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 😀 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.
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 😀
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 😀 They suddenly dispersed as if I have a contagious disease 😀 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 😀
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunset Viewing Deck
This is our temple 😀
Kuya Zaw took us to the less-touristy spot to catch our last sunset in Bagan. We thought, we would have our own temple 😀 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).
… to be continued.