The former capital of Myanmar, Yangon, is swarming, teeming and turbulent … To access a semblance of serenity, better not stay too long. A one-hour flight from Yangon lies the city of Bagan. That can be seen from the ATR 72 of Air Mandalay sets the tone: temples, stupas, pagodas, almost out of sight, all built between the XI th and XIII th century … There are about 2200, provide guides in chorus. Originally, the site had to conceal at least twice. Some put the figure at 14,000.
Some visits are necessary: Ananda Temple, that of Gubyaukgyi, Shwezigon pagoda or temple Htilo Minlo. The bravest will rise to 5 hours to enjoy the rising sun on the temples in an atmosphere of peace and serenity.
For the record, you will not be alone long at the foot of the temples … Out of nowhere, women and children will not be long you ask for in exchange for a few dollars, you sell clothing, antiques and pseudo-stone “precious” often wrong. Or almost perfect counterfeit of the book George Orwell A Burmese history in French ( Burmese Days ).
Do not overlook the sunset sun temple Damayazaka contemplated that offers incredible views of the temples and stupas of the Bagan plain.
Several boats perform this journey in a few hours but only Road-to-Mandalay , operated by Orient-Express, done in four days for a trip truly timeless. This short cruise can reconnect with Asia oxcarts and fishermen while continuing to admire the golden pagodas that dot the route. The Road-to-Mandalay , 100 feet long and forty-three cabins, travels at the rate of 10 miles per hour.
Arriving in Mandalay remains a very picturesque moment where we see the boat slip in the middle of large barges loaded to the brim with teak before s’ dock at the foot of the village of Shwe Kyet Yet. The ship remained there two days, the time to discover Mandalay and its environs.
A 3 km south of the city, the Mahamuni Pagoda, built in the XVIII th century to house a Buddha of 4 meters reported the kingdom of Arakan, of interest is memorable. Just as the village of Mingun Pagoda with its brick houses a bell which is monumental, as guides, the largest in the world.
Above all, do not go near the village of Sagaing and the hill, living center of the Buddhist faith, which offers incredible views of the river bed of the sun as a last shot to take with you.