Balloons Over Bagan – A Dawn Lift Off!

Exploring the famous and vast complex of temples at Bagan, an ancient city of the Bagan Empire that was active in the Mandalay region of Myanmar from the 9th to 13th Centuries in February 2018 was a fantastic experience. King Anawrahta really got construction pumping from the 11th Century until the 13th Century when over 10,000 temples and pagodas were constructed – around 2,200 of the original temples remain today!

A great way to explore Bagan over a couple of days is to hire an electric motorbike. I did just that and set off on the main roads but very quickly headed off down dusty tracks seeking out the many temples, the less populated by tourists, the better!

hot air balloons in flight over the temples of Bagan in Myanmar
My first sight of hot air balloons in flight over the temples of Bagan in Myanmar (February 2018)
Exploring the temples of Bagan in Myanmar on an electric motorbike
Exploring the temples of Bagan in Myanmar on an electric motorbike (February 2018)
Ananda Temple – Bagan, Myanmar (February 2018)
Dhammayazika pagoda Bagan Myanmar
The 12th Century Dhammayazika pagoda was damaged in a recent earthquake and was under restoration. I would later fly over this temple with Balloons Over Bagan (February 2018)
Temples of Bagan, Myanmar
Temples of Bagan, Myanmar (February 2018)
Temples of Bagan, Myanmar
A remote beauty in Bagan, Myanmar (February 2018)
Sunset over the temples of Bagan, Myanmar
Sunset over the temples of Bagan, Myanmar (February 2018)

The huge highlight of my time in the Bagan area though, was taking a dawn flight with Balloons Over Bagan. This was my first hot air balloon flight and what better place to do it?

In the darkness the balloons were spread out across a huge field being prepared for flight. Propane gas burners were fired up to heat the air inside the balloons as they slowly inflated in the dawns early light. The glowing flames and those huge balloons made for an impressive sight. Then it was time to jump in the basket at take flight…

Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
A 5am start – lets get those balloons unpacked! Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
The balloon starts to take shape. Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
We arrived in that bus. Things are starting to get serious! Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
The heat is on! Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
The balloons begin to inflate with the application of heated propane gas. Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
Getting there… Balloons Over Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
The heat from these propane gas burners was intense! Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
Into the basket and ready for launch – that glow is from the propane gas burner! Balloons Over Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
We slowly begin to lift from the ground in dawns early light. Balloons Over Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
Lift off with Balloons Over Bagan – Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
Wow! My first ever hot air balloon flight begins! Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
The other balloons begin to inflate and lift off at Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Lift off! Photo courtesy of Balloons Over Bagan (February 2018)
Lift off! That’s me on the far left – Photo courtesy of Balloons Over Bagan (February 2018)
Lift off! Photo courtesy of Balloons Over Bagan (February 2018)
Lift off! Photo courtesy of Balloons Over Bagan (February 2018)
Burn baby burn! Photo courtesy of Balloons Over Bagan (February 2018)
Burn baby burn! Photo courtesy of Balloons Over Bagan (February 2018)
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
Glorious! Balloons Over Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
What a sight and the sun hadn’t even risen over the mountains yet! Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018
Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar 2018
Amazing! Bagan, Myanmar February 9th, 2018

Stay tuned for my next post on the hot air balloon flight itself. What a rush!

4 thoughts on “Balloons Over Bagan – A Dawn Lift Off!

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