Wednesday, August 13, 2014


February 17, 2014

     Excited as we're meeting Minthu for 2 days sightseeing by horse cart today.  I arranged this with him via e-mail on August 10, 2013.  My last contact from him was an e-mail I received on 2/14 stating "see you soon."  At 8:30 am we walk out to the road where all the horse carts are and we wait.  A man approaches us and says he is our horse cart driver.  I say "I'm waiting for Minthu and I know that you are not him" as I've seen a picture of Minthu on his website.  He replies that he is Minthu's uncle and has been sent for us as Minthu won't be coming.  What??  He says Minthu is getting married??  Anyway his name is Saung Saung, horse cart #102, phone 402753104.  I'm really disappointed that Minthu did not tell us this so we could make other arrangements if we wanted.  (I will talk to Minthu on the phone and he does tell me he has gotten married and the time he was to spend with us he is getting ready for a celebration of his wedding with his entire village.)  I'm still a bit peeved as he could have told us and not said on the 14th "see you soon" and not show up on the 17th!!  SS is very nice and really tries hard to do a good job taking his nephew's place.  He speaks fairly good English.  His charge for the day 25000k.
Saung Saung horse cart #102  Minthu's uncle

     We set off and stop first at SHWEZIGON.  It's located in Nyaung U area of the archaeological zone and famous for "Nat" worship.  Left unfinished on the death of King Anawrahta and finished at the end of the 11th century by King Kyanzittha who was the first elected king of Myanmar.  An important reliquary shrine, center of prayer for Theravada faith.  Built to enshrine one of the 4 replicas of the Buddha tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanks.  2nd tooth replica is at Lawkananda.  the 3rd is at Tan Kyi Taung Pagoda and the last at Tu Yuan Taung Pagoda.  Legend-if you visit all 4 tooth replicas in one day you will have luck and prosperity.   Largest bronze Buddhas in Bagan.  Bell shaped zedi sitting on 3 rising terraces.   Lots of souvenir stalls.

Ancient guardian lion at the gate of Shwezigon
Causeway with lots of souvenir stalls

White washed pagoda in the compound

Cannot climb


Gilt floral decorations

Nats-image of Shwesagar in the rear

Square temple


Beautiful lotus motifs and underneath are carvings of Ogres holding garlands of flowers

Walking passage

Prayer halls

Golden lion at the base of the pagoda

One of the most visited pagodas

     HTILOMINLO  Around 1218 on the spot where King Nantaungmya was chosen to ascend the throne.  The white umbrella had tilted toward him.  Sandstone decorations and plaster carvings.

Inside passage way paintings and carvings

Another Buddha image

Very nice stuccos

Ogres are carved to protect the temple from harm

 T shirt vendor

     ANANDA  The best known and most beautiful pagoda in Bagan.  Built 1090.  Well preserved.  Base decorated with glazed tiles showing scenes from the Jataka.  Home to 4 tall teak standing Buddha images.  Crowned with gilded corn cob style hti/umbrella.  It is here that we pay for our archaeological zone passes which are $15 USD or 15 euros.  (I was supposed to pay for this at the airport but I didn't know that)

Gotama-West  replacement for original destroyed in a fire

Konagamana-East  replacement


Souvenir stalls

Kakusanda-North  original
Kassapa-South  original

Nativity at Lumbini

King Kyansitthar

Shin Ahrahan, the monk who brought Buddhism to Myanmar

     Lunch-YAR PYI which is a vegetarian restaurant.  We both have vegetable soup and something to drink.  We're not all that hungry.  5000k.

Vegetable soup

     THATBYINNYU  Temple of Omniscience built in 1144 by King Alaungsithu.  Very impressive and the tallest at 207'.  Whitewashed temple popular with Myanmar pilgrims and a must see.  It's starting to rain.  Darn.


Buddha images all around

Statues of Nats

We pass by this on our way to Mahabodi

Passing scenery

     MAHABODHI   Built 1250 brick and white washed stucco structure.  Large square pyramid tower, conical spire.  Extensive exterior ornamentation.  The rain is increasing so I didn't take too many pictures and didn't spend as much time here as I would have had the weather been better.
Love reading about the temples


Embedded golden Buddha images in the corners-can see how wet the floor is

Sitting Buddha image

Enshrined small Buddha images

Another Buddha image

Pyramidal spire covered in niches with enclosed seated Buddha figures

Base of the pagoda

Base of the pagoda
     Our next place was to go to SHWEGUGYI TEMPLE but SS says with this weather we would not be able to climb and see the view of the Bagan plain.  We head back to the hotel and arrive there at 3:30 pm.  Surprise on the beds-art!!  It is now raining like crazy so no pool and the internet isn't working so a nice hot bubble bath it is.

     Dinner  STAR BEAM  There is a roof/covering to protect from the rain but the weather is nasty.  I order Myanmar tea hoping to warm up.  Lentil soup-yum.  DH has cashew chicken and I have roasted chicken breast with a mushroom cream sauce, baby potatoes.  Let it rain.  I don't care.  This food is so fine!!  Cost 10500k and one of the waitresses walks me out to the car with an umbrella!!  Ko is our driver again 6000k.  Arriving back to the hotel I have to side step the puddles to get to our bungalow building.  Hope tomorrow has better weather.

Lentil soup

Cashew chicken

Chicken breast with mushroom cream sauce


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