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Sunrise, Sunset, and Stupas

BAGAN, Myanmar -- I love to catch sunrise and sunset.

The ancient city of Bagan in Myanmar, one of the 10 member states of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), let me experienced one of the best sunrises and sunsets in my life. Maybe, experiencing this in a different country also made it special.

My friend and I arrived in Bagan late in the evening after an almost five-hour bus trip from Mandalay, the former royal city of Myanmar which is 180 kilometers away from the ancient city.

Arriving late in Bagan and coming from a long trip, we decided not to watch the sunrise and just catch the sunset later in the afternoon.

Seeing stupas inside Ywa Haung Gyi Temple.

I read some travel guides and blogs about Bagan and it really boasted its over 2,000 stupas, the mound-like commemorative monuments for Buddhists. Majority of Burmese are Buddhists.

It was also noted that to get the best view of Bagan’s temples and pagodas, book for a hot air balloon ride. However, it will cost you around 430,000 Myanmar kyats (around PHP16,000) for a 45-minute ride.

We rented an electric motorbike for 7,000 Myanmar kyats (PHP270) for eight hours to get around Bagan and explore its stupas.

I don’t know the experience of being in a hot air balloon and looking at the pagodas. But I can say that our e-bike experience touring Bagan is fun.

Wherever I look, there are pagodas in different sizes. There are neighboring temples, or one huge structure, or beside a house colored in gold and white, but majority are brownish red and orange pagodas.

A neighborhood of stupas.

With our e-bike, we were able to choose which pagodas to visit first, have our mini-breaks, stop in whichever temples to take some photos.

Most of the temples are in Old Bagan, New Bagan, and Nyaung U.

We ended our stupa tour in a mound spot near Sulamani Temple to watch the sunset.

The dust and fog added drama to the scene of stupas and sunset.

Kris Crismundo /PNA