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4 things to see in Bagan, Travel Guide

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4 things to see in Bagan


1. Night Market + Carnival.

There is a small night market cum carnival in the middle of the small town. While there isn't much to buy or play compared to night markets in more developed countries, it is a good way to see first hand how the locals entertain themselves. There is an indoor stage where concerts are held (free), and an especially eye-popping Ferris Wheel, which is amazing for the fact that it runs not on electricity or gas, but on human strength. Young men clamber up and down the Ferris wheel with no protection or safety equipment of any sort, and use their own body weight to rotate the wheel. One wrong move and they could be fatally injured. This would be unthinkable in most countries, but it's just another night at the carnival for the Burmese. Quite an eye-opener.


2. Lacquerware workshop : U Ba Nyein (commonly known as Bagan House) Lacquerware Workshop should take the top priority of one's to-do list in when in Bagan. Guardians of Myanmar's high quality traditional lacquerware, U Ba Nyein workers stick to the traditional methods in making their lacquerware. Mainly made of strips of bamboo, coated with tree sap to hold them together and powdered dye made from plants to give them colour, this lacquerware comes in many forms and sizes.


3. Mount Popa and rural villages : Mount Popa is an ancient volcano reaching a mile into the sky from the flat plains of central Burma. Taung Kalat dramatically erupts out of the earth next to Mount Popa - a striking aberration in the rolling hills and plains. A monastery precariously grips the pinnacle of Taung Kalat and is a popular point of pilgrimage. Gangs of monkeys occupy the 777 steps that slither to the top. The macaques posture for edible handouts and generally cause mischief After leaving the Mount Popa area, visit one of the many rural villages that hug the bumpy road back to Bagan. Rural families are extremely welcoming and will give you a silent tour of their iron age cooking apparatuses and moody bovine roommates. Outdoor classrooms are filled with little monks and villagers will offer free handfuls of salty fresh cooked peanuts. There are many rural delights in small villages where life is undeniably simple.


Shwezigon Pagoda

Bagan Shwezigon Pagoda, Myanmar


4. The temples in Bagan: Some of the top temples in Bagan include Shwezigon Pagoda, Ananda Temple, Dhammayangyi, and Thatbyinnyu. Shwezigon houses Buddha's tooth along with some of his bones. The glittering dome was originally built in the 12th century and is a fine example of a golden stupa. It is similar to Shwedagon in Yangon, except without the crowds. Ananda temple in Old Bagan is almost a thousand years old and done in an entirely different style. The monk architects that designed and built Ananda were murdered by King Kyanzittha after completion to insure that no temple like it would ever be built again. The structure is said to be perfectly symmetrical with an interior ambiance similar to a Himalayan cave. Onward, the massive Dhammayangyi temple is the largest structure in Bagan, but the interior has been mysteriously bricked up.


Ananda Temple

Bagan Ananda Temple, Myanmar