Balloons Over Bagan – What Goes Up, Must Come Down!

Taking a hot air balloon flight was a fantastic experience during my time in Myanmar in February 2018. Seeing the sunrise over the mountains and temples of Bagan, plus all the other balloons was something to never forget!

Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Balloons Over Bagan (February 2018)
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Drifting high above the temples of Bagan
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Yes, hot air balloons are a big tourist drawcard in Myanmar!

There are plenty of rules and regulations for hot air balloon flights over the Bagan temples. Generally speaking they do their best to fly at the designated distance from temples, not land amongst them etc. so as to protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sometimes mother nature has other ideas but I can assure you my pilot, an Aussie, versed us well on the rules and did her best to follow them.

Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Some of the vast complex of temples at Bagan
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Looking down at balloons far below me
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
The time to descend was fast approaching
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Getting lower
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
The 12th Century Dhammayazika pagoda in Bagan
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Farmland and a wagon below

As the saying goes, what goes up, must come down, time was running out and sadly our hot air balloon had to prepare to land. As we descended the random trees seemed to be getting extremely close and the ground was rapidly approaching, I could see farmers, farm animals and even dogs immediately below us and none seem to even notice! Regardless we landed smoothly and safely in a field outside of the temple area.

Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Descending… Photo courtesy of Balloons Over Bagan (February 2018)
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Those trees are getting kind of close!
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
All the balloons began to descend where ever they may be
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
A nice view of the countryside and balloons
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Time to land
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
No one wanted to end the flight but time was against us!
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Landed

The landing spot was full of waist high prickly weeds. I had encountered these buggers on previous exploring of the Bagan temples and no one, including the myself and even the pilot were too keen to get out there and trudge our way out in those!

Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
The heat is on in the prickly weed field! Photo courtesy of Balloons Over Bagan (February 2018)
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
This landing spot was no good with all those prickly weeds – time to fire the propane gas burning again
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Drifting across at low altitude to a better landing field

I felt sorry for the landing crew, who ran out to meet us as the pilot decided to lift off again and we landed in the cleared field next door. Whilst the ground crew secured and deflated the balloon, we celebrated the flight with a light breakfast and champagne!

Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Back on terra firma
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Deflating the hot air balloon in a field in Bagan
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
The ground team of Balloons Over Bagan quickly worked to secure and deflate the hot air balloon
Sunrise Balloons Over Bagan Myanmar
Whilst the ground team were busy, myself and the other passengers were enjoying a glass of champagne and a light breakfast!

My first ever hot air balloon flight was a success and a great moment in my aviation related travels. I guess the entire event including pickup, transport, the pre-flight briefing, the actual flight and breakfast lasted about 3 hours in the end. Thanks Balloons Over Bagan. It was expensive but such a great experience!

2 thoughts on “Balloons Over Bagan – What Goes Up, Must Come Down!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.