Wow. I actually remembered something from Shakespeare. A+ me. Ok, well that might be because my dad says “Lay On, MacDuff” quite frequently. But thats beside the point.
Today was an incredible day. It was also VERY hot, about 42C. We got a bit of a late start, but it was much needed. The sun and the heat are incredibly draining. We rented bikes from the hotel again, but this time no one wiped out. Yay us. Side note: you should see my leg from yesterday. We set off to see some temples outside of Old Bagan. The ones we chose happened to be a bit more touristy but offered some incredible views. We visited Ananda first. This one was very touristy and had lots of people hawking their wares there. I was really interested in buying some Elephant pants (a South East Asia staple souvenir) but the long ones were too short for me (no surprise) and Katelyn got hers for $5 cheaper in Cambodia. Katelyn and I both decided that we’re going to wait until Siem Reap to buy most of our souvenirs as everything there is cheaper, and our bags will be emptier (we hope).
We crossed the street from Ananda to go to another bigger temple. On the way, I decided to try and make it look like I didn’t speak English as I was sick of people trying to shake me down for cash. I tried French, but the cunning little kids here spoke French. Oh well. We toured this temple with no problems, and headed off to a bigger one. Here my efforts paid off, the little bit of Swedish that I spoke managed to scare off everyone. Tack. However, Katelyn found the one lady in Bagan that speaks Italian and proceeded to show us around the temple. She passed us off to her daughter (we think), who showed around the top of the temple. It was so beautiful to see the major temples from a distance as we were fully able to take in their scale. We ended up buying postcards from the girl who showed us around as she was a helpful (as helpful as a 14 year old can be) guide, and took a bunch of pictures for Katelyn and I. We also got 20 postcards for $3, but the money wasn’t the main factor why we got them.
We headed off to New Bagan on our bikes, and ate a leisurely lunch there. After our longer lunch, we decided it was getting to hot to explore anything and wanted to head back to the hotel to do laundry and nap. On the way back we found a small path that lead to some smaller temples. These were amazing as they were very far away from anything else and one had the best frescoes we’ve seen in any temple. We also decided to climb one of the smaller ones and take in the view. It was truly amazing.
We decided to stop at a few larger temples on our way back. At the first one the local “guide” (aka painting seller) told us that it had the best frescoes in Bagan – liar. The ones we had just come from were infinitely better. We left there and headed for a last temple (Nagayon Gupaya). On the way in we noticed that it was devoid of anyone – including locals. Which was surprising, as it seemed like this one was a major one. We tried to go inside but it had been closed. We walked around, took a few pictures and were off back to the hotel.
It was so hot that we both needed a break as much like my GoPro we were on the way to over heating.
We rested for a bit then hit the dusty roads again. We had noticed a spot on a smaller temple near where we were yesterday and wanted to watch then sunset there. We got there early to get the best spot. We were the only ones there for a long time and scared quite a few people off because we stole their spot. It was incredibly peaceful and zen like for a long time and we just chatted while we waited for the sun to go down. Later on a couple joined us, but they went to the other side of the temple so we had the sun set all to ourselves. A few locals tried to get us to buy their postcards but a few “No Grazie”s sent them packing.
We noticed a restaurant beside the hotel, where the ATM that almost ate Katelyn’s debit card was. We were a little wary of the bat situation at night so decided that we would head there for diner. It was the best Italian food I’ve had outside of Italy. I think it even beats some of the restaurants I ate at there.
After a rough day yesterday, today was a much better day. I don’t know whether it was the better sleep I had, the better weather or a combination of the two. It might also be the fact that I decided to take it easy on the pictures today. Over the trip this is something I’ve been conscious of. While I love taking pictures, its important to experience the place you’re in with your own eyes as opposed to the viewfinder of your camera. That being said, I’m still taking pictures, its just not as many as I would be.
Ok – I’m off my soapbox now. I promise.