Landing in Bagan, Kat instantly fell foul of the cheapest tourist scam in Myanmar, and ended up with war paint (AKA thanaka: the general-purpose paste worn by pretty much all women and children as an all-in-one make-up, sun cream and insect repellant). We then had to pay the standard $20 (or 25,000K) tourist entrance fee to the Bagan archeological zone – utterly unavoidable, but at least now we could console ourselves that the money might soon be going to a legitimate government.
For exploring the myriad of pagodas and temples that literally litter the 70sq kilometres around Bagan, we had decided on hiring little electric powered scooters. First however, we needed to find some cash, which was more challenging than expected, with an 80% rejection rate from the ATMs that morning!
A lot people could spend days exploring here, but we didn’t want to burn ourselves out, (as we did a few years previously in Eygpt), so headed for nowhere in particular, planning our next target by picking an interesting looking shape in the distance. Miraculously we still managed to hit most of the recommended sights, including the Sulamani Paya, Shwezigon Pagoda and watching the sun go down on the top of Shweleiktoo Pagoda. We didn’t just pick the ones that started with ‘s’… Honest! With a day filled with beauty and culture, it seemed only fitting to dine on a Western style diet, including a pancake and creme caramel in an ‘Asian-French fusion cafe’, and a pair of delicious dirty bee burgers in the Bagan Weather Spoons (Yes – really!).



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