What's most impressive about Bagan at first is not the size or complexity of each individual temple, nor the condition, but rather the sheer number of them. There are pagodas or temples in every direction you look. Over a 230-year period, roughly 4400 were built. Earthquakes and serious neglect have brought that number down a thousand or two. What's even more striking is that many of these temples are in the middle of some farmer's field and so you see everyday life going on.
Temple at dusk.
Cattle meander through fields dotted with temples.
The toddy tree produces a sweet fruit used to make alcohol.
A temple surrounded by toddy trees.
A novice monk walks past Shwezeigon with his alms bowl.
A young shepherd boy runs through the field.
We met this family on our way to the temple in the background.
A young boy demonstrates how to eat the toddy fruit.
Temples at sunset.