9 hours. 540 minutes. 32400 seconds.
That's how long it took to get from Yangon to Bagan on a night bus. The only time I woke up was for the toilet breaks and that's about it. Sleep is always essential during long bus rides. Big shoutout to JJ Express for the great experience on their coach. Once we got off the bus at Bagan, we were surrounded by money hungry touts who wanted to bring us to our respective hotels. Sunrise! Hotel! These were the two common words that kept ringing in my ear. But I only had one in my mind.
Bagan is located in the Mandalay region of Myanmar and is home to almost 2,000 pagodas and temples which are scattered all around. Some are really close to each other whilst some are just a stone throw away from each other. These were built by the kings who used to rule the lands in the yesteryears. There was actually 10,000 pagodas and temples at a certain point of time! Getting to each temple is easy as you can rent a bike or a car to commute around.
And if you can't handle the heat, please avoid during the months of May and June.
It was 40 degree celsius on the two days I was there. We literally had to plan every step we took at the temples. Marble flooring is your friend. I kept repeating that over and over again in my head. If you stood on something that its not marbled, you're guaranteed of barbecued feet.
I was in Bagan for a good 3 days. One thing that definitely stayed constant were the smiling faces. And the regular questions like,
1) Where you from?
2) Do you have Singapore currency?
3) Possible to give me one as I do not have?
This questions were said throughout the stay in Bagan. I did not want to be rude as these people were genuinely nice and they were doing their best to stay alive too. But they were in my opinion, one of the nicest people I have met in all the travels I've gone to. Mothers will push their children for a photo opportunity. The kids were always shy at first but after showing a photo or two, they only asked for more. Really hope they have brighter futures ahead as all children deserve that.
To Salvatore, Zhen Zhen and Samantha, thanks for making this trip more interesting and I definitely got to know each of you a little better.
Came here with an open mind. I was definitely happy to visit Myanmar in whole. The highlight has to be the temples and also bringing a smile to all the kids faces when I took their photograph. Thanks for making me a better person Myanmar.
On to the next adventure.