As a traveler, I try to embark on journeys to places I have never been to before. This rule, though, comes with a few exceptions. Among the places I have returned to sooner than I thought was Bagan in Myanmar. I always feel like I had some unfinished business after I arrived home from my first trip there in March 2013. This is the reason why exactly three years later – I embarked on yet another jaunt to this ancient city. This time, I arrive as a solo traveler armed with a longer time to explore this old city crawling with centuries old temples and pagodas.
Riding an electric bike under the scorching sun of the summer month of March, I explored far and wide, capturing the magnificent images that I had envisioned before I left. I had a strong desire to show why I fell in love with Bagan to my friends and family back home. I marveled at the spectacular and timeless vibe that lingers in this city, inhabited by some of the friendliest and nicest people I’ve met, and it all amounted to yet another memorable collective incursion to this city.
Passing through off-the-beaten trails, I was able to visit some of the most obscure temples and pagodas and achieved covering more ground than on my first trip. Bagan is known as an ancient city situating in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. The ruins that now lay scattered in its golden powdery plains are from the kingdoms that flourished during the 9th century until the 13th century when it served as the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan – the very first kingdom that consolidated all the regions in Myanmar under one rule. During the peak of this kingdom, more than 10,000 Buddhist pagodas, monasteries, and temples were built right on the vast Bagan plains. Today, over 2,200 pagodas and temples still stand as beautiful ruins and a stunning reminder of that wonderfully storied past.
Slowly opening up to tourists, the country of Myanmar has managed to put the Bagan Archeological Zone as its main visitor’s draw, and is now seen by many as comparable to the kind of attraction that Cambodia’s Angkor Wat complex is offering. As a self-described Bagan junkie, I can say this city can hold its candle on its own and dishes a unique appeal to travelers like me who desires of historic ruins and magnificent scenery to photograph.
To let the images speak for itself, here are some more photographs that best exemplify Bagan as a place of timeless beauty.
These are just some of the images I wanted people to see whenever they ask about my recent trip to Myanmar. After Bagan, I went to Mandalay and back to Yangon. Two weeks is a short time to fully embrace Bagan and the rest of this beautiful country, maybe after you read this article – you will be inspired to make your journey to Myanmar as well and pass through the timeless ancient city of Bagan.
All images courtesy of Nomadic Experiences