We arrived in Bagan with almost no plans other than wanting to catch a sunrise and sunset at some point. And ideally we would find a quiet spot away from the usual tourist hotspots which wouldn’t require fighting for space. We found a pagoda to climb for each of these that gave us exactly what we were hoping for. 🙂
Sunrise from Bulethi Pagoda
We set our alarm for 5am, put on our warmest clothes and hopped on the e-bike in hopes of catching a beautiful Bagan sunrise. We arrived at Bulethi Pagoda just in time and grabbed the last spots directly facing East. Then, we waited. It was chilly! Like see your breath chilly. Around 6:30am the sun started to show its face and we immediately knew the early wake-up call was going to be worth it.
It turned out, the best was yet to come. Just as we were packing up our stuff we heard hot air balloons in the distance. They made their way into view one by one and before we knew it the sky was full!
Sunset at Shwesandaw Pagoda
We caught our first sunset at Shwesandaw Pagoda after spending the day sightseeing with Win (our driver for the day). It is not the busiest pagoda, but there were still a decent amount of tourists. Win explained that seeing a great sunset requires you to be at a high enough level and there are only so many pagodas facing the proper direction. While it wasn’t ideal to have a bunch of other people around, Win got us to the pagoda early so we could claim our spots. We then watched as tour bus after tour bus unloaded people, who were stuck fighting for a good location.
Sunrises and sunsets in Bagan are amazing to see in person and I hope we can make it back again some day.