Temple, Buddha, temple, Buddha, temple, Buddha. That’s kind of what we did for three days in Bagan. Basically, everyone rents bicycles and rides around the almost 2200 temples, which are packed into a 4 X 4 mile square.
We stayed at the Kumudara hotel, which is located in New Bagan. Location was a big deal for me, because I knew that I would have to get up well before the sunrise and ride a bicycle to specific temples for sunrise pictures. The best places for sunrise pictures are near Old Bagan, but they all cost well over $100 per night, and cater to bus-riding package tourists. For me Kumudara fell right into the middle of the intersection of location, value and comfort. As with most places in Myanmar, the staff were amazing, and would happily go out of their way to answer any question you might have, or make a phone call to book you a place in the next town. We also rented a horse and carriage for one day. The driver was a lot of fun, and took us around until well after sunset. It was a great value, and I was happy for the chance to invest in him and his family.
Hot air ballooning is popular in Bagan. It looked fun, but it would have cost Anne and I almost $700 to go for an approx 1-hr flight. Too rich for my blood.
If you look carefully, you’ll notice small photographers up on the temple shooting the sunrise.