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.
The 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.
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…
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!