What a day. It was a reasonable start at 8am where we set out on a bicycle tour of this beautiful ancient city. It is said that there was, at one stage, more than 5000 pagodas built in the Bagan area. While a few were damaged during the major earthquake in 1975, a majority of them remain, relatively unscathed today.
The view from the top of one of the taller pagodas was spectacular; you could virtually see most of the city. Most of the pagodas are part of working temples today, unlike the temple city of ayuthaya in Thailand which is full of destroyed remnants of once beautiful temples.
The bicycle experience was something else, however. Though it is a relatively small city, with all the huge buses, cars and motorbikes lets just say it was a scary yet exhilarating experience being beeped at, nearly run off the road and getting stuck in the sand on the side of the road!
The evening was another beautiful sunset spent exploring two of the many pagodas. The stairs were almost vertical to the top, which was a hard task to get up and down along with all the other tourists there for the same purpose!
The surprise of the evening was the reclining Buddha tucked away in a small part of the temple, which has been virtually unscathed considering it was constructed in the 11th century. The fact that most of the temples and structures were constructed in the 11th century and have barely been damaged or pillaged is absolutely amazing. Looking at nearly 1000 years of history certainly makes you appreciate the history of such an extraordinary place and humbles you just a bit!