Bagan is an ancient capital of Myanmar, and because of that, the landscape is riddled with pagodas and stupas. They’re almost everywhere you look, and yet every time you see one through the trees it’s a delightful surprise.
We spent our one full day in Bagan exploring temples by e-bike (electronic motorbike). Our hotel encouraged us to rent e-bikes from them as the best way to get around, but I was concerned about safety. After Grant and I conferred with Steve and Sarah, we concluded it was okay to give it a try. I’m so glad about that now! Riding the e-bikes was incredibly fun. They offer the freedom and wind-in-your hair (helmet) feel of a motorcycle without the loud noise and bone jarring vibration. Every time you start riding, it feels like taking off to fly.
Ruby rode behind me and loved it just as much as I did. In the late afternoon, she talked us into letting her try driving the e-bike. (We’d seen some local kids her age doing it.) On a mostly deserted, dusty road, Ruby took two short runs, getting the hang of it the second time. She was elated and proud.
We walked around several temples, and admired the many Buddhas and gold plating. One highlight was when we were able to buy a small, thin sheet of gold leaf and make it a permanent part of one of the Buddha statues in the temple. We watched a cloud-obscured sunset from the top of a temple, which gave a lovely view of the pagoda-strewn landscape.
Ultimately though, it was zipping around the country roads on our e-bikes, seeing pagodas large and small drift by, that we liked best. Hopefully we’ll get another opportunity to rent them later in the trip.