Photo Essay: Sunset From A Forgotten Monastery

On our first day in Bagan, Myanmar, we spent a lot of time riding our bikes from temple to temple. We thought it was the best experience ever and didn’t think there was anything that could surpass it. But then we were talking to a shop keeper at one of the tourist stalls in front of Ananda Temple and he said that we should come back there at sunset. Well, why?, we asked. We’d already seen the temple in the daylight. Why would we want to come see it in the dark? That’s when he told us that we could get a wonderful view of the sunset from the top of the monastery just beyond the temple. and that it’s a popular tourist activity. We were floored. We had never even considered watching a sunset from one of the temples. But now, now we were determined that nothing was going to stop us from doing so.

Being able to watch a sunset from the top the ruins of an ancient monastery is an experience like none other. I’m kinda sad that nobody knows the name of the monastery (and that for some inexplicable reason I have no photos of it), but that didn’t detract from the experience at all. Kind of makes it seem a little mysterious.

We got to the temple earlier than the vendor recommended, which ended up being a good thing. There weren’t a ton of people there, but soon after we got there a few buses showed up. While we were waiting for the magic to start, we began talking with the people around us and listening to their stories. It was fun being able to joke with other travelers and hear about their interesting experiences. I really loved how happy and excited everyone was to be there.

While we waiting for the sun to go down, we were also taking pictures of the landscape. All those temples and everything around the monastery was just breathtaking.

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Htilo Minlo Temple

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Dhammayangi Temple

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins, Leimyenthna Monastery

Leimyenthna Monastery

Once the sun started going down, everyone glued themselves to their cameras.

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Ananda Temple and That Byi Nyu Temple

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Ananda Temple and That Byi Nyu Temple

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Those of you who know me know that I try to get photos of myself and Troy at each of the places we visit. One of our new friends noticed we were setting up to take a selfie and kindly offered to take a photo of us. I think it turned out quite nicely.Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins, Troy Daniels, Erin Tracy

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Myoe Daung Monastery

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

Once the sunset was over and we made our way back to our bikes, we rode past a grouping of stupas. With the light fading behind them, it appears as though they are guardians of the land and protectors of the Bagan culture. Stay strong, mighty warriors. There’s still a long fight ahead.

Sunset, Bagan, Landscape, Myanmar, Temple, Stupa, Monastery, ancient, ruins

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22 thoughts on “Photo Essay: Sunset From A Forgotten Monastery

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  4. Rebecca Swenor

    These are all gorgeous pictures and it would totally be amazing to be able to see all of this history. You are so lucking to be able to see all these beautiful places. I have always wanted to visit places like this so I envy you and thank you for bring them to us.

    Reply
  5. Shirgie Scf

    I didn’t know that Myanmar has a lot of awesome and beautiful temples and Monastery. And the sunset is to die for. I feel the serenity of the place with the effect of the sunset. Great shot and great essay.

    Reply
  6. Susan Quackenbush

    Almost every single picture is breathtaking! I rarely get a chance to travel outside the state, much less the country, so I really appreciate you sharing this amazing experience with us! 🙂

    Reply
  7. Megan Leigh

    Wow – those photos are stunning. It’s a whole other world. We just watched an episode of Parts Unknown where he traveled to Myanmar and it just looked breathtaking. Thanks for sharing your journey!

    Reply
  8. NYC SingleMom

    aren’t you happy you ran into that shopkeeper and took him on his suggestion. These photos make me want to head to Myanmar even more. All your temple shots both day and at sunset are just amazing.

    Reply
  9. Michele

    That must have been some experience. Those photos are magnificent. The sun setting showed off that area to perfection–maybe that is why they built the monastery there.

    Reply
  10. Heather

    Wow! That is so incredibly beautiful! I’m in awe. I’m so glad you headed his advice and took in a sunset in a beautiful place like this.

    Reply
  11. courtneylynne

    Omg your photos are simply breathtaking!!! Mom a huge Traveler myself! Love capturing moments like this 🙂

    Reply
  12. Audrey (Trhardmom)

    Those photos are stunning! I can see why people watch for sunset as the lighting and all the temples are gorgeous! I hope that you had a wonderful trip and the flight wasn’t too uncomfortable.

    Reply

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