The ancient city of Bagan

A few months ago, if someone had asked me where Myanmar was, admittedly I would have struggled to pin-point it on the map. Upon visiting this country, I witnessed a place undiscovered to many tourists, traveled to by only few and somewhat daring individuals. At it’s heart, in the Mandalay region and roughly a one and a half hour flight from the old capital of Yangon, lies the ancient city of Bagan, one of the richest archaeological sites in Asia. The city is famous in the region for its sheer number of temples and pagodas – roughly around 2200 which have survived today out of the 13000 that were originally built in the 11th to 13th centuries.

After my first trip to Myanmar back in early September, a number of locals advised me to find the time to visit this ancient city, promising a lifetime experience and a sight like nothing I had ever witnessed.  At first I was apprehensive, but a couple of colleagues convinced me to go and thankfully I did. It was a truly unique experience and I sincerely hope I get the chance to visit again.

These temples and pagodas are considered holy and as such you can only walk inside and around them completely barefoot, which made the task of taking this picture only that much challenging! After watching the sunset on a private boat cruise, we decided to head back to the hotel for some rest. As we were driving back, I started itching for an after-sunset picture of the skyline. We asked our guide to pull over at the nearest temple, and with flashlights on hand, we started to climb the top of the temple barefoot – a somewhat scary ordeal given that we had to walk on the steep rooftop of the temple on a 15 cm wide ledge, carrying a flashlight, tripod and camera. Thankfully we managed through, and I was happy to shoot the following picture during the twilight hour.

Taken with my Canon 60D and Sigma 18-200 F3.5-6.3 OS lens at ISO 100, F5.6 and bracketed at -2/0/+2.

Bagan Temples Sunset - 1920cPS: I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year! See you all in 2013!

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