I had dreamed of going to Bagan for God knows how long. Years certainly. For the longest time, floating over the crumbling stone stupas and temples of Bagan in a hot air balloon had been high on my bucket list.
Now, finally, I was in Myanmar and was close to experiencing this for real. The month prior, I had been picking up any manner of extra freelance work to get an extra $300 to buy a hot air balloon ticket.
Excited was an understatement. Although, I was a little sad that I’d smashed my iPhone beyond repair, making do with my backup phone – an old Android, the camera on which really paled in comparison.
However, in typical keeping with MY luck, I arrived in Bagan to be told – there where no hot air balloons.
*Freeze frame. Record scratch. Close up of my confused face.*
“Excuse me, I don’t think I heard you correctly, did you say…there are NO hot air balloons?”
“Yes miss yes miss, season finish now.”
So, although Bagan was very beautiful, my dreams had been well and truly dashed. My camera quality was horrendous and so memories and my word will have to suffice. As it was off-peak season, there seemed to be a lot of restoration happening, and many of the temples were covered in bamboo scaffolding…
We still explored, driving around on our hideously slow electric scooter (the only thing tourists are allowed to drive around Bagan).
Pulling up on the roadside in the dust to take photos
The nice thing about off-peak season is that it rains a lot, and all the surrounding area is a lush bright green
For sunset we found a hidden staircase int he dark corner of a temple and climbed up onto the stupa…
The panoramic view was quite remarkable
Although we stayed until the sky darkened, we did not see much of a sunset. That is, until we were driving home and suddenly the entire sky seemed to catch fire in this incredible deep orange.
Hastily, we pulled onto the roadside and scaled a wall to catch the last glimpses of it disappearing over the horizon, the majesty of which, my crappy little android had no hope of capturing.
So whilst it had still been a wonderful experience, it hadn’t exactly been the one I was hoping for, and as a blogger / photography enthusiast, not being able to capture the beauty of Bagan definitely put a bit of dampener on my mood!