BAGAN EXPERIENCE: TRAVEL & SEE

 Bagan lies in central Myanmar and is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites framed with a hazy grey sandy atmosphere, a destination that can be compared to Machu Picchu or Angkor Wat. I arrived in Bagan(Nyaung-U) early in the morning 5:25am having traveled over 10 and half hours along motorway from the capital Yangon. I fell in love with the city from the very first day, for what reason I can not readily explained. May be because of their culture, the calm and peaceful tranquility atmosphere and possibly because of their food? Walking along the streets of both old and new Bagan, reminds me of Ghana,with the streets bustling with small economic activities(the survival of the fittest) and street hawkers at every nook and cranny. The carving, paintings and statues of Buddha big and small were in every house,guest houses, hotels, shops and restaurants I visited.

I cannot hold my disbelief when an increasing number of tourist mostly on their e-bike has to bargain in Bagan on almost every piece of item to come to a negotiated price. This was an eye opener to me and I also began to negotiate myself out even at the restaurants and belief me it works. The recent surge of tourist has created its own problems, notably the transportation and poor infrastructure linking most of the tourist products(eg the Pagodas) which in most cases tourist has to pay higher prices for e-bikes. Most of these e-bikes are not road worthy especially driving on un-tarred and sandy roads connecting the Pagodas.

I had my worse experience of my life when my e-bike broke down in the middle of dusty and sandy road, in the mid-day with soaring temperatures of about 43 degrees Celsius. At the end, no telephone contact and I have to push kilogram e-bike for 1km before hiring a taxi to bring it to the owner. I was a star in the center of action, when I managed to go back the next day with couple of group members in a hired taxi to visit the Pagodas on sun set. I was surprised when I became a star(Baganwood star) with almost every locals in and around the Pagodas wanted to take a picture with me, for what reason I can’t explain.

Yet, when I reflect back on all the experienced I had in Bagan, especially in Nyaug-U,I hope it worth going through as researcher and as a tourist simply because it put in the center of the materials or the information you need to know. I am proud of the experience and of the city(Bagan).

This story was written by Master TDM student William Nti Marfo.