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ruthdelacruz

Travel and Lifestyle Blog by Ruth dela Cruz. A blogger based in Manila, Philippines.

Snaps @ruthilicious

October 6, 2017

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset



Bagan greeted us with a beautiful weather when we woke up. Ana and I were lucky, as they say that it was rainy season but we got to experience the sun and golden brown temples of the ancient city.




We didn't have anything scheduled for the day, so @anagon and I decided to just explore the city. After breakfast and going around the hotel (separate post about WeStay Lotus Bagan), the service took us back to Zaw eBike Rental.

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset

This is one of the things I love about DIY travels, we get to do our own thing, at our own pace. No strict schedules and meet-up and pick-up points. 

Per Zaw's recommendation (and out of my need to search for nice bead necklace), we visited the local market.

Mani Sithu Market

It is like any other market with the usual local produce and colorful pieces & souvenir items - except for - they treat us like rockstars and celebrities :D  For some reason, I always get mobbed around locals whenever I visit another country (my friend was like telling about the time we were in Beijing and locals are asking me if I am a celebrity :D). It was almost the same story in Bagan, except for - they were offering me goods to buy.

Bagan market
Bagan Market
Bagan Market


I was particularly looking for a nice bead necklace and the next thing I know they are shoving me strings of bead necklaces. They are very nice, sweet and persistent. I was seriously clueless how to say NO (especially when I found out that each bead string costs around Php3,000! much more expensive than a Pandora charm that I collect). But I never realized it is much harder to say NO if there is a language barrier :D

They asked me how much I am willing to pay for each necklace. I have to outwit them and gave them the most ridiculous price - Php150 :D They suddenly dispersed as if I have a contagious disease :D But they remained smiling and cheery. One particular lady even hugged me and joined my Instagram stories :)

Down to the next aisle, I was surprised when a lady boxed me and wrapped a longyi skirt around my waist! That's the funniest experience :D



Tharaba Gateway

Tharaba Gateway is the main gate to the old Bagan City. It is the eastern gate of the old wall and is now the only structure left of the old city built by King Pyinbya. It was built in 849 A.D during the 9th century.

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset


It is more like Intramuros where you are free to roam around and visit different pagodas and temples. During our exploration, our feet brought us back to the one temple that we have visited the day before (the lady seller sure remembered us!).

I love the structures of the temples, with its intricate walls and designs.

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
This dog was happily wagging its tail on us! As if welcoming us to the old city!

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset

Most of the temples do not allow tourists to go up the second floor except for this one with a viewing deck. Tip-toeing is a skill you have to master because it was flaming hot (I didn't do it just for photos :D)

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset

Where we ate for lunch? 
Star Beam Bistro

We had lunch at Star Beam Bistro one of the most recommended and highly rated restaurants in Bagan. We had complimentary bread (freshly baked!) while waiting for our orders. I was supposed to order Sea Bass (as recommended by some friends online), but it was unavailable. I had my usual curry :)

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Starbeam Bistro
Starbeam Bistro
Starbeam Bistro
Starbeam Bistro
We were joined by this dog the whole lunch break

Bupaya Pagoda

Our next stop is not the ordinary temple but one that is at a bend on the right bank of the Ayeyarwady River. The small pagoda, which has a bulbous shaped dome, is widely believed to have been built by the third King of Pagan, Pyusawhti who ruled from 168 to 243 AD.

I love how golden it appears in the blue sky.

Bupaya Pagoda
Bupaya Pagoda Bagan
Bupaya Pagoda Bagan
Bupaya Pagoda Bagan
Bupaya Pagoda Bagan


Gawdawpalin Temple - second tallest temple in Bagan

Gawdawpalin Temple is the second tallest temple in Bagan (but unfortunately the stairways were closed) and we only got to explore the 4 walls and corners with a Buddha guiding us in each direction.


Gawdawpalin Temple - second tallest temple in Bagan
Gawdawpalin Temple - second tallest temple in Bagan


Bagan Archaeological Museum

The Bagan Archaeological Museum is a nice place to get to know the history of Bagan and have a little break from the boiling hot weather outside. We paid 5000 Kyats or around Php 180 for the entrance ticket.

We were not allowed to take photos inside and bags were left at assigned lockers. Ana and I enjoyed our short stroll inside (air conditioned!).

I noticed that Bagan and some of the Philippines' local tribes have some things in common in terms of agriculture and industry. We were fascinated with the different hairstyles that represents different social statuses.

Bagan Archaeological Museum
Bagan Archaeological Museum
Bagan Archaeological Museum
Bagan Archaeological Museum
Bagan Archaeological Museum
Bagan Archaeological Museum


Lawkananda Paya - Beautiful Golden Pagod 

Our next stop is the Lawkananda Paya. A beautiful golden pagoda on top of a small hill on the banks of the Irrawaddy river. Its name translates to “Joy of the world” in ancient Pali language. It is under construction but I love the ancient buildings and ruins overlooking the river. 

Lawkananda Paya - Beautiful Golden Pagod
Lawkananda Paya - Beautiful Golden Pagod
Lawkananda Paya - Beautiful Golden Pagod


Shwe Ou Coffee & Homemade Ice Cream

I rarely have my second cup of coffee but (probably) because of Temple Fatigue, I felt the need to sit down and have a refreshing cold coffee. Kuya Zaw took us to Shwe Ou Coffee which serves homemade ice cream and coffee concoctions.

Ana ordered homemade ice cream while I had iced coffee (unfortunately, they served iced latte). The place is not air-conditioned and appears like an old grandma's place. It is a comfortable place to chill and relax before we headed to the next stop.

Shwe Ou Coffee & Homemade Ice Cream
Shwe Ou Coffee & Homemade Ice Cream
Shwe Ou Coffee & Homemade Ice Cream

Sunset Viewing Deck

This is our temple :D 

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset

Kuya Zaw took us to the less-touristy spot to catch our last sunset in Bagan. We thought, we would have our own temple :D But minutes later, he went back to to tell us there is a better temple to climb. Before we got in, they asked for the ticket (thankfully, we got our tickets from the temple we visited the day before).



Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset

When we got to the top, I found that it is a more intimate affair compared to the other temple that we visited for the sunset viewing. 

People were just sitting at the edge of the temple, waiting for the "big reveal". 

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset

Ana and I found our spot. I tried to patiently wait but I found myself doing IG stories and taking photos. I had experienced a few sunset and sunrise viewing - and I just realized that this made me impatient at some point.

Maybe, those are not the most golden moment for me? Not the most special ones?

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset

Or, maybe I just hate the idea of waiting. 

I appreciate catching a beautiful sunset by chance. The one that would make me want to quickly grab my camera to capture it, or just keep still in the moment and enjoy the view. I guess, just like falling in love, I enjoy catching sunset by chance. Not by waiting. 



Nonetheless, the experience is always amazing for me. We didn't get to see the golden sunset in Bagan but just the thought of being there makes me love life more. I told Ana that there is nothing like Manila Bay Sunset (the ones we see almost everyday - but tend to neglect). In other cities, like Bagan, you wait for beautiful sunsets by chance. And that chance may not happen. Again, just like falling in love. 

Myanmar Day 3 | Bagan Sunset
... to be continued.



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