Easy riding in Bagan

We left Bagan for Yenangyaung this morning. Bagan is the historical king city of Myanmar and counts over 2000 temples (pagodas, stupas) on an area of roughly 40 square km. We were impressed by the fantastic scenery right away – difficult to compare it with anything else. Basically you can look wherever you want and your eye will encounter a temple with a 1000 year history. That alone is quite impressing. The options to explore the vast area are a) horse cart, b) bicycle, c) e-(motor)bike d) taxi or e) by foot. Due to the temperatures reaching 40 degrees option e and option b could safely be disregarded in our opinion. The horse cart, though nice, lacks speed and a taxi hop-on , hop-off usually gets problematic with three kids after a while. Thus…option c it was.

We were a bit anxious in the beginning, but riding the e-bikes Myanmar style (one adult, two kids) quickly became a routine and the easy going traffic helped. Thus, we really enjoyed three days of intensive temple visiting with our bikes in Bagan. We somehow managed to view all the main pagodas and even had some excursions to smaller ones. Obviously the boys liked the ones with tunnels or climbing parts. Probably the one to remember was the last pagoda – site nr. 761 – where we slipped through a (broken) fence, climbed up a dark tunnel/stairs with our headlamps (avoided near collision with hornets nest) and witnessed a wonderful sunset on top of the pagoda.

The view from high above needs to be mentioned. I did it alone as no kids under the age of eight are allowed on the balloons. Not a cheap adventure but definitely worth the expense. Watching the sun rise over hundreds of temples in Bagan is priceless.

The villages  (old Bagan, new Bagan, Nyaung U) are very tourist oriented – many hotels, many restaurants and some of them are really excellent. Beside Bagan we liked Nyaung U and visited the main market. A note regarding the hotel: with kids (but also without) a pool is a must to survive the climate and get re-freshed after a very dusty day.  We totally agree on the fact that Bagan is the main touristic attraction in Myanmar and … it is totally fun for kids if they are into adventure stuff.

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