Temple tapas at beautiful Bagan!

The following day we headed for Bagan, all foreigners who enter the area must pay a $20 entry tax. Quite annoying, on top of that the hotels that are available are very expensive- around $30 a night, you can get cheaper but it would be a rock up and see kind of thing and since the quality can be a bit sketchy we didn’t want to risk it. So we opted for the Crown Prince Hotel- they had a nice, if slightly embarrassing touch, of a welcome sign outside with Gav’s name on it (I book all the hotels bar this one and get nothing- he books one and gets a sign!) Anyway after we got there, got a map and had the list of ridiculously expensive options laid before us (12,000 kyat for an ebike- no moped rental here). It was 8,000 kyat round the corner. So pricy place- crap breakfast too. Anyway that evening we went out to see the temples within walking distance and ended up buying a sand painting. This was to be our souvenir for Myanmar. A lovely golden picture of the temples with balloons in the sky. Anyway the next two days were all temples, the first day we ended up buying 4 more paintings, some lacquerware and other local items- we have no money yet they manage to extract it out of you by being unbelievably cute! So the first day seeing the temples we spent about $80 on souvenirs (budget for the day is $50 for everything for both of us) so well over budget.P1050859

Water point- These were located all over Myanmar, they contain water donations so no one has to drink dirty water.
Water point- These were located all over Myanmar, they contain water donations so no one has to drink dirty water.

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Shwezigon  Pagoda
Shwezigon Pagoda
We were only allowed e-bikes here. We hired one for the two of us. It was really uncomfortable when Gav was driving. So we swapped and Gav let me drive. Turns out Gav can backseat drive it and on sand it makes for some dangerous driving! (I didn't drive for very long).
We were only allowed e-bikes here. We hired one for the two of us. It was really uncomfortable when Gav was driving. So we swapped and Gav let me drive. Turns out Gav can backseat drive it and on sand it makes for some dangerous driving! (I didn’t drive for very long).
Frescos- there was severe damage to most of the frescos following the 1975 earthquake. Many temples lost all their frescos.
Frescos- there was severe damage to most of the frescos following the 1975 earthquake. Many temples lost all their frescos.

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Our favourite temples were the ones you could climb on top of so you could get the panoramic views. Temples as far as the eye can see!
Our favourite temples were the ones you could climb on top of so you could get the panoramic views. Temples as far as the eye can see!

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Htilominlo Temple
Htilominlo Temple

P1050933The next day we were more disciplined only taking out the money we needed for drinks for the day. We still almost manged to buy something too but managed to resist. As a result of the cost of getting in and accommodation we lived on korean pot noodles while we were here to try keep the costs down, required even more so as a result of our spending spree.
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Access to the temples was strictly barefoot..
Access to the temples was strictly barefoot..

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Sugar cane mangle- you'd never get away with this in the UK.
Sugar cane mangle- you’d never get away with this in the UK.

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A dying breed- the horse and trap, you could hire them for the day.
A dying breed- the horse and trap, you could hire them for the day.
Ananda Pagoda
Ananda Pagoda
Ananda Pagoda-the most beautiful pagoda
Ananda Pagoda-the most beautiful pagoda
One of the four Buddha's in Ananda Pagoda
One of the four Buddha’s in Ananda Pagoda
Thatbyinnyu Temple
Thatbyinnyu Temple

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Yep more photos
Yep more photos

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Dhammayangyi Temple
Dhammayangyi Temple
Mahabodhi Temple
Mahabodhi Temple
Mahabodhi Temple
Mahabodhi Temple

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Shwesandaw Pagoda
Shwesandaw Pagoda

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Also I had gotten some pretty bad bites on the first day- all over my ankles and feet. The second day we ended up having to go back to the hotel by 11 (we had been out since 6.45am) as a result of the swelling it was agony with the sandals on. We managed to get out in the evening though to see the sunset or what we could of it…P1060218

Shwesandaw Pagoda
Shwesandaw Pagoda

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mingalazedi pagoda
Mingalazedi pagoda
Jataka on Mingalazedi pagoda
Jataka on Mingalazedi pagoda

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Nat carvings on a temple
Nat carvings on a temple next to Minglazedi Pagoda
Nat carvings on a temple
Nat carvings on a temple next to Minglazedi Pagoda
We were trying to visit a temple- before we could even get in a guy sucked us in to his shop and tried to sell us paintings- they were nice but this was day two and we had no money. We got two drawings for free- I felt bad walking away but we couldn't afford yet another painting.
We were trying to visit a temple- before we could even get in a guy sucked us in to his shop and tried to sell us paintings- they were nice but this was day two and we had no money. We got two drawings for free- I felt bad walking away but we couldn’t afford yet another painting.
.. and we didn't even get in to see the 12th Century paintings... this was the most annoying hawker we encountered here.
.. and we didn’t even get in to see the 12th Century paintings… this was the most annoying hawker we encountered here.
One of the many huge Buddhas.
One of the many huge Buddhas.

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Manuha Temple
Manuha Temple
Manuha Temple- Seated Buddha with...
Manuha Temple- Seated Buddha with…
..a tiny Buddha on his hand! This statue barely fit inside the room it was 2 stories high.
..a tiny Buddha on his hand! This statue barely fit inside the room it was almost 2 stories high.
Manuha Temple-huge reclining Buddha..
Manuha Temple-huge reclining Buddha..
This is me at his feet! huge!
This is me at his feet! huge!
Right to the roof at two stories- feels very clostraphobic! Manuha Pagoda
Right to the roof at two stories- feels very clostraphobic! Manuha Pagoda

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Shin Mway Loon And Min Nandar (Burmese Romeo and Juliet)
Shin Mway Loon And Min Nandar (Burmese Romeo and Juliet)

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The only Hindu temple....
The only Hindu temple….
...containing Brahma carvings on the internal pillars. Some had been damaged by looting as it was thought that they contained gems within the stone work. They didn't.
…containing Brahma carvings on the internal pillars. Some had been damaged by looting as it was thought that they contained gems within the stone work. They didn’t.
Dhammayazika Pagoda
Dhammayazika Pagoda

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Ruins that look like bunny ears
Ruins that look like bunny ears

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Sunset- then it went dark- no nice colours :(
Sunset- then it went dark- no nice colours 😦
Rain on the horizon
Rain on the horizon

So after 3 days it was time to leave Bagan, if nothing else to save our meager budget and our burnt feet!  High season in this whole region is when winter is in Europe- though harder on the wallet, it would definitely be easier on the feet, plus the hawkers would be less desperate and you wouldn’t have your heart broken every time they pleaded with you to buy something if they hadn’t had a sale all day. Seriously the people here would melt a heart of stone. Next stop Inle lake!

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