This post was originally published at Light Travelers, the site and blog of the photo collective I’m proudly a part of.
Arrived at Bagan with my mind filled with cliches and pretty images, lovely colors of iconic sunsets and ethereal balloons floating above the temples, an image almost too unreal to be true.
Found no breathtaking sunsets or hot-air balloons, a direct result of traveling in the middle of rainy season. In fact not having to find any of those probably was the reason for going in that time of the year. Bagan is in a delicate balance, on one hand it’s a glorious landmark, the remains of an ancient capital where only the temples survived, not a handful but more than two thousand temples, all together become one of the most distinct man-made landscapes in Asia.
But on the other hand it’s a rural area, in many ways like any other at Myanmar, where people worship the same temples tourists climb while searching the best sunset view, or plow the plains as far as the eye can see at the top of the same temples.