Short trip to Bagan, Myanmar – The City of 2000 Pagodas

There are several ways to get to Bagan. My sister and I took Air Mandalay from Yangon. What surprised me when I booked online ticket from Air Mandalay is someone replied through email, so it was not 100% online purchase (per November 2014). Someone from Air Mandalay emailed me that I had to pay at least 1 day before my flight with Cash. Luckily, when I told her/him that I will arrived in Yangon around 7 pm and wonder if someone can wait for me at my hotel, he/she help me found an agent that waited for me with my ticket at my hotel, so I paid my ticket to Bagan less than 12 hours of my trip (my flight from Yangon is 6 something a.m.)

Famous in Bagan is the hot air Baloon. Unfortunately, since we decided last minute that we were going to Bagan, we did not get the slot to do this (fully booked at the time of our arrival).

Shopping around travel package in Bagan through online is quite expensive. Luckily, we know someone who knows someone lives in Bagan. She helped us booked our hotel and hired a driver. The car rental costs 40 USD for whole day. If a guide needed then add another 40 USD (we decided to use no guide).

We saw many people getting around Bagan with bicycle but since we had already booked a car, we hopped around pagodas in cars. We bought the hardcopy of Eyewitness Travel Myanmar as our guide.

Second day, we visit Mt. Popa. Many monkeys in the temple, it was not a great experience but the view from Mt. Popa Mountain Resort was awesome. Definitely must go to Mt. Popa Mountain Resort to take some picture or just enjoy the restaurant (I cannot review the restaurant though, since I needed to catch a plane). To summarise our Bagan Trip, let the picture speak for itself.

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Tips : Myanmar is safe, most people (at least the taxi driver) speak English, internet connection is not so good (Nov 2014), wear comfortable pants to enter pagoda (below knees). Buy a ticket for 15 USD in the airport where you can enter all pagodas for 5 days (most pagodas can be entered without ticket being checked but there is one pagoda who asked, so it could be random checking). Use sandals since you cannot enter a pagoda with sandals/shoes/socks on. Bring a plastic bag to put your sandals. If you super clean person, bring wet tissue to clean your feet after entering the pagodas barefoot.

Personal Story: In one of the temples, a young guy volunteer to explain the condition of the temple without being asked. He ignored our objection and followed us around and explained the statues story and stuff. At the end of the trip, he asked if we have Indonesian money because he collected it. We thought, ok, we’ll give this nice guy Indonesian money. He said that he will give us his sand paintings for return (Sand Painting is supposedly Bagan specialties). And we ended up buying the painting although we do not really attracted to it. Well, his effort must be appreciated.


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