Travel Stories

A travel blog for a long-term expat, backpacker, traveler, ESL teacher, and photographer. 

Bagan

    After Kalaw, we took a night bus and arrived early in the morning, again to our next destination: Bagan. Bagan is the most famous touristy place in Myanmar. It is famous for hot air balloons and old temples. The bus driver gets paid by local tuk tuk drivers to stop at the station far from the city center so that they can scam the new arrivals. Everyone is tired and cares very little at this time so I guess they're quite successful. I was overwhelmed by the hassle and harassment. Apparently the chosen taxi service here is a horse drawn carriage. It was still dark outside, clearly we didn't care about the luxury of a horse drawn carriage but whatever. We stayed in probably the shittiest hotel in of the city but for a two bed room, it was 13 dollars (not even per person). Can't beat that. I did, however, come out  of the shower feeling more dirty than going in. Due to bus exhaustion, we went back to sleep. When we woke up, we decided to rent an E bike (one step below a scooter) to discover the temple ruins. The first building we wandered around had men wanting to give free tours. "Free tours" meaning that he was a "painter" (but probably selling other people's work) and spent 20 minutes afterwards showing us his artwork and making us guiltily buy something.

We went to the largest temple building which was surrounded with shops selling the same, repetitive things. Additionally, the same artwork that the last guy was selling.... Haha. There were also more of the longnecks equally enslaved in one of the shops. For money, you can photograph her.

We also stumbled across an orphanage. The orphans were in school at the time. That definitely made some interesting photos.

I really don't recommend Bagan for longer than a day. It was full of scammers, it has lost its charm, and a little repetitive. Here's the photos.