After hightailing it out of Mandalay, we moved on to Bagan – equalled only by Angkor Wat in Cambodia for the number and beauty of its temples. In contrast to the lush forests around Angkor Wat however, the Bagan temples are set in almost Disneyesque grassland. This smooth and no less lush backdrop makes the vast number of temples on the Bagan plain far more impressive to the initial eye – just because you can see so many of them at once. These are almost all smaller in scale and grandeur than in Cambodia, but their simplicity and russet colours make them stand out in a spectacular fashion from the landscape. Curiously, this clipped semi-grassland is completely natural – on a long journey out of Bagan through completely non-tourist areas the vegetation was identical. Much has been written about these temples – dating from a similar medieval period to the Angkor Wat structure, but built by different civilizations. I won’t say much about them – but will just present the effect of different lighting conditions on these wonderful monuments.
The final few shots are from the gorgeous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. This is the world’s largest Buddist Pagoda, and I have to say, just being there with so many devout and delightful worshippers was a profoundly moving experience. We arrived at sunset and stayed until well after dark, and left uplifted, cheerful, and determined to return to this wonderful country and this place in particular.
Myanmar - Bagan and Yangon
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