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In the the far far east, on the old silk route from Asia to the West, was the connector country of Burma (now known as Myanmar) with legendary stories, temples and natural beauty.
The country’s scenic highlight is Bagan in the northwest, closer to India, famous for the thousands of temples in a small area, untouched by the shameful damage of the recent military regime.
Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar). From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom’s height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.
– Balloons over Bagan have a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the temples and its one of the most memorable things you will do in your life. Get the VIP package and get picked up in an old wooden bus, a breathtaking ballon ride, photos, and a champagne breakfast afterwards in the fields. FANTASTIC
– take a horse and cart with a guide and visit some of the 2200 temples on dusty paths. Watch out for snakes (it will be fine, but honestly we saw 2 snakes in the street!)
– visit some lacquerware shops and buy some of the fine handcrafts
One thing to note is women should dress with covered shoulders and legs when visiting temples. I got in trouble for my Lara Croft shorts. Be respectful.
WHERE WE STAYED: BAGAN RIVER HOTEL
We stayed at the Bagan River View Hotel with fantastic views of the Ayarwaddy River, rice fields, a buddhist temple in the hotel with a giant gold Buddha and large historic trees.
Close to India, Burma’s cuisine is a mix of Thai, Chinese and Indian and the dishes are stimulating and always have a nice balance of protein and vegetable so its really easy and enjoyable for any kind of diet.