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.

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Exploring the pagodas was also quite an experience.

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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.

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This was where I contemplated crossing the chasm:

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Here are the two girls who were part of the trip:

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And here are all four of us:

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We also took a boat on the Irrawady River (the link will take you to Wikipedia).

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It wasn’t the highest quality vessel, but it did the job.

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The skipper bailed out some water halfway through the ride.

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Here I am snapping some pictures from the bow:

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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:

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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):

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Later in the day we rented some motorbikes and went off-roading around some of the pagodas.

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The views were again incredible (the landscape pictures in this post were taken from atop pagodas):

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I’ll conclude this post with a panorama:

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