My Strand Cruise through Myanmar had many highlights, but none perhaps as special as the first couple of days onboard when we explored some of the more than 2,000 temples in and around Bagan.
Many say that the archeological region of Bagan in Myanmar is rivaled only by Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and after having spent time exploring the beautiful temples of Bagan I couldn’t agree more. Between the 9th and 13th centuries, Bagan was a capital city and the many wealthy elite who lived there erected thousands of temples, more than 10,000 to be exact. Today around 2,000 still exist, survivors of time, earthquakes and neglect. But for many visitors, including myself, visiting Bagan is one of the highlights of any trip to Myanmar. There’s something special about this place, holy and sacred for so very long that the temples inspire a certain kind of introspection. The ultimate though is of course getting up far too early to climb the steps of one of the temples in order to watch the sun rise over the countryside. Like little termite mounds popping up, the sun gradually bathed them in soft morning light, creating one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever had the great privilege to witness.