28 Jul 2014
I arrived at Bagan early morning the next day. All the taxi, horsecart and motobike drivers crowded outside the bus. Despite having to experience this numerous times already, I still hated it. I waited for them to approach me, I chose the one who offered the lowest price, a horsecart driver(Ruby is the name of the horse) 5000kyat from the terminal to my hotel in Nyaung U, Golden Myanmar Hotel.
Well, as Golden Myanmar Hotel was among the cheapest, I didn’t expect much. It was basic and dim, but the best thing about the hotel was, the staff and the owner were kind and friendly. Chatting with them, made my stay there more memorable. =)
They allowed me to check-in early.(thank God, I needed to shower). After shower, I went out, turned right to the mainroad and walked along the busy market road, on the right side, I saw a place renting out bicycle with basket (i like!). The uncle was amiable, hence, I had a chat with him for a little while and he, then, rented out a bike to me at 1000kyats for 1 day (when reviews said they’re being rented out for 1500-3000kyats). And then, I overheard “breakfast”. Woops, their place was a restaurant too, which I didn’t really notice from the outside.
So, I quickly ordered Myanmar Breakfast for the price of 1000kyats ONLY! Expecting for just curry and rice, I gulped and my eyes were enlarged when they served me a feast good enough for 2 people! My tummy hailed with this grace! I was satisfied! I knew I would come back to that restaurant. Haha
I started cycling under the scorching heat of the sun! I went on temple hopping around this 9th to 13th century kingdom. I will leave the historical facts from Google, for there are a lot.
One fact struck me though; despite it being historically-rich, it’s not among the UNESCO World heritage sites because according to them, some parts of the capital were repaired and restored in a ‘non-historical’ way, making use of modern materials and paid little attention to it’s original architectural characteristics. Anyway, being on the list, for me, has some Pros and Cons, so whether on the list or not, I can only care less. As long as it’s jaw-dropping, I will appreciate it.
While temple-hopping, I made friends with some of the locals there, and one particular guy took time to bring me around some of the prettiest temples with no other people but the 2 of us in them. I cycled while he used his motorbike. The wind was great from a top these temples.
He continuously told me stories about crimes commited against tourists. In my head, I was like, “How did you know about all these, are you the suspect?” But I calmed down and repeatedly told him “I do not have money” and still continued to be friendly to him, hoping that he was just really being friendly towards me too. Well, my instict was correct, I was safe and unharmed (except for some bruises on my right ankle after I fell from my bike while cycling on sand or clay?) when we parted. He rode his motorbike and said, “I like you”. Well, I didn’t know what to say to that, I just safely uttered “Thank you, bye”.
I continued on my cycling journey and the last temple I visited was the Sunset Temple, where I waited for of course, the sunset. Haha Joking aside, it was worth all the wait. The bird’s-eye-view of a landscape of temples with a backdrop of sun setting was breathtaking.
I got lost for about 45minutes as I cycled back home. I was starving when I reached the bike rental place, hence, I had dinner with them again, for the same price and the same serving size. Yum.
My eyes and tummy were satisfied! I called it a night!=)
**By the way, tourist had to pay 15,000kyats to enter the archeological site and they would usually check for the tickets randomly while you are peacefully wondering around. Police visibility made the feel of the place safer.