East to West: Sunrise and Sunset in Bagan, Myanmar

Sunday, June 21, 2015


4:00 am.


At the sound of my alarm, I haphazardly began to don myย clothes. In my mind I was thinking, “It is GAME TIME“. My opponent? The sunrise.

Not going to lie…I was a little nervous. The last time I went off to catch a sunrise (Angkor Wat, Siem Reap) I was ignorant, so I drove off having no idea what to expect. This time I knew what to expect…



By 4:30 am my heart was pounding and I was seriously considering not going, but the stubborn Franca won out, and I left my room in search of the sunrise.

My momentum came to a standstill as I realized the front door was locked with a GIANT PADLOCK. Well, shit. Not sure where too look for help, I just started saying ,




After about 10 minutes, I was about to give up and go back to bed, when a door opened and a groggy staff member came out. He unlocked the door and I was off!

It wasn’t until I made the turn for the temple, Bulethi,ย that I started to relax. I made it ๐Ÿ™‚

There were already a few people there but I was able to get a prime spot, so I just needed to wait. As the sun started to peek over the horizon I was so thankful that I was able to summon the courage to leave my hotel room, because…

It was spectacular.


Bagan, Myanmarย Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar



With my adrenaline exhausted, I headed back to my bed to take a much needed nap. About 4 hours later I finally woke up, and I headed out to fill my stomach (and to get internet).

Back to Weather Spoon’s it was

I ordered another iced coffee (I was hoping it would be better today, but it wasn’t…. def not their forte)


Bagan, Myanmar


Then I ordered Ginger Salad and Spring Rolls. If you love ginger, as I do, then you will love this salad as it is literally chunks of ginger mixed with tomatoes, some other veggies, and a light dressing. NOMNOM.



Satiated, I got back on my e-bike ready to conquer my long list of temples I wanted to visit. The first one was Shwezigon Paya. This one was recommended to me as it is one of the most significant religious building in Myanmar. Built in the 11th century, it is said to have served as a prototype for later stupas built throughout the country.

When I got the temple I met two girls who seemed genuinely interested in showing me around. Oh, I am so naive.



By the time we walked throughout the complex, with them giving me flowers to offer to the different Buddhas, they said,


5,000 kyat


I wish I had a picture of my face. It was the perfect combination of ย “I thought we were friends” and “You got to be kidding me”.



5,000 kyat is about $5 USD, about how much I had been spending on my meals (with me splurging), so there was no way I thought they deserved that much. But I was so shocked that I lost all ability to barter, let alone speak, so I handed over 5,000 kyat.

Will the money help them? Sure. Do I like being conned? Hell No.

With a bad taste in my mouth, I went in search of my next temple. Htilominlo.



With another “check” on my list, I went to find the next temple on my list,ย which I could not find,ย and then my bike started to drive funny.

Oh, hello flat tire.

The rental company had given me a phone number to call, so I went in search of a phone. About 100 m from my bike was a Tourist Police Station. Thank goodness. The Tourist Policeman not only went and got my bike, but he called the company and took care of everything. Such great service! About 30 minutes later, a new bike appeared, and even though I had 20+ temples (if not more) I could go see, I just wanted to go back to my room.


ย 5:00 pm rolled around and I needed to decided if I was going to watch the sunset…

Feeling supremely grumpy I had NO DESIRE to get back on my bike and go watch the sunset, but I knew I needed to, especially since the sunset the day before was somewhat of a bust.

Being me, I got to the temple (same one as yesterday) around 5:30 pm, the sun doesn’t set until after 6:40 (To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is not to be). For a while it was just me and my friend (ran into the same boy from yesterday), watching the rain clouds.



Yes. rain clouds.

Even though my brain was saying “you should just go back”, part of me had this feeling that I should just wait it out. So I sat and waited…

First I saw BRIGHT BLUE rain clouds… weird



then I watched the rain from a distance…


Bagan, Myanmar


and then BAM. SUNLIGHT.



andย RAINBOWS ๐Ÿ™‚


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


I’ve never seen a rainbow/s as brilliant as this one.


I thought this picture was cool because of the silhouetteย of the temple….


Bagan, Myanmar


I am so glad I waited, because sitting on top of the temple, with only 4 other people, I experienced one of the best sunset of my life.


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan, Myanmar


I will never forget the feeling of watching the sun descending behind the mountains as she painted the temples with her last breath of light.



The day started with an excellent sunrise, had a sour middle, and ended with a DAZZLING sunset.


What will tomorrow bring?





Love always, Arianna the Wandering Pipette





Article Name
East to West: Sunrise and Sunset in Bagan, Myanmar
A beautiful sunrise, and a dazzling sunset in Bagan, Myanmar.

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