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Drifting over a forest of pagodas (Bagan, Myanmar)

Yet another view of magical Bagan at sunrise, this time taken from a balloon sailing within metres of the pagodas. Amazing one hour flight...

 

It started very early in the morning before sunrise when an old wooden bus picked us up at our hotel. A 30 mns drive on bumpy roads and we reached the takeoff site where a busy staff was already inflating the balloon. A stylish old english man introduced himself as the pilot and gave us security instructions. A few minutes later we were away, soaring above the trees and drifting on a light breeze over the little village and through plumes of smoke from the kitchen fires. As we climbed, the plain emerged flat and criss-crossed with ancient pathways showing up like scars in the grey light. To the East, the glimmer on the horizon became a pink glow and, while we watched, the sun burst free above the distant hills, bathing the landscape with gold and laying out before us, like a massive chess board, the 2000 temples and pagodas of Bagan! We drifted silently over forests of glittering stupas set in the landscape of scrub and sand.

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Uploaded on February 13, 2008