I sat with my feet dangling over the edge of the temple, just waiting. We had arrived early and had climbed up to, what was at the time, a fairly quiet and empty level.
Watching from our vantage point as the sun started to dip towards the horizon, we saw two boys about 100 meters away, clamber right up to the tip of a crumbling pagoda. They were obviously accomplished climbers….and fearless! They got to the top and took up position to watch us watch the sunset!
And what a spectacle it must have been from their vantage point. As I found my spot I looked down towards the entrance and watched in disbelief as coach after coach drew up, spewing dust everywhere. From each coach poured tourists of numerous different nationalities, heading straight for us. I was not sure how all these people were possibly going to be able to cram onto this one temple without some serious damage being done. They all streamed onwards and upwards to fill in every available gap on each level, the sun getting progressively lower as they did so.
I sat, now getting jostled from behind, trying to enjoy what was supposed to be one of the ‘must do’ experiences of Bagan. I must admit that the sunset behind the pagodas that stretch across the countryside is pretty spectacular. You get an amazing view of the sea of temples reaching outwards from the temple…..but turn around and look back up behind you, then you will see a real sight!
For a moment, it felt like the crowds of people who were there, all to see the same thing, kind of detracted from the amazement of it all. There doesn’t seem to be any way that you can escape this though and when you are stood behind a gaggle of Chinese woman all dressed in pink, who are posing like there is no tomorrow, you can’t help but smile! It’s all part of the experience!
3 thoughts on “Bagan – Sunsets and Sightseers”
Hahah! Tourism is a controversial thing. We are all adding to the crowd but we want to be the only ones there, true explorers! 😀
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That’s so true! It’s definitely something to be mindful of these days, overtourism seems to be an increasing issue at so many spots now.
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