At breakfast I met two really nice German girls and ended up going around with them today – first to a restaurant on the river to read and chill out, and then on a half day trip around the temples on a horse cart.
We had all done the same thing yesterday and pretty much seen the same temples so we asked our driver to take us further south to places we hadn’t managed to reach by bicycle.
There was one temple in particular that I really enjoyed because of old paintings on the walls that had remained there when most other were destroyed in an earthquake.
In one temple it was almost pitch black and as I stepped inside I heard chanting and could just about make out the figures of a monk and a woman at the foot of the Buddha. I changed the ISO setting on my camera to pick up as much light as possible and was able to capture more than the eye could see.
We had set off at 3pm so we would be able to see sunset again, and the cart driver took us to a temple that was less crowded than the really touristy one I mentioned yesterday. Here’s a picture in case you’re planning to visit and want somewhere a bit less busy (though not a secret spot by any means)…
Everywhere I go people seem to love me for being English. They always say “great country!” which still surprises me, although it’s usually followed by “great football!” I only have to say “Manchester!” and a huge grin appears on their faces. I met an Arsenal fan today which was a bit different. He was desperate for an English pound to add to his huge collection of money from around the world and I was really sad because I have some pounds in my rucksack at the hotel that I was wondering how to get rid of. I’ll have to take some with me tomorrow and give them as souvenirs, and that poor man will just have to keep asking people until he gets lucky.
I’m really enjoying talking to the Burmese people. They’re very curious and friendly and although some in Bagan only want to make money out of you a few here and many elsewhere just want to chat which is lovely.
Practical Information: The horse and cart ride was 5,000 kyat each based on 3 people for half a day – he wouldn’t negotiate but I’m sure you could if you found the right driver.