Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 11 - Bagan (Afternoon Tour)

The afternoon session brought us out on a different path. Instead of going on the main road, we would take smaller dirt roads in and around other temples. A little more bumpy but much nicer views and atmosphere.  We'd visit some of the bigger temples this time and as the day was in full effect now, we'd start to be badgered by people selling their wares.  Most commonly was people selling jewels. I've never seen such beautiful emeralds, sapphires and rubies as well as the more expensive star variations. I was reminded of Indiana Jones, it was fantastic. It was also fantastic how cheap they were. I'm sure some are fake, but most I believe were real. Burma is rich in many things, one of which is jewels. The mountains are constantly being tapped for them and legally you are supposed to by only from certified dealers (getting a certificate of authenticity with the purchase and seeing most of that money go to the government) and if you're caught buying from not authorized dealers the government can take the jewels away.  So it's best to not by from the vendors, even though the prices go from $300 to $50 in a few minutes of bargaining.  I really wanted to buy an emerald, as I love the color green, but I couldn't afford it as there are no ATM's in Burma so you have to come with all they money you plan to use. I don't know if I have enough so bye-bye emeralds. (I think I'll be ok, it's a want vs need thing.)  The people I was with bought a beautiful sapphire and the guy they bought from proceeded to follow us around trying to sell more. Logic doesn't always seem to come into play in Asia. We couldn't understand why he'd try to sell us more when we already bought from him instead of trying to sell to people who hadn't bought. Anyways, it's best to not be too logical in Asia.  

Many of the temples we saw in the afternoon had stucco paintings of buddha, various stories or tales, as well as animals (elephant being most common).  The last one we'd visit before going to our sunset view was the Ananda temple, which is one of the prettiest and most famous as well as one of the largest temples in Bagan.  There are four buddha's in the temple, one for each direction, and they are made out of teak wood, as teak is very sturdy, durable as well as abundant throughout the country.  

Next we were off to visit the most visited temple at this time of day, the one to catch the sunset at.

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