Nov 09, 2010
Nov 30, 2010
Today is dedicated to visiting the most important temples in the plain of Bagan, beginning with the Shwezigon Paya from the 11th Century. This stupa's graceful bell shape became a prototype for virtually all later stupas in Myanmar. So holy is this place that a monk is chanting the sacred Buddhist scriptures on a loudspeaker 24-hours per day (in 1-hour shifts). I have the good luck to be invited into the small building beside the entrance of the stupa by a young novice to observe the monk chanting. We visit temple after temple, and are ready for a break by about 12:30pm. We return to the hotel for a few hours of pool time, then hit some more temples and a shop that demonstrates how lacquer pieces are made. Finally, we climb to the top of a stupa for astounding views over the countryside as the sun is setting. It feels like a dream. Dinner is at a beautiful restaurant in the countryside surrounded by illuminated temples.