Yes… there presently around two thousand temples that survive from the ten thousand build between the 9th and the 13th centuries, during the Pagan Kingdom (later changed to Bagan), which territory is more or less what is now Myanmar.
Despite being located on the banks of Irrawaddy River, Bagan is located in a very dry and hot area, where the scarce vegetation leads us to a savanna landscape. The intense sun and the temperatures above 30 degrees intensify this feeling, pushing the visitors to move around during early morning or close to the sunset, leaving the hot hours of the day to chill at the room or take a nap.
With the sunset the landscape gets a special touch when the last sunrays light the ground, enhancing the rusty color of the soil. This is one of the most appreciated moments, attracting the visitors is the search of an accessible rooftop or an easy climbing temple to appreciate the show. It’s a stress moment, with the best places already taken by the tour groups and excursions, with crowds climbing the steep and narrow staircases, and people pushing to reach the best spots, handling selfie sticks.
It’s a challenge and a good excuse to explore the endless number of temples and find “your” place… that maybe need to be shared with other people 😉
With the sunrise comes the quietest moment of the day, and also the most inspiring, with the mist slowly coming out from the vegetation, creating a layer of unreal atmosphere that evolve the flat landscape, where the temples and pagodas stand out.
But despite the tourist cliché, the sunset and sunrise at Bagan offer beautiful moments, where is nice just to sit and enjoy the magic moment, surrounded by an almost unreal landscape where the red color of the walls of the temples, pops up from the green dry vegetation.