Myanmar: Bagan to Mt Popa & the Hot Air Ballooning Fail


Hot Air Ballooning

While we were in Bagan it was the off season – October which is also on the cusp of the Monsoon Season.

We were meant to start with a hot air balloon ride over this ancient city and it’s seemingly endless pagodas at sunrise. So up at 0400, morning ablutions sorted, bag packed, then at 0445 the call came through cancelling due to early stronger winds above ground level.

So back to out huge bed watching the river traders start their day out of our river front window.

At 0600 we wandered to the hotels buffet breakfast – the first and only decent buffet breakfast I had in Myanmar. Today was the perfect day to catch on sleep and chill by the pool.


At dusk we rented 2 electric pushbikes and cruised around the pagodas in the twilight – highly recommend.

After sunset it seemed that tourist police were set up every 500m – not hassling any one just making sure everything was ok with so many tourist out at night.

Electric Scooters were so much fun

The only downside to being out cruising at night is that bugs fly straight into your eyes and mouth.. not a good look.

I was rather shocked to see a tiny little light approaching it turned out that it was a truck with a torch taped to the roof.


Mt Popa 

Again up at 0400, all washed, dressed and headed to reception for the pick up at 0500. When there was no car waiting at 0515… we guessed it was cancelled again – sure enough reception confirmed – cancelled. While Frankie was devastated but it is the way it goes. So in the afternoon we headed off towards Mount Poppa. Stopping first to see peanut oil extraction “the old school way” – one cow walking in a circle and using a grinding stone to crust the nut and the oil flows out. Also the same plantation extracts the sweet palm water then boils it down to create palm sugar balls and palm whiskey.

Oh I just remembered, when we were walking home from dinner there was movement in the bushes – Frankie tells me it was a Ghost – no he isn’t even joking.



A temple that is built on top of a small yet tall mountain with winding spiral stairs… who are patrolled by naughty monkeys.