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Myanmar: Temples and Sunrises in Bagan

Over 3000 temples, pagodas and stupas are sprinkled over the Bagan plains. Located in central Myanmar, it is one of the world’s best archaeological sites (although still not a UNESCO World Heritage Site) with many of the temples dating back to the 12th century. The scenery is spectacular; temples rise from the dusty plain, dotted between palm and tamarind trees, with a backdrop of the snaking Ayeyarwady River and the distant mountains just visible though the haze. __
I will try but probably fail to describe the spectacular scene of 31 hot air balloons being inflated in a field in the first light of morning. With the moon still up and the stars still visible, and the air dewy and cold with that pre-dawn chill, all that can be heard cutting through the still silence is the punctuating bursts of flame as the pilots test the balloons. With the sky getting gradually lighter and the buzz of excitement becoming increasingly audible, it was “All Aboard!” and a dash to the basket for take-off.…

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