We flew to Bagan from Yangon. It's supposed to be off season during July, and indeed the roads were scarce of traffic and people. We rented a electrical bicycle for Kyat8000 which was practically for the entire day, and zipped around dusty roads in search of the biggest (and touristy) temples to visit. Sun was hot and we felt the burn after doing this for 4 hours on a stretch. Note that the streets were not brightly lit, so might not be such a good idea to be cycling on the roads at night.
There were many lacquerware shops to be found and we managed to find some really unique designs not seen in the other shops and bought a few items. Most shops will be happy to show you how the lacquerware are made. They are usually bamboo or teak, and all painstakingly hand carved. Excellent souvenir for the holiday.
We went to the temple to see the famed sunset (buy the ticket at the airport on arrival @ USD15) but was too early and had a drink at the site. There were many kids following us and trying to sell postcards and stuff, and they spoke a multitude of languages. I tried German, Japanese and Mandarin, and they can at least tell me their names and age. They can be quite persistent, but really harmless. The climb up the temple was a little daunting, as the slope was nearly 90 deg vertical. If you are scared of heights, may be challenging. Sunset was beautiful, and the landscape seemed to change as the sun rays extended the shadows of the thousands of temples. Note that the rules about wearing pants and covering up was not strictly enforced when we were there. I saw many western tourists in shorts and straps. Ask the locals what time the sun would be setting that day, so it wouldn't be too long a wait.
Overall a lovely trip, and I felt the city is on the cusp of modernisation, still unspoilt by tourism. Highly recommended to go have a look if you are in Myanmar.
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