Imagine yourself looking out of your hotel room window and…
I am in the overnight bus traveling from Yangon to Bagan. Thinking about the fact that I finally made it to Myanmar, a country that has been on my bucket list for so long.
Why? I once saw a photo that was taken from atop one of the Pagodas in Bagan capturing the sunrise over the endless amounts of temples, the hot air balloons rising in the air. This picture was so captivating that I cut it out of the magazine and hung it on my wall. From that moment I knew one day I am going to sit at the same spot and experience that moment for myself.
It still feels so unreal. I am in Myanmar! I spent the last two days exploring Yangon: wandering through the streets of the city, trying some street food and having beers with locals in Chinatown. I was there during a very important Buddhist holiday and was lucky enough to observe a religious ceremony at the 99 meter tall, golden Shwedagon Pagoda- a truly impressive site and famous landmark of the city.
“Katrin, Katrin- we are here.” I must have dozed off on the last part of the bus journey. It’s really early, around 4.30 am. I am yawning and would have loved to turn around and sleep some more. “Come on, let’s hurry up. We are trying to make it for sunrise,” says Khamla, my tour guide for this trip. We jump in the car and are headed towards the archaeological site. I am still a little bit tired and it took some time until I realize that we are actually in Bagan. Looking out of the window, I see temples passing by. We are there, we made it. It is starting to get lighter, but it is cloudy. I am getting a bit disappointed. Are we going to experience a nice sunrise today?
The car stops and we are jogging towards a large pagoda from where we want to try to see the sunrise. “Show me tickets, please”- a guy at the entrance stops us. “Please. Can we get them later?” we beg. “Okay, fine.” We climb up the stairs and once we arrive at the top my mouth drops. This view from above is incredible- temples as far as your eye can see. Of course I had seen many photographs of this place before, but actually standing there now being able to see it myself is something completely different.
The sun slowly rises up behind one of the temples diving the site into a warm light. It is a bit misty but this only contributes to the exceptional atmosphere. I am just sitting there quietly gazing into the distance and taking it all in: the view, the colors, the sound of the birds. From time to time I take some photos with my camera, but mainly I am trying to enjoy the moment and I understand now why this county is called MAGICAL MYANMAR.
For ten days I had the chance to travel around Myanmar and see some of the countries most fascinating places. I started off in Yangon, experienced the sunrise over the temples of Bagan, hiked from Kalaw to Inle Lake, took a boat to see the floating villages of Inle and was able to see the many sights of Mandalay. Wherever I went my Olympus Pen E-PL 7 Camera was always in my hand as I tried to capture those special moments.
Temples of Bagan