I woke up at 6 am to go for a trail run around the temples.
It was really beautiful with nothing but a dirt track and temples all around me. Well, and some really aggressive stray dogs.
My first run-in with a stray happened when I was taking pictures of the sunrise and apparently I was in the dog’s territory. This dog came FLYING towards me, barking like mad. I immediately turned around and started walking away, but this dog was PISSED and wouldn’t leave me alone. He kept following me, growling at my feet. It was scary because I thought he would bite me at any moment. Eventually he stopped following me and I continued running.
The second dog was just angry at anyone who came by, and just yapped and yapped for a while.
The third occurrence happened on my way back to the hostel and was the most scary. He was growling and jumping, and I really thought he would eventually jump up on me until a truck came by and saved me by distracting the dog. The guys on the truck were so nice– they asked me if I was ok as they drove by. I must have looked totally helpless.
Aggressive strays are scary when running because they’re always behind me, so I can’t see what they’re going to do. I also think they get defensive because I’m running– maybe they think I’m more of a threat because of it? I’m not sure.
Other than the few scary dogs, the run was amazing. It was really nice to see the locals getting up to start their day, doing their stretches. I also got to see the hot air balloons rise up from a different perspective, which was cool. I even saw another runner!! He was legit. Hand-held water bottle and everything.
I had 7 miles under my belt when I got back to the hostel. After breakfast, I went to yoga with Hannah plus 2 other girls who were also staying in our room.
Our teacher was Alex, who travels to teach yoga around the world. Sounds like the dream to me. The yoga class itself was really nice: it was 90 minutes with a good mix of relaxed and harder poses. I always remember how much I enjoy yoga when I do it, but I don’t do it enough.
I showered, checked out of the hostel, and went to the roof to work for a little bit. I needed to record the intro/outro for a podcast episode, but there were a bunch of people around so I found a little fire escape that was private enough that (I think) no one could hear me. Trying to find private spaces to podcast while traveling has turned into a fun little game. Every hostel I go to, I find myself searching for potential recording areas.
For lunch we went to Moon 2 again. This time I got tomato curry with chickpea tofu. I really like the texture of chickpea tofu. It’s firm, but has a kind of paneer texture.
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Chickpea tofu!! Have you heard of it?? I didn’t know it existed, but it’s native to Myanmar and is made of chickpea flour, water, and turmeric. It has the consistency of paneer & the subtle taste of chickpea. I got this delish tomato & tofu curry at a vegetarian restaurant in Bagan called The Moon. (PS Moon 2 is much better than Moon 1 if you ever come to Bagan) #myanmar #bagan #veganfood
Next we rented bikes and rode to the temples again.
We explored further north than the first time. We somehow stumbled upon a village– everyone is soooo friendly here. One guy randomly stopped on his motorbike to ask us if we needed help with directions. He really didn’t need to stop at all, but it was super nice that he did.
It was getting close to 6 pm, so we went to find somewhere to see the sunset. We got to the river bank, which was really industrial with a bunch of boats, building materials, etc but it was actually really cool because you could tell this was where the locals hang out. We saw a bunch of people playing beach volleyball, chilling with friends, finishing up their day, working on their boats.
We rode back right after the sun went down to get dinner: we were running tight on time. We had a bus to catch at 8.
We went to Shwe Ou restaurant, right near our hostel. I got a simple but amazing meal of spicy veggie stir fry. I didn’t think it would be much, but the flavors were phenomenal. I also got lychee juice but it was way too sweet and I couldn’t finish it.
We got back to the hostel, I quickly edited the podcast (it was Sunday and I release new episodes every Monday), and we left to get the night bus to Kalaw.