Sightseeing in Bagan: Tanaka and Sunset Hunting at the World Heritage Pagodas - Vikingess Voyages

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sightseeing in Bagan: Tanaka and Sunset Hunting at the World Heritage Pagodas

During our stay in Myanmar we spent a couple of days in the ancient city of Bagan, famous for its more than 2200 pagodas spread out on the wide plain. Climbing some of the ancient pagodas could sometimes make us feel like we were in the middle of an Indiana Jones movie, but at the same time this destination was definitely the most touristy on our trip.
The most popular temples to visit in Bagan are the Shwesandaw Pagoda, the Thatbyinnyu Temple, the Dhammayangyi Temple and the Gawdawpalin Temple. But with the large amount of places to see we decided to explore the area rather than aiming for particular temples. Below are some of my pictures from the area:
Most of the hotels in Bagan are located a bit of a distance away from both the old town where the pagodas are located. We stayed a bit outside of the old town at a hotel called Sky View Hotel, but rented e-bikes to get around the area.
In Myanmar buddhism they believe that every birthday day is represented by an animal. At the temple in the picture above you could give offerings to your birthday animal.
One of the highlights of our stay in Bagan was the chance to finally try the local sunscreen called tanaka. A smiling lady by the Mahabodhi Temple asked us if we wanted to try it for free, and we said yes. She took us to her little store right by the temple, and had us fully dressed up with tanaka, local longyi jeans and cotton shirts. Be aware that she's a good salesman (yes, we ended up buying a pair of longyi which I think I'll use as a tablecloth..)
She also knew some Japanese and called Yuma kakkoii oniisan (handsome big brother).
 With tanaka and local cotton shirts
With our new sunscreen makeup we continued our trip with the goal of seeing the sunset over the Bagan temples.
We met this young student who stopped to show us around and afterwards presented us his paintings. He took us to one of the nearby temples where we got a good view of the Bagan fields.
We visited during September when it was still low season (check out my post about visiting Myanmar in September here). Unfortunately the it was too cloudy to see the sunset well, and the balloons that soar above the Bagon sky during high season don't operate until October so we lost out on that.

Although we were unlucky with the weather and didn't get the best sunset pictures we still enjoyed our time in Bagan a lot. Trying tanaka was definitely a highlight (we noticed the locals were extra friendly to us when we had the tanaka on, they were so pleased that we were using their local sunscreen)! But if you get tired of seeing all the temples in Bagan I would recommend taking a day trip to Mt. Popa.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments/questions below.

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Amazing Bagan Resort
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Hotel Yadanarbon Bagan
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Aye Yar River View Resort
Aye Yar River View Resort
Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort
Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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