Everyone talks about the famous Bagan sunrises. You can’t miss it they say. It’s the most fantastic thing you’ll do in Bagan.
So of course, we set our alarm at 5am, sleepily threw on the first clothes we found and gave our teeth a quick brush before heading out of the day. We collected our electric bike little after 5am and after a few minutes trying to find the light in our sleep deprived state, we set off to watch the day begin.
However, what no one tells you, is that when it is dark in Bagan, its flipping dark. There are no streetlights and as we were travelling in off season; we pretty much had the road to ourselves. Following our trusty Maps.me route we turned off the main road and down a dirt path. This turned out to be the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was full of sludge, pitch black, boggy and within 30 seconds it was clear we weren’t going anywhere fast. The bike rapidly dropped to about 5km per hour before the inevitable happened. The bike toppled and we both fell off. Luckily, we weren’t hurt. Our pride even managed to get away pretty much undamaged as there was nobody around. At this point the sun is beginning to rise and we were stood, covered in what could quite possibly have been cow muck; with a bike speedily sinking into the ground beneath us.
After a 15-minute battle we managed to get the bike out of the mud and back onto the main road. We made our way to a temple and finally got the camera ready to shoot the all-important sunrise picture. And guess what?! There was quite literally no sunrise. I mean, of course the sun rose. But it was so cloudy the sky just appeared to get light. No magical colours. No hot air balloons. No Instagram worthy pictures. Just 2 tourists with muddy trousers and wet feet sat on a temple.
What a morning.