Wanderlust

Literary journeys for the discerning traveler

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Myanmar Diary: Bird’s-Eye in Bagan

By GeoEx Staff | 12/15/14

My heart skipped a beat as we slowly rose up into the sky, gliding through the air with the wind blowing us upwards. As we rose higher and higher, more and more brick temples and stupas became visible as Bagan’s Plain of Temples, a collection of over 2,000 temples more than 1,000 years old, spread out before us.

The early morning sun made the brick stupas and temples appear redder. Everywhere I turned, temples and stupas dotted the landscape—in backyard gardens and along roads. There were small ones, only a few feet high, and looming in the distance, temples hundreds of feet high. There were stupas of every size, shape, and variety, each with a name, and a unique story. The Irrawaddy River was like a border, framing the landscape, and in the distance glittered the golden tip of the Paya Ananda. Seeing everything from the sky was bewildering and breathtaking, with so much packed into such a compact area.

As we descended, we took a seat to prepare to land. I peeked out of the tiny square cut into the basket and could see that we had landed on top of a tree in someone’s backyard. We had obviously missed our targeted landing site. There was lots of shouting in Burmese as the ground crew attempted to drag us down from the tree. Eventually we made it to the ground safely and we patiently waited in the basket as the giant balloon slowly deflated.

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To view our varied trips to Myanmar, click here.


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