at Old Bagan.
One thing that we learned is to stay hydrated by drinking enough water as it is so hot here in Bagan eventhough we’re in the cold season. We just can’t imagine how hot it is in the dry season. Another tips is to bring along some wet wipes just to get rid of dust and sticky sweat especially on your face.
And something happened right after our ‘stay hydrated’ session. My e-bike tyre gone flat on our way to the Shwe San Daw Pagoda and we got stranded at the road side. We called the bike shop with the help of locals and they reached the so-called ‘on scene site’ in less than 30 minutes. It got fixed immediately and once it was completed, we actually have less than 15 minutes to get ourself to the temple.
We reached ShweSanDaw Pagoda just right in time to experience sunset of the day. This pagoda was one of the first to be built by Anawrahta. ShweSanDaw is the most famous sunrise and sunset viewing spot and it get crowded early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Fret not, the top terrace of the pagoda are roomy and enough for everyone. Just be careful when you climb the staircases especially heading to the upper terrace.
The view of countless temples and pagodas of Old Bagan
Sunset of the day
FF’s just can’t resist for another ‘stay hydrated’ session.
Just look at the number of e-bike scattered around right in front of the pagoda. We almost couldn’t identified our e-bike. The temperature here in Bagan started to decrease late that evening. We called off the day with some decent dinner at one of the local vegetarian restaurant by getting ourselves a plate of rice and fried egg. Fried egg at a vegetarian restaurant? Can anyone explain that?😀
We will continue our journey on 10 Hours Minivan Ride to Nyaungshwe .
Zara AB & FF
ZaraAB Travel #zaraabtravel
Husband & Wife All Around the Globe