Considering how much we like bed, we wasn’t planning on getting up and seeing a sunrise over Bagan whilst here. However, having met a couple of Austrians on top of a pagoda yesterday we were persuaded that it would be worth the early start.
So we were up, out the door and on our little E-bikes by 4:45am this morning! With plans to come straight back after the sunset we were free to speed on down to the pagoda at full speed without worrying about our battery running out. I say speed, they probably only hit 15kmph! The plan was to go to a quiet pagoda opposite the popular Shwesandaw pagoda to avoid the crowds. But with the sun quickly rising we thought we were short on time and just settled for the Shesandaw with the rest of the tourists where we watched the sunset last night.
It was still a great spot to be fair but if we was at the one behind it, we would have had been able to see the sun rise up behind the huge Shewesandaw temple. In hindsight we had plenty of time to find the other temple as when we got up there the sun took another 30 minutes to show it’s face. It was beautiful when it finally did rise, such a peaceful setting and one of the most amazing sights we’ll ever see. Walking into a road full of hundreds of cows being herded by a local farmer on the way back was just as surreal!
After returning to our nice warm bed for a few more hours kip, we headed out again on our E-bikes. This time it was to the Aureum Palace Hotel. The hotel was amazing but we wasn’t there to stay unfortunately, we went to go up their viewing tower. This tower gets a lot of bad press online about how it doesn’t fit in with the area, is too modern and a bit of an eyesore. It does stand out but I wouldn’t say it ruins the landscape, they’ve done a good job at designing it in keep with the colours and style of the thousands of pagodas. And if you can’t afford the $300 hot air balloons to get the view, it’s the best way to look down on the unbelievable endless pagoda filled fields.
It was just $5 each and we were escorted up to the 11th floor by the most friendly staff. They even stopped us at the 9th floor to give us our welcome drink. The views from up top were astounding, even better than those we enjoyed yesterday on top of the larger pagodas. You can walk 360 degrees around the top floor which just highlighted how ridiculously big this place is. In every direction for miles there are hundreds and hundreds of pagodas, it really is amazing and something a photo just cannot do justice.
The setting up on the top floor would be perfect for a wedding and we even asked in reception if they hire it out for weddings. Unfortunately not though, wedding ceremonies are only held downstairs apparently. I wonder if you paid enough money if they would change their minds.
We could have hired the bikes for the rest of the afternoon but we’d seen most of what we wanted to see and were never going to fit in all 2200 temples so spent the rest of the day on foot around the hotel. Using the painfully slow internet we finally managed to book a few hotels in Malaysia which is our next stop and also got the Amazon photos uploaded. Our products may officially be live on Amazon UK tomorrow! I’m sure something will go wrong though, nothing goes smoothly with Amazon.