Tuesday, October 29, 2013

shwesandaw pagoda sunset

we saw relatively few tourists around Old Bagan after moving from one temple to another. until we went to Shwe San Daw Pagoda, which is famous for its sunset view. people gathered to climb its terraced levels. the time when we finally saw the large number of tourists there were in Old Bagan.
some came in carts, others by bike, some by van but the big bulk of tourists came in by bus. famous temples and pagodas like this one has ticket inspectors to control the access. in the same way, expect more souvenir and refreshment stalls in the area.  
no one seemed to be too old to climb up its steep stairs. some tourists of age made it all the way to the topmost terrace. all for the most awaited sunset view with the temples and pagodas turning into silhouette. 
two reasons why this spot is known for its sunset view:
 - it is one of the few larger and taller temples where people are allowed to climb up
 - the high perspective gives a panoramic view of the many temples and the nearby Irrawaddy river (Ayeyarwady River).
but definitely this is not the only nice spot for a sunset view. another famous point to view the sunset is along the Irrawaddy river through a wooden boat cruise.
the hotel staff recommended us to be at the temple at least an hour before the sun sets as tourists will be rushing to get the best spot on top facing West. we came in time and we got a good spot at the highest terrace.
to kill time, people went around the terrace to get a view of the other side which was equally awesome. others simply took their time chatting while others simply waited on their spot setting their cameras in position.
as the day's shade changed, it revealed the beautiful sunset. the sun's reflection over Irrawaddy River gave an even awesome effect to the view plus the dusty environ which also controlled the burst of the sun's rays.
like every sunset under a good weather, the wait is always worth it. seeing it from the top of Shwe San Daw is highly recommended.

temple category:
temple name: Shwe San Daw Pagoda
built: 1057 AD
height: 127ft (three feet taller than Shwedagon Pagoda)
king during that time: King Anawrahta

area profile:
country: Myanmar (Burma)
island: Greater Eurasia
region: Mandalay
city: Bagan

GPS location:
21' 10" 49N
94' 51" 58E

temple/pagoda complex access fee: 
entrance to the entire complex is standardized at USD10 per person for the entire time that you'll be in the area. keep the ticket as some temples have inspectors checking for your pass.

touring around:
Bagan temple complex is huge and your option of renting a van, a cart or a bike will depend greatly on the time that you have to explore the temples and your resistance to heat. some temples can be as far 25kilometers while you can find some stupas almost on every corner.
bus/van/car: comfort and you save time moving from one temple to another.
horse/cow cart: slow but a good experience of old local mode of transportation.
bike: active, fast and flexible but consumes a lot of energy. cheapest way to temple hop.
cost for the van/car/cart will vary on the temples that you plan to visit.
cost for bike: USD2-3per person per day. most hotels or inn offer this service.

how to get there:
by plane: there are regular daily flight from Yangon to Nyaung-U. the closest airport is Nyaung-U Airport which is just around 15mins away from the Old Bagan temple and pagoda area. Airlines with regular flights includes: Air Mandalay, Air Bagan, Yangon Airways
by bus: 
from Mandalay: daily bus trips are available to Bagan. duration: 6-8hours (estimate: USD10-15)
from Yangon: daily bus trips are available to Bagan. duration: 10-12hours (estimate: USD15-22)
from Nyay Pyi Taw: daily bus trips available to Bagan. duration: 5-7hours (estimate: USD10-15)
by train: 
daily trips from Mandalay and Yangon are available but the trip time may vary depending on the train stop duration. 

eskapo recommends:
1. if you have limited time, don't take the train as trip duration can change from Yangon or Mandalay to Bagan.
2. maximize time exploring the temples by choosing particular temples which are in the same direction or area. so find a map, which is usually available on hotels, inns and hostel. despite the large area, the most notable temples and pagodas can easily be navigated with a map. 
3. make sure to bring enough water when exploring the temples and pagodas. very few temples have people selling water and food. 
4. not all temples can be accessed and some holy sites should be respected. foot wears are not allowed when entering or climbing pagodas and temples. 

2 comments:

Photo Cache said...

incredible temples.

on one hand it's nice to see that people can enjoy the temples by climbing on it, but on the other hand it can be worrisome to think that this might accelerate the deterioration of the temples.

sheng said...

Grabe no, ang taas kaya, It would not be a breeze for me to climb that temple, mahina ang weak knees ko. LOL But I will try, only for the sunset!

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