The Slow Boat to Bagan

Trip Start Nov 23, 2012
Trip End Dec 22, 2012

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Where I stayed
Kumudara Hotel Bagan
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Myanmar  , Bagan,
Wednesday, November 28, 2012

06:07 There was no need for my 515am alarm today as at 5am in deafening megaphone style, the monks, or chief monk started chanting down said megaphone which woke me up through my earplugs. I went for breakfast at 530 and found I was quite awake despite it being dark outside.

So we left the arawaddy river view hotel as the sun rose, went a couple of minutes down the road to the boat, walked down a bank and up a plank, through one boat and onto the other. We rushed to the top deck to bag a deck chair - a wicker chair not a Brighton beach chair, for our 6/7 hour journey down the river. We set off at 7am and found it was a cool breeze blowing across the boats deck so would be glad of some sun.

A little way downstream we passed a hilly area absolutely littered with golden stupas, just all over the hill. A very pretty sight indeed. We passed fisherman in small thin wooden boats, children playing on sandbanks and lush green countryside as we weaved side to side up the river to avoid the sandbanks (due to a pretty low tide). We really were going one side to the other of the river on occasion.

As we go down the river we see parts of the sandbank eroding into the river- great chunks just falling down.
16:21 After miles and miles...and miles...of very flat land with not a lot to look at we finally arrived at our destination our 6 hour boat trip became a 9 hour boat trip. This did at least allow me time to go through my photos, including the ones of Rome. On arrival we presented with a small blank on which to disembark, followed by a mud bank hill. Quite honestly I don't know how all these +50s are going to manage! There are plenty of locals who have come to watch and this made be considered good sport. Amusingly a couple of men hold a handrail!
17:00 It took a good half hour to unload the people and the bags before we were underway again- away on a bus to see a sunset and a panorama of Bagan.
17:57 The sunset occurred almost simultaneously with moonrise and left a very pretty sky with all the little sticky up dimples of the tops of the stupas appearing all over.
18:05 Ah...arrival at the Kumudara Hotel- it looks a pretty hotel! And there is in fact a very nice room and bathroom, with a terrace out the back of wooden decking sitting over a water feature, no one to look over you or anything!
I settled down and had a bath which was quite nice, before dressing for dinner.
We gathered at the bar and when I came to sitting ourselves down. Everyone else has a jolly time, it's the same food again- we have basically eaten steamed rice, chicken curry, vegetable curry, tempura vegetables and either banana fritters or fruit for every lunch and dinner so far. It has mostly been good food but several of us at this point are hoping for a little more variety! Our solo bird leaves early at dinner and we finish up fairly early as some people are getting up for a sunrise temple run. I'm glad to get to bed!

Best: lovely hotel room
Worst: nothing especially
Beautiful: sunset over the temples
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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