Date Visited: 10th January 2014
Immediately after we done with gazing at mesmerising and awe-inspiring sunrise view of Bagan with the layer of mist and hot balloons flying over abundant of small and medium temples, we then proceeded with temples and monastery hopping before we could eventually check-in into our hotel. We chartered a mini van that can accommodate 6 of us perfectly and we agreed with the charge of 50,000 kyats (approx. to US$51 or RM168) for the full whole day.
We started off with Thatbyinnyu Phaya, a famous old temple situated in Old Bagan. The uniqueness of this temple is that it has a square base shaped, surrounded by diminishing terraces, rimmed with spires. It has two primary storeys, with the seated Buddha image placed on the second storey.
To know more about Thatbyinnyu Phaya, you can check here.
Plated with completely shining and bright gold, the Shwezigon Pagoda is one of the most significant religious buildings in Myanmar. It is believed to be the first ever pagoda built in the Burmese style. Somehow, somewhere I felt that this pagoda looks very similar to Shwedagon Pagoda, the one located in Yangon which also completely plated with impressive gold.
Gu Byauk Gyi Temple
Gu Byauk Gyi Temple is a Buddhist temple built in the south of Bagan, nearby Myinkaba Village. It is notable for contains a wide array of well-preserved frescoes on its interior walls, the oldest original paintings to be found in Bagan. In order to protect these frescoes, one is not allowed to take any photos inside the temple. It was pretty dark inside the temple to view all these old paintings and hence, it is advisable to bring torchlight but I believe nowadays most of our smartphones have built in torchlight function. But because we were not accompanied by any good guide for more detailed of these paintings, we went out early and seem like we're more interested with the paintings outside which sold by street artists.
Phya That Gyi Pagoda
In Phya That Gyi Pagoda, it offers the most spectacular sunset views in Bagan as it allows visitors access to the roof for 360 degree views. Once again before we could literally climb up, we need to remove our shoe and socks before we struggle to get through the narrow and steep staircases.
To be frank, some of these temples and pagodas were so identical and indistinguishable and we're completely having hard time to identify each and every of them. Some without any clear signboard stated the name of them and even we found, it was in their own Burmese language. Let's take example for the photo as below, just when I thought it was Dhammayangyi Temple, turned out it wasn't. Tried to browse through Google but up to now, I unable to find the name of this temple.
Besides the temples, pagodas and monasteries as above, we also requested the driver to bring us to Nyaung U Market, a bustling local market in order for us to exchange more of their local kyats. Not just this an ideal place to hunt all Myanmar local goods, ranging from traditional longyi to rattan items and tea leaves, but this is excellence occasion for photoshooting and take a glimpse on how these busy native people perform selling and buying activities in early morning.