Few stops on the road (we will still take the time to go to a market to look for traditional hats promised to the kids), we pass this time from the city to the countryside, with more or less hilly passages, before arriving on the rather arid plain of Bagan which stretches as far as the eye can see.
Here we are in the heart, on the west side, of Myanmar, whose innumerable temples and pagodas (including many obviously in the state of charming ruins) testify to the religious fervor of King Anawrahta, his successors, and the richest of his subjects.
Once through the entrance of this archaeological site classified as World Heritage by Unesco, visited a very beautiful and old stuppa, and located our will-be hotel for 2 nights (with swimming pool, that’s the very good surprise), we go (with Arty and Kyaw but without Irina or Greta) to admire the superb sunset on the Bupaya pagoda, at the edge of the wide Irrawady river.
No need for a boat ride, the view from the banks where traditional fishing boats are moored is just magnificent. And Loïc and the children can even enjoy a long improvised swim in the river with the locals, before a photo stop in front of the temple of Htilominlo, and a second dive, in the hotel pool this time, at night and just for us. We finish with a somewhat late dinner in one of the last food joints still open. Fan-tas-tic!
On the program for this day: stuppa, temples (Manuha, Myazedi, Myinkaba Gubyaukgyi, Nan Paya, among others) and photos in the morning, and time off in the afternoon. Finally, it will be, to start, a very instructive visit to a traditional factory of multiple decorative objects and handmade utensils (bowls, glasses, trays, etc) made with bamboo, covered with lacquer and finely decorated with water paints and natural dyes, or tiny fragments of eggshells. The impeccable adjoining boutique, a family business (as often) is full of products from this long and meticulous work, at prices, of course, outside our budget (we can still make up for it later, by buying, as a useful souvenir, less « perfect » glasses).
Then it will be again visits and photos, we appreciate and are surprised at the same time at the ease with which we can take Arty closer to the old enclosures, today low walls in ruins, of the countless pagodas.
We would spend almost the whole day there, but it was planned that we should relax! Stop a little behind the Lawkananda temple for a small relaxing session for everyone, and especially school.
Time flies, and it’s an hour before sunset that we realize we will be missing it from the top of Nan Myint Tower. And it will so happen: we will have to content ourselves with a view of the Popa mountain and the few pagodas lit by the light of the twilight, then in the dark night. And it is not in a hot air balloon that we could catch up: the price is exorbitant (around 300 USD), and in any case, it is not the season!
Nothing serious, we console ourselves with a new swimming session in the pool, before a last good dinner, because tomorrow, it’s back on the road!