A world class spot to yourself – Bagan, Myanmar

Pieter and Mandy are not a big fan of waking up early but capturing a stunning sunrise makes it worth everytime. This time they climbed a temple's ruin to see what all the "Bagan fuss" is about. See for yourself and you will know..

One of the best things about travelling is sunrises. The only thing is that one has to get up early, which is for sure not our favourite hobby. We probably missed out many stunning sunrises, which is a real bummer if you are photographer missing out on the action of a brief window with perfect light.

Anyway, this particular morning we dragged us out of bed of the boutique hotel in New Bagan. The light was already peeking through the curtains. In a dream modus, we managed to rent an electrical bike and silently entered the plains. The first rays lit the dusty path that led us to some temples. Hurriedly we climbed a temple’s ruin to see what the ‘Bagan’ fuss is about.

Bagan (Pagan) is an extensive steppe area with uncountable Buddhist stupa’s and temples along the Irrawaddy River in middle Myanmar. During a time in history, it was the centre of power of the ancient Pagan Empire that ruled Myanmar. These days it is on top of the list of every tourist in a country that is slowly opening up its doors to the outside world. We took the overnight bus from Yangon and stayed for a few days in the area before going on to Mandalay.

New Bagan is one of the three touristic villages close to the temples. The villages look the same and it seems there would not be one to prefer. They are all dusty and full of hotels and restaurants.  Mass tourism is getting a foothold and that is especially obvious at the few main big temples. On the parking lot of these beautiful big temples, the tour operators unload their stock off comfortable shoes and zippy pants to hurry them up the stairs to see the sun doing its thing. A better way to see Bagan is wandering around the plains in search of smaller temples. There are plenty and you can still have them to yourself.

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