Bagan, Burma


As for as the eye can see in all directions there are temples built of brick in the 10th to 13th centuries by the people of Central Burma. In terms of number and of size, they are incomprehensible. The massive amount of labor it took to erect these edifices, brick by handmade brick into fantasy land of more than 2500 temples is staggering. These shrines and places of worship, filled with Buddhas and devotion, speak of wealth and dedication that challenge our current sensibilities. Each temple and stuppa is an intricate work of sculpture. That there are almost no people living within the boundaries of these 100 square miles, gives it all an eerie feeling.

When I looked at our written itinerary, I wondered why our guide and tour master Andre set aside three days to explore these sometimes rebuilt ruins, until I saw their wonder. burma-shwedagon-pagodaI could not put my camera down. From dawn to dusk, I clicked away, trying to capture on film, that which, in the end, must be experienced in person. I’ve wondered many times how I could write about this place in a way that would inspire people to make the effort to see Bagan and Burma. I don’t think I can. It simply should not be missed and the sooner, the better. Someday it will develop and so much will be lost.


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Having journeyed to the Far East and Asia over 20 times in the past 20 years, I’ve been intrigued and inspired by the ingenuity, craftsmanship, balance and human spirit that have gone into the making of those works I have seen and collected.

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