Mekong Diaries #9 Balloons over Bagan

Boat to Bagan

Still exhausted from the train ride back to Mandalay we decided to move on and took 7 hours later the early but comfortable slowboat to Bagan. A magic sunrise included - priceless.

Human railing.
Visit to a traditional village along Irawadi River.

Village People


A good cornerman makes the difference.

Welcome to Bagan

Bagan is an ancient city located in the Center of Myanmar. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, the first kingdom that unified the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2,200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.

OVER 2,000 temples, pagodas and stupas, literally everywhere, and hardly any Western tourists. There were even two pagodas in the lovely garden of our hotel. This location impressed us more than Angkor Wat.

Typical coach in Bagan area.
Either you take a coach to get around the 2,000 temples...
or you rent a very convenient e-scooter
Preparing for sunset.
Vertigo and a frozen smile...
Bagan Hotel River View was a great choice with a breakfast and sunset terrace overlooking the Irawadi.

Sunset over Bagan

Balloons over Bagan

A sunrise balloon flight over Bagan‘s pagodas is said to be magic. And truly magic it was, an highlight of our trip thru South East Asia.

Get ready for landing! We missed two landing opportunities and had to cross the Irawadi again to get to a remote sandbank. Thus we earned ourselves an 1 hour balloon flight which was scheduled for 30-45 minutes, and a glass of champaign.

Damn, we skipped.
Landing strip.
Survivors! In fact it was a very professional and safe experience. Even Micha‘s vertigo and fear of flying were gone; till the landing procedure... ;)
Goodbye Bagan - Farewell with a stunning sunrise, and some balloons over bagan.
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