Bago, Myanmar, February 2016, part 2

An interesting thing about Myanmar temples is that many are much older than they look. It seems Myanmar has chosen to restore many ruins to something approaching their original forms, so though they may be hundreds or even thousands of years old, they don’t look like ruins. A few more photos from the palace: 

    
    
 After the palace, we went to Kyaik Pun, home of the four massive seated Buddhas, one facing each direction. 

  
Next, we saw a reclining Buddha, right now I can’t find the name of this one.

    
  
Then another reclining Buddha! Shwethalyuang Buddha is housed in a building of sorts. It had the story of its construction told in carvings along one side.
    
    
  

Next was the massive Mahazedi Pagoda. Note the size of the man in the close up to get some perspective on the size of this structure. I as a female was not permitted to go up there, by the way.  
 

My favorite thing here was a temple ruin that truly looked like a ruin. It was off to the side, had a gorgeous crimson color in the afternoon light, and was free of gender discrimination. No access inside, unfortunately. It was a nice exemption to the usual restoration of temples here.

    
   

The next stop, according to my guide, is an ancient and important Paya. It is a circular hallway inside the Paya lined with seated Buddhas. He wanted to take my picture there, so here it is. 

    

We went to a few more temples before calling it a day. I didn’t get the names, but the last one seemed to be an active monastery and my guide asked me not to take pictures after I had taken a few. He then tidied his hair and longyi (the skirt-like garment worn by Myanmar men) and solemnly bowed several times to a monk who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere.
  

    
    
  

Here are some photos of the last stop of the day.   

    
  
** photos won’t load, I’ll try another time 

** turns out I’m out of space, see trippingfantastic2.wordpress.com

   

 

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Bago, Myanmar, February 2016, Part 1

  The kids and DH were happy to stay in Yangon while I took a solo day trip to Bago. I could not persuade anyone to take the two- hour train ride and see temples in one of the former capitals of southern Myanmar, so off I went!  The ride went quickly and I loved looking out the window. 

   
When the train arrived, I began looking to rent a bike, since I had read that it was a bikable town. Fortunately, a motorbike guide talked me out of it. The temples are quite spread out and the streets are crowded with cars and motorbikes. 

selfie on motorbike

 I went with the guide. Our first stop was Shwemawdaw Paya, one of the tallest in the country.

  

Next, I wanted to see the temple with the 127-year-old Burmese Python I had read about. There he was in all his glory, surrounded by lavish pillows, many admirers and a monk. 

 

The next temple (can’t find name) was extraordinary for the ceremony that was taking place while I was there.  Accompanied by singing and live music, people were offering plates of fruit to a dancer, who seemed to consider before accepting. Someone explained to me that the offerings are for good luck. I was fascinated.

    
   
The temple was lovely, too. 

    
   
Bago had been the capital city four times in Myanmar history and houses a royal residence called Kanbawzathadi Palace. We went there next. 

    
   

There was a museum on the grounds. Original teak columns are displayed next to the restoration columns.