Bagan’s thousands of stuppas

Not a great night for anyone between those being sick and those tending to them or just being awoken by them. Callum was sharing with Jennifer and by 3am was so far at the end of his tether that he went and sat outside the room on a lamp in the courtyard and read a book.

Declan and Jennifer remained in bed while Callum and I rode around the temples and stuppas of Bagan in the early morning. There are something like 3500 buildings in this area ranging from quite small shrines right up to pyramid-sized temples. They range in age from a couple of hundred to the best part of a thousand years old. In the morning mist it’s quite a sight. With luck there’ll be more on them tomorrow.

Our last stop was a place making soy-paste which is the local delicacy. It’s an very involved process and horribly smelly. The amusing part was that the end of the process looks very clean and industrially produced, but is in fact made by a bunch of about 30 women sitting about in a yard stuffing paste into packets with their bare hands and then using an open flame to heat seal the packages so the end product looks like it came off a pristine production line.

We sat about by the pool this afternoon and recuperated. By the evening Callum and I were actually hungry, Jennifer was prepared to eat for energy, and Declan sat with us while we ate (albeit in a dressing gown and with a bucket under the table). Touch wood and we’re looking good for ballooning in the morning.


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