This is the 1st day I will be exploring the Bagan temples. After spending the rest of the day of arrival in bed to get better about the food poisoning, I will be riding by myself an e-bike. An e-bike, or electric scooter, is the main mean of transport tourists use to explore Bagan. Either is that or a bicycle.
I met Sofia, a Spanish girl with whom I will spend 3 days in this city. As I have company, we decide to rent an e-bike for each one of us to explore the 2000 Bagan temples. I never rode an e-bike or moto bike on my own, so I’m kind of nervous. I don’t know how to ride this thing, nor even Sofia… Still, we decided to go. I saw the worry on the rental guy’s face, but I’ll figure out how to ride this. It’s not hard, but I prefer a bicycle as I can control all my moves.
I never got to ride this e-bike so well as Sofia. Riding it on sand and dirt paths turns the things ever more complicated. That’s the perfect trigger to lose control of the vehicle. As you can imagine I fell a lot of times on the top of the bike, or the bike on top of me, or through the spiky bushes… Anyway, I still remember stressful moments when I was seeing hills full of sand. But it was super fun. I also remember laughing a lot everytime I was falling. Sofia wasn’t falling much. At least that… She was giving me some confidence.
Once, while we were riding and I fell, I got an opened wound with blood in sight on my feet while falling from the e-bike. I start stressing I we were in the middle of nothing and all that dirt would get inside it. Luckily Sofia has some “1st aid” kit and I was able to disinfect it and place a bandage around it. It’s not worth much as there is too much dust going on.
–my problem of falling so much is that I’m always unconsciously accelerating when I’m trying to brake. So every time I fell, this was the problem, or not being able to handle the e-bikes weight was also a problem–
I love the feeling of being totally alone (just with Sofia) riding that kind of desert roads and being able to admire so many temples while just driving. We were so excited that we were almost stopping at all of the Bagan temples, to a point that we need to decide which ones we prefer to visit. As I have plenty of time, I followed Sofias wishes as she will be leaving town sooner than me. after she leaves I will check what is missing and visit it on my own. And so it was.
This was one of the best experiences I had on this trip. It’s such a chilled out place, so calm, no traffic, not crowded, so quiet that you find yourself in an idyllic set of a movie. It’s perfect. The wind on your face, the happiness that you can’t hide from no one is pure.
I visited the Bagan temples during the dry season so we were eating– literally– a lot of dust along the way. When you cross a car in the opposite direction you can’t even imagine the amount of dust in the air. I was losing my vision for several seconds as I couldn’t open my eyes while all that dust was around. But this is nothing comparing to the feelings you get by driving freely across this land. It’s a magical land.
I wouldn’t change anything about Bagan. There are no words to describe this experience of exploring this place. You need to live it.