Thursday, May 23, 2013

Carefree Days in Bagan (II) - Old Bagan and 戴永明's birthday !

We started our day early, about 6am..? We were so excited that we're all gonna head to Old Bagan to catch the sunrise ! Even excited for Mamu, 戴永明 and I, cuz we're gonna ride our bikes there ! We rented it from a shop next door, just 1500 kyats for a day ! Irena and Ji Ee took a horse carriage there.

The bicycle ride was longer than we taught ! But was so much fun ! The fact that we lazybums woke up so early, riding bicycles in the morning breeze ( and in the dark too, although our bicycles have dynamo torch fixed at the front wheel) just to catch the sunrise ! What a remarkable experience... The ride is about 45 minutes.. We were a little worried as the place got brighter. We got lost once or twice too.

The very first time I google-d 'Myanmar', images of Shwedagon and Old Bagan came out. I was mesmerise by Bagan then. Looking forward since I arrived in Yangon, I'm finally in Bagan ! I often describe it as a 'desert', with bricks-made stupa scattered everywhere. Simply beautiful. It took me quite a while to believe I'm finally here ! It's in front of my eyes !

There was only one 'road', properly tarred. We didn't know which stupa to go to. Not all stupa has steps for us to climb up and catch the sunrise. Luckily there's 'horse carriage driver' saved us. He directed us to the specific stupa. Well there were more early birds there patiently waiting for sunrise. We got our bikes up the pavement and onto the 'desert'. First time cycling on sand I guess. It wasn't easy.. Haha. requires lot more energy. When we reach the bottom of the stupa, there were horse carriages and few cute authentic mini vans there. We parked our bikes and climbed up the steps. Kinda steep so we gotta be careful. And of course, our gentlemen/birthday boy helped us too :).
A stupa we passed by
The only tarred road
Love the colour !


Once we reach the top, my god ! Breath-taking!! There were quite a lot of tourist up there, as well as backpakers. Some already set-up their tri-pods ready for sunrise. The pros ! There were this American Couple sitting next to me. They were talking to another family. I wasn't eavesdropping but someone someone happy birthday , so I turned around to wish that 'someone' too. What a coincidence, I told them it's 戴永明's birthday too !
We were in time !!
They had hot air balloons, but 200USD !! for about 45 mins ! :(
戴永明 and I were so looking forward to the hot air ballon but we had our budget in mind :)
I believe I can fly...haha
Ahhh...! Cant believe my eyes !

We sat, we waited, we enjoyed the moment. Finally, we saw, the sun, slowing rising up from the horizon. I was really WOW-ed by the scenery. Made me feel how I'm too 'city' , I really understand the saying : The Best Things in Life are Free...

First time in my life, I observed the entire process of sunrise..I couldn't believe this priceless phenomena happen every single day but I just never value it as much..

After sunrise, we cycled around tho we were kinda hungry. This part was fun, 戴永明 was doing video recording while we cycled. Looking forward to see those video ! Mamu was ahead of us, we just followed her where ever she stopped to have a look at some stupas.. I enjoyed that morning so much !

Most of the stupas are quite similar. Made of bricks, white sitting Buddha statue inside. The stupas look really ancient.

There, our super star of the day ! :)))

The environment is really peaceful. No one wad there, just three of us, sandy grounds with stones, few big trees. Perfect !

After that we 'tried' to cycle back for breakfast.'Tried' as in we didn't really know the way back. Haha. I checked out the map and 'agak-agak' led the way back ! haha Didn't use the same road we came, you know, mummy always encourage us to try new stuff, no point going back the same way. On the way there are many horse carriages.. After maybe 15 mins ( nearer to the new bagan) we start to see restaurants and guesthouses. At one time we saw locals teaching some tourists play sepak takraw outside a restaurant. See how homey is Bagan !

Everywhere around Myanmar ( I really mean everywhere ), there'll be a small hut or sometimes just a stand or a table with follow-pot-like thingy on top. Inside is water, for anybody. We see this every 20mins. Sorry I couldn't describe it well, a picture will do the job :)
Sorry, photo taken in Mandalay, didn't take any of those in Bagan :(

After 45mins we reached the our Motel. It was already hot then but it didn't really bother us. Very dry as well, you could feel it on your hair, dry, rough and sandy. But aikss..those are least of my concern... Very much enjoying my every second in Bagan. But I was allergy on my lips tho. Was all red and itcy.

After breakfast ( as usually, omelet, some fruits, toast bread and tea ), everybody went back to rest... 戴永明, mamu, ji ee are all sleeping... Mummy must be surprised if she knew I was awake..haha
I was thinking and thinking ang thinking... I started to realise how superficial my life is.. Especially with my schoolmates and people from camp... All about looking nice, having all the high fashion stuffs, just to get into the flow, so that people won't think we're that poeple would like us, so that you'll get more likes in facebook..Is that really why we're living ? Striving to look good seem good, be popular with the criteria set by the society, so that people would like us for what we are try to become instead of who we really are ? Trying to be pretty and popular is like wanting to having the latest mobile phone.. There's never a end to this...It'll just cost you more and more, this desire in the society are like GOLD to companies like Apple and Samsung.. with the right marketing, they are the one who decide what YOU should have..!

Anway....As I was saying.. these thoughts keep coming in.... I did a lot a lot of thinking...
After that I decided to have some time alone with myself.. I went next door to a 'kopitiam' where we rented our bikes. I ordered a advargado juice (very common there) and started reading lonely planet with my earphones on...

After I'm done with lonely planet, (btw just read about old bagan ), I sat there for a while, took off my earphones, unconciously started thinking again..All about 'life' and stuff...weird huh... Meanwhile I listen to the voice of Bagan... Noises from the streets, vehicle, people talking..and so on..

When I went back to the dorm outside our room, 戴永明 was still sleeping and ji ee wanted to go out to the market so I accompanied her.. I wanted to buy bus tickets to Mandalay too..
We cycled less than 5mins to the market , a MAZE I would say... Ji ee and I split up and explored the market on our own, we said we were gonna meet at our bicycles at about 1:15..but...the place was so confusing that she couldn't find her way out, she was late for abut 15min..

Check out the structure !
Bamboo shoots

Belacan I think ?

See ! We don't need machine!

Leisure time for you guys ! Ladies busy selling vegetables ?

There's sea shells in the bowl.. They're gambling but I didn't get the game tho observing for quite a while

Vegetable Seller, the ladies....
What a coinsidence, I saw 戴永明 passing by with his bicycle, wanted to ask him back, before I could he's already back :)
Ji ee came out a few minutes after that.. Ji ee was hungry so we decided to have lunch...We cycled down the other direction (not the one to the market or old bagan).. Found a kopitiama and just had our lunch there... Ji ee's stomach was still not well, so she TRIED to take 'cheng-theng' noodle soup but you know, it's usually more saltish than Malaysian food..( which is great for people like me ! ) 戴永明 ate some fried rice I think and I had a little samosa..the very last one... I like it very much !!
It's time for us to buy bus tickets... Ji ee wanted to wander around more and 戴永明 and I went scouting aroung for cheaper tickets to Mandalay...Ended up at this agent, looks reliable... Not very expensive., around 7500 kyats/person.. Slightly cheaper for the locals...

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