The bus from Inle Lake to Bagan wound its way around a twisty mountain road. We'd been warned that the locals often suffered from travel sickness but it was still a shock when after only 5 minutes on the road the sick bags were handed round. It was hard to ignore the various retching sounds as the bus made it's way to Bagan. Luckily we both had earphones and the Frank Skinner podcast to drone out the noise.
Bagan and it's myriad of ancient temples are used a lot to advertise the incredible Myanmar landscape. It's on everyone's to do list and rightly so, the land is flat which means the hundreds of temples stand out proud as the stars of the show. It also means that everything is easily accessible by bicycle.
Initially we were offered motorized bicycles, apparently the next 'big thing' from Japan, although something neither of us had seen before. We needed the exercise though and these so called bikes were three times the price so we went with trusted pedal power. Little did we realise that we'd be cycling for six hours each day. Seeing tourists whiz past us on their electric bikes as we slowly made our way through deep sandy tracks covered in sweat made us wish we'd not been so stubborn.
Even though it was low season you still couldn't ignore the bus loads of tourists. Especially around sunrise and sunset when they arrived in their droves. Luckily Bagan is vast so we managed to miss the throng and cycle off at our own pace. We did get up a 5am and join the crowds to watch the sun come up sat atop an ancient Buddhist temple. It would have been a incredible moment on our trip but the constant sound of cameras clicking and the heavy cloud cover dampened the mood somewhat.
It was hard not to get drawn in by the magical feel of Bagan though. So many different ancient temples scatter the landscape and due to the lack of traffic there's a beautiful stillness to be found.
Our evenings were spent at Bibo a local restaurant run by a lovely young couple. Their happy hour offer of buy one get one free on an already cheap $2 cocktail set the mood nicely. Cooking on only a double burner Thu Thu managed to cook up mouth watering Burmese and Thai treats. The reviews on Trip Advisor all said the same, this place was special, so special in fact that we ate there five times during our two days in Bagan.