Backpacking in Myanmar: Cycling in Bagan

Tharabar Gate Old Bagan
Cycling Day – Tharabar Gate, to Old Bagan

I cannot cycle well. I tumble easily, and take multiple tries to start of. The dead plants at friend’s W house is a testament to that. I have knocked down little kids and had their parents glaring at me.

But there was a fateful moment in my life, when I took part in Night Cycling. Organised by my school freshman orientation camp, the night cycling involved cycling from school to east coast park throughout the night.

I remember it was quite – embarrassing. I kept falling, blocking people’s way, and blocking all the cars.

When I got back, I was so tired, and tried my best not to remember what had happen.

I wondered – Why the hell did I even go and embarrassed myself so greatly.

But you see, things happen for a reason.

I never imagined myself to be cycling during a holiday, especially in such an “ulu” place like Myanmar.

And on Sept 3, I did myself proud by cycling about 10km around Bagan over uneven roads, slightly steep slopes, with motorcycles and trucks driving past me in a foreign land.

Thanks to night cycling. Really. I think, I did not have as much problems starting. I relaxed my hands, so they did not feel so tired especially after gripping the handlebars too tightly.

I could keep my balance. I did not freak out when a truck drove pass me. I went up steep slopes, over a wooden bridge, very closely on the ledge of a raised platform , Thank God I did not slip, if not you might see me hopping around in a bandaged leg today.

I did fall down once, hahah (have to admit) when the wheel of my bike hit some uneven sand and I lost control.

But I enjoyed the breeze that fluttered my hair, the view of pagodas passing me, it just feels so good.

At times, we struggle to go up the slopes, I nearly want to get down and push the bike, but I persisted, and da da..

Thank you Friend S for leading the way, or I might just get lost. And thank you villagers of Bagan for your understanding. Now I can tell the Grandchildren, (if I am lucky enough), that Grandma cycled in Myanmar past hundreds of old temples.

Travelling challenges you to do things you never thought you would do. Some how, you just become braver, despite knowing the risks out there.

And maybe, everything happens for a reason. If you have a chance, take it, grab it.

You may not understand it now, but somehow, you may just know it later.

cycling in bagan
Cycling in Bagan
bagan child monks
Carrying the morning meal
Bagan pagodas
Thank you for your Pagoda!
Ruins bagan
The Ruins
Burmese lady grass on the head
Grass on her head
Burmese uncles bagan
Burmese uncles, like uncles all over the world need a tea break
Traditional Burmese food
Traditional Burmese food, very different from the Chinese palate

We were so tired. So we sat down on the praying mat in front of a golden Buddha statue. I am not a Buddhist, but I appreciated that moment. Surrounded by brown brick walls with the plasters half gone, I can see vague paintings of the past. Outside, the hot afternoon sun bakes the ground, as barefooted devotees walk across the temple courtyard.

Bagan English Drama Serials teashop
Watching English Drama Serials in the teashop
Burmese Cigarettes bagan
Burmese Cigarettes
Nyang U market Bagan
Nyang U market, Bagan
After cycling 10 km slopes. What cycling in Bagan is all about. 
Local festival bagan myanmar
We walked close to an hour to visit a local festival
Myanmar bagan gambling
Casino, Bagan Style
Bagan Domestic Airport
Bagan Domestic Airport – line of empty chairs
Bagan domestic airport empty
Saying goodbye, at the empty airport counters.