Sunset, Sunrise and a Horse Cart in Bagan

We arrived early in Bagan on the night bus from Yangon, to views of temples surrounded by baron desert land, blazing morning sun and clear blue skies. It was truly a different world to our first impression of Burma in Yangon, where there was constant drizzle and grey skies. Unfortunately our first blissful encounter was cut short as Greg ate some dodgy noodles for breakfast and became ill, so we spent the whole day inside, which I was happy to do in the 42 degree heat! Plus I had to catch up on my sleep. Later in the evening, I managed to drag him out for dinner, luckily I found a great little restaurant, Pho Cho, around the corner, it was silent and empty but being low season it was expected. We actually didn’t realize it, but the restaurant also doubled as a puppet theater. After our meal our waiter asked very keenly if we liked puppet shows and if we wanted to watch one, he was so excited we couldn’t say no. The traditional music coupled with dialogue which sounded like it had been recorded from BBC Radio in the 1940’s made it sound like we had jumped back to British colonial times, but it was really fun even if slightly strange.Our next day was more promising, after the initial delay of not finding a horse cart, despite there being loads of them the day before, a bike rental shop knew a driver so we were soon off. We decided on a half day as we didn’t feel like it was good to stay out all day in the blistering heat.We of course only saw a tiny fraction of the 2,000+ temples, but what we did see was amazing. We started at Nagayon Paya, which was very quiet and a lovely start. Next to it was another temple which had a tiny stairwell, affording great views of the surroundings from the top.Next we visited Manuha temple, which wasn’t much to look at from the outside but spectacular inside, and also behind it was Nanpaya, a Hindu temple.Next we visited Manuha temple, which wasn’t much to look at from the outside but spectacular inside, and also behind it was Nanpaya, a Hindu temple.The horse and driver were great, although sadly I had forgotten that I was allergic to horses!! So almost had a mini asthma attack… I’m just glad we took the ride though as unfortunately we had read online that as more people use electric bikes to get around, the horses and their drivers are going out of business. The fate of these working horses in unknown but I can only assume the worst as there are no animal welfare groups in Burma.