Monday 23 January – Bagan
After our night of luxury in the Win Unity resort and an amazing breakfast we left on our journey to Bagan, first stopping at Hpo Win Daung which is a hillside complex, where in the 18th century the locals carved over 400 shrines in the form of small caves or hollows in to the rocks and put into them multiple representations of Buddha.
It’s slightly chaotic, with unmarked paths and really random numbering of each of the shrines along with wild monkeys pestering for food and fighting once one of them had some but some of the shrines have spectacular paintings and some of the views from the higher points were really stunning.
Back on the road we stopped for lunch at a truck stop in exactly the middle of no where and had mixed results with our ordering. My noodle soup was great but Wayne’s Burmese curry wasn’t particularly appealing but we were entertained when 4 trucks roared past each with an elephant in the back.
Back on the bus we travelled up to Pakokku where we were to catch a boat to Bagan. Along the river where we boarded was a small village where the ladies asked for lipstick and the kids asked for sweets, but so polite – when sweets were produced the kids all lined up neatly to receive one sweet each.
The boat took us up the Ayeyarwady River towards Bagan, and while our ‘too cool for school’ boatman smoked while wearing Ray Bans, even after the sun went down, we tried Tamarind cakes and watched the locals fish, farm and in some cases take their evening bath!
We reached Bagan at sunset and then went out for our first Burmese / Indian curry.