19.02.2013 - 22.02.2013
Bagan was once a city but is now a hot dusty plain scattered with hundreds of ruined temples, most about a thousand years old. It's sublime. The plaster and gold that covered them have long since disappeared; only the brick structures remain, housing Buddha figures, the remnants of frescos and nesting birds, slowly dissolving back into the red earth of the plain to complete their cycle of existence.
Hmm... have I been around Buddhists for too long?
It's an eerie place, despite the blazing sun. There's no life, apart from lizards and a few goats, and you can go for hours without seeing anyone if you choose. The temples are sometimes mirage-like, a faraway shimmer, appearing and disappearing, size and distance unguessable. The bigger ones were often better viewed from afar, when the distance lent a mystique that evaporated close-up. Actually this is true of Burma in general.