After spending two days in the dry zone for work, I met up with two colleagues (and a previous Proximity employee) for a trip to Bagan. In the interest of time, I won’t describe the history (you can read about it here on Wikipedia), but in essence it is a large area where hundreds of pagodas were built after Buddhist reached that part of the country.
The views were absolutely amazing.
Exploring the pagodas was also quite an experience.
In one pagoda we climbed up some crumbled steps (certainty not OSHA certified), and arrived at a section of missing floor. I was tempted to try and shimmy along the edge (Prince of Persia style) to see what lay beyond, but I figured it wasn’t worth the risk.
This was where I contemplated crossing the chasm:
Here are the two girls who were part of the trip:
And here are all four of us:
We also took a boat on the Irrawady River (the link will take you to Wikipedia).
It wasn’t the highest quality vessel, but it did the job.
The skipper bailed out some water halfway through the ride.
Here I am snapping some pictures from the bow:
Day 2 I unfortunately got very sick. I think I ate some bad watermelon from the breakfast buffet where we were staying (Bagan Princess). Within two hours of eating it hit. Before noon I had thrown up twice and taken three trips to the bathroom. I went to the doctor to get some medication, which seemed to clear this up for a while (until I threw up again within an hour of getting on the 9 hour bus ride back to Yangon — I prayed to God that I would make it back without throwing up on the bus, and I did in fact make it back without puking). The doctor was nice and seemed competent. It also helped that two people in our group were Burmese.
Antibiotics + anti-vomiting + anti-diarrhea + rehydration salts. Full-court press:
Nonetheless, I tried to make the most of the day.
We climbed up to a mountaintop pagoda (I witnessed a couple monkey fights during the trek):
Later in the day we rented some motorbikes and went off-roading around some of the pagodas.
The views were again incredible (the landscape pictures in this post were taken from atop pagodas):
I’ll conclude this post with a panorama: