There's nothing like seeing the sunrise over the ancient temples of Bagan in a hot air balloon.
There is no chance of the basket swaying or shaking in the sky. The basket is huge, weighs nearly 1,000 lbs, and is divided into different compartments to distribute the weight. Even if there was a fool trying to jump up and down to move the basket they would be very unsuccessful! The basket is also very comfortable - inside each little compartment is a padded bench in case you wanted to sit down and the sides and edges are also padded.
Then, before I even realized what had happened, we were off the ground.
As we watched the balloons being packed up and saw the crew work together to hoist the massive basket on the back of the truck, Graeme told us that the pilots didn't accept tips but anyone wishing to acknowledge the hard work of the local crew could leave a tip in the box on the bus. He said they were one of the best crews he ever worked with and, given their harmonized movements when packing up the balloon, I can certainly see them worthy of such high praise.
Hot air balloon rides definitely fall into the "splurge" category and those in Bagan are no exception. Prices start at $320 US per person, which is an average price for most markets. Without a doubt, this is the most worthy splurge I've ever come across. It would be well worth swapping a few nights in a hotel for a guesthouse or hostel in order to pay for a Balloons Over Bagan experience. It was the the most stunning travel experience of my life and has set the bar for all future travel experience.
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If you enjoyed this article, you'll also like:
Sailing The Irrawaddy - Traveling from Mandalay to Bagan by Boat.
Welcome to Mandalay - Day 9 of Our Round The World Trip.
Everything You Need to Know About the Mandalay Airport.
Besotted with Bagan: Day 10 &11 of Our Round The World Trip
At Long Last: Yangon. Day 12 &13 of Our Round The World Trip
Guest House Review:Yangon's Motherland Inn 2
The WORST Travel Experience of my Life: The Overnight Train from Bagan to Yangon
Balloons Over Bagan provided us with a media rate in exchange for a review. This compensation did not affect our experience and all opinions remain my own.