Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Early Morning in Bagan. Bu Le Thi (Buledi) Temple.


One of the more popular, touristy things to do in Bagan is to catch the sunrise. If you're a photographer, you'll want to capture images of pagodas against the backdrop of the early morning sky. Bagan is home to about 2,200 pagodas, scattered about the plains around the small city. No doubt the best view of pagodas is from a hot air balloon but to go up in one will set you back at least $250 USD per person!

For us, this was our first full day in Bagan and just seeing the pagodas from the ground was a breath taking experience.  No need to go airborne to appreciate them!

Our morning began with a nice breakfast in the hotel dining room which is really a dining patio.  Situated with a nice view of the Irrawaddy River and under the shade of some very old trees, it was a wonderful place to have our first meal of the day.

Looking over to the dining area from the front porch of our room.

Heading to breakfast.

Looking back at our bungalow.  The door to our room is the one on the right; with the light on.

Enjoying her bowl of mohinga.  That was just the starter for her :-)

We were at the hotel entrance minutes before our 8a meeting time with Miu and Win.  The guys arrived on time and a short 20 minutes later, we had arrived at our first destination.   Ideally, we would have been here at least 2 hours earlier to see the sun rise but now, it's just seeing pagodas in the early morning light.

Win parked the van and when we stepped out, we were standing before Bu Le Thi (also spelled Bulethi and Buledi) pagoda.    I have not been able to find out any information, on the web, about this temple.  I'm guessing it's not a major temple.

Most certainly, it's a small temple and maybe not all that well known because aside from the four of us, there were only two other people on the site.


This being a holy site, we had to take our shoes off before we could scale the very steep steps up to the top.

It's a steep climb.  That's our van parked in the lot - the only vehicle there!

A view from part way up.


We weren't all that high up off the ground once we got to the top of the pagoda but it was good enough to have a nice view of the pagodas in the surrounding area.  It was incredible to see so many pagodas and each one was of a different size and varying style.


Walking around the square base, the views were different from each of the four sides.



Miu pointed out some of the major temples in the area including Shwezigon Pagoda which is one of the largest.





That's the outline of Shwezigon Pagoda in the far distance.

Not easy taking photos facing the sun :-)


I'm always the slowest to climb down so I typically will get a head start before the other two.  It also gives me a chance to take photos of them descending :-)




Initially, I was a bit disappointed that we had not gone to a more famous pagoda to take in the views but after having gone to Bu Le Thi, I'm really glad we came here instead.  For one thing, the view is really nice and for another, there was virtually no other tourists around so we could experience the place and see all the surrounding pagodas without having dozens of other tourists around us.  It was a really peaceful experience and a great way to kick off our first full day in Bagan!

Our morning in Bagan continues!