Friday, July 16, 2010

Bagan, Myanmar


 Our room in Bagan, Myanmar at Kaday Aung or Aung Kaday 

 The completely unexpected pool

 Our driver spent the day whisking us from one temple to another 



 Thankfully, it was a beautiful day, though our teeth were all a bit long on the prospect of exploring old buildings all day.  Everything, eventually, gets old.  We were ready to begin our journey home.  I could have also used a weeklong refresher at the beach, and been back at it.  I suppose this, is the key to long term travel.  Injecting a smattering of beach time in with all the busy flights and tomb raiding.


 I love to see people at work all around these classic buildings.  I liken it to seeing someone having some cultivations at a museum.


 The long tunnel leading to Bagan's "first" stupa Shwezigon.  I have read there are older, but our guide insisted it was the first.  I am partially indifferent.  It is gorgeous and could have been built last year for all I care.

 Furmonster of the day 


 Shwezigon looking pretty. This is probably the most famous temple in Bagan.  Like most of these places that carry a heightened cachet of fame, the building houses a piece of Buddha, his teeth.  Side note, you know in movies when they kill a really bad supernatural creature and send his body off to all ends of the earth?  Like, since he has some crazy regeneration properties, they send his arm to Vladivostok, legs to Buenos Aires, head to Quebec, etc...  It seems like that is what they did with buddha.  Off the top of the nog, I can think of at least 5 temples that we saw that housed a few hairs, or his breastplate, or a foot.  Why is he all spread out to begin with?
   


 With a contrast as good as this, things can get a little redundant in offering you the same picture again and again.

 But how could I leave it on my hard drive? 

 With our guide 


 I know this looks like normal sand, but it is the hottest thing on the world 

 Ryan and Khin about to race across the hot surface.  Since you have to take your shoes off everywhere, your feet get really burnt and you sort of hurriedly scamper everywhere, like a silent film burglar or someone hold back a 2.

 Observe, she is in agony here 

 They really are everywhere, and that is the real draw here.  The sheer vastness of antiquity draping the dry plain.

 This statue smiles from afar and frowns up close 



 details 




 Very old 

 fancy place for a read


 This is my photographic interpretation of the Myanmar situation

 One of the larger stupas, which made me feel like I was in eastern Europe in its size, color, and courtyard 

 sorgum fields 

 A cactus tree and a red temple 


 The river

 Some locals made me eat these whole fried fish.  I wished at was at home napping with Ryan and Kristin, who were all "templed out"


 Sri Lanka style 


 Some guy asked me if I wanted to go in, that  hole is the entrance.  Also, note the elephant architecture  


 working the fields

 rice

 Such a green field in Bagan seemed out of place.  They had a long pump bringing water in from the river


 I like these guys passed out in chairs, need to click through for detail 

 I went to this strange temple that had these enormous statues in a really small space.  It was built so that Manuha could describe his feelings to the king of Bagan.  He felt trapped.



 Very cramped hall for a reclining buddha




 Smoking some Bagan tobacco 

This cigar like contraption was huge.

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