Myanmar Trip Day 4: Sunrise at Buhlaygyi, City Tour of Bagan Major Temples, Sunset at Pyathatgyi

Today we woke up early at 4 am to catch sunrise from the top of a pagoda called Buhlaygyi (don’t search it on the internet, there’s no result on it), we went from our hotel (Su Tine San, a very good and affordable hotel whose guest are only two person, us) at 5 am. The site was 10 minutes away by car and we arrived at 5.15 when the sky was still dark. The pagoda isn’t as tall as Shwesandaw pagoda where we spent our sunset yesterday, the view is great though. There were also fewer tourist in the pagoda compared to Shwesandaw.

DSC05364Bagan after sunrise

Bagan22Bagan at the morning

We descent the pagoda at 6 am, the sun is already out and the sky is light blue, we drove back to hotel for breakfast and shower. We started our city tour at 8 am, visiting in total 15 pagodas across Bagan. Today’s tour is exhausting, at noon both of my feet have scratches due to the extensive use of slippers and walking barefoot. Mind you that we have to take off shoes and socks before entering each pagoda. We see too many pagoda to remember one by one, but here is some pagoda we visited, in order:

Sunrise at Buhlaygyi, Shwezigon, Gubyaukgyi, Htilominlo, Ananda, Thatbyinnyu, Shwe Gu Gyi, Manuhar, Nanphayar, Dhamanyangyi, Sularmani, Pyathatdar, Sunset at Pyathatgyi

Bagan26Landscape in Bagan

Bagan29Ananda, one of the most magnificent pagoda in Bagan

Bagan31Dhammayangyi temple at the right side of image

Bagan32Closer look of Dhammayangyi temple, Bagan

DSC05401Random pagodas in Bagan

DSC05421Another random pagodas I forgot the name

There are mostly Buddha statue inside each temple, with some temple could be hiked to the top, an opportunity to capture great panorama of Bagan’s 2000 temples. After visiting Thatbyinnyu, we have our lunch at Sunset Garden Restaurant, a very nice and affordable restaurant by the river. I would recommend having lunch there after half day walking under the sun.

We were scheduled to take two hours rest at the hotel after lunch, simply because it is too hot to walk around at 13-15 o’clock in Bagan. Instead of going back to hotel, we were looking for a reflexiologist and finally found one with reasonable price near our hotel. One hour of massage cost $15, significantly cheaper than in Bagan Lodge (5 stars resort) which cost $65.

We eventually walk back to our hotel and took a shower before beginning the city tour again at 15.00. The temples in Bagan are similar with each other, except Ananda, the most beautiful one covered with white colour. We also saw many tourist, mostly western, who rent a bicycle or electric bike and tour around the small road. Renting a bike cost 10000-15000 Kyat ($10-15) for the whole day.

DSC05440Thatbyinnyu temple, taken from other temple in Bagan

DSC05573The magnificent landscape of Bagan, a combination of pagodas, jungle and mountains

DSCF8143Shwezigon pagoda under reconstruction or repainting every 5 years

DSCF8461Dhammayangyi temple at noon, Bagan

Our tour guide name is Aung, a 23 year old guy with extensive knowledge in history and proficient in English. He showed us photo spots for taking great photographs around Bagan, even though it wasn’t in the itinerary program. Should you want to hire him, let me know, I have his contact. There were few Indonesian tourist we met in Myanmar, however we were asked several times by the local to exchange Rupiah to Kyat, it seems that there are Indonesian fooling around Bagan and paying with Rupiah.

We close our day by watching sunset on the top of Pyathatgyi pagoda, a large pagoda with open top where we could climb and sit on the wall facing the landscape of Bagan. We were there early at 5 pm and the sunset was at 6.50, so we have plenty of time to take photos 360 degrees of the temple. After finding the perfect spot for taking photo, I sat on the wall and listened to an album of Andrea Boccéli while enjoying the scenery, it was a very pleasant experience to me.

DSC05677Goats running near a lake in Bagan

DSC05712Herds roaming on the wilderness of Bagan

DSC05769Sunset in Bagan from Pyathatgyi

It was 7 pm when we left Pyathatgyi, then we have dinner at Star Beam Restaurant in downtown area of Bagan. The price for one meal cost between 15000-75000 kyat ($1.5-7.5), very reasonable for the food we ate. Since there wasn’t any interesting places to visit at night, we got back to hotel and rest, for tomorrow we are leaving Bagan to Mandalay.



About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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