Before I write more about Bagan, I want to tell you about our flight there. We took AirBagan. We were departing to Bagan so early it was still dark out when we checked-out. We requested for breakfast to be packed for us and the hotel gave us hardboiled eggs, bread and a banana – it wasn’t much but at least we had something in our bellies. Took some pictures of the domestic terminal and the airplane from AirBagan for anyone planning to travel to Myanmar.
Please note though that these pictures are from Feb 2012, and Myanmar is changing rapidly. When we were doing our research on Myanmar in 2012, most of the things that were out there, were crazy out of date(4-5 yrs out of date). So I just wanna add to the info that’s out there about traveling to Myanmar (late as it is).
The domestic airport is quite small, but there was a nice cafe with good coffee and pretty decent pastries. It was much better than the packed breakfast from the hotel. Lavazza coffee – YUM!
GOOD TO KNOW:
Going to Bagan, we had reserved seats. This is the funny thing that you should know if you travel there. Coming back from Bagan is a different story. THERE ARE NO RESERVED SEATS. Seriously. We made sure coming back that we sat by the boarding gate and legged it to the plane.
For boarding we were shuttled to the plane in an old bus, with the tiniest seats, I sorta felt bad for the massive caucasians that had to wedge their knees in. It was still quite dark when we started boarding the plane.
The cabin overhead is smaller than usual. So your regular sized trolley will NOT fit up there.The ride was pleasant. I enjoyed learning more about Myanmar (mostly it’s gems) by reading the in-flight magazine, the pastry and fruit served was delicious (from the same cafe in the airport) and they gave out these cute (yummy) pizza candies.
We arrived as the sun was rising and the arid landscape of Bagan greeted us. We were already spotting temples from the air. Our guide said that Bagan has so many temples that it’s called a “Temple Forest.” We landed on Bagan’s domestic airport to some serious heat. You’ll notice in some of my pictures of Myanmar that some of the ladies have some white paste on their faces. That’s natural sun protection, from ground bark called Thanaka. High SPF and sunglasses are definitely needed here. In most of my pictures of Bagan, I had trouble coz my photos wers so yellow, because of the sun!
We were greeted by these girls in colorful costumes, and our tour guide. They have some souvenir shops, a money changer and even a place for renting mobile phones per day because at that time (February 2012) mobile phones weren’t very accessible yet. A SIM card at that time could cost about USD 750! That’s without the phone yet. I hear from my friend based in Yangon, that nowadays it’s more common. In fact she has mobile internet now.
Be sure to read this!
We had a nice spacious van waiting for us and we were off to our Bagan adventure! I really wanted to take the hot air balloon over Bagan, but when we checked the prices, they were exorbitant. USD 300 per person?!? Holy heck! Mas mahal pa sa hot air balloon ride in Turkey! But… if I were rich and could afford it, I would definitely go for it. At this point in my life, $600 for 2 persons for a hot air balloon ride is out of the question.
We did do a lot of things in Bagan and I enjoyed our stay there especially at our hotel. Hope to have time to post more pictures!
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