Pagodas - Upon arriving into Bagan, I knew it was going to be something special as I looked out the window of the plane. Across the plains of this newly opened destination, thousands of pagodas decorated my view in varying sizes and shapes. We drove a few minutes to New Bagan and checked into the Aureum Palace Hotel. As I settled in, I decided to take the afternoon to relax at the pool. As I waded toward the edge, I discovered a lily pond just in front with some groundsmen in a canoe. Just beyond that was the magnificent view of the same plain of hundreds of pagodas. Later in the day it was surreal to step inside some of these pagodas (tip: even socks are restricted on feet inside, so best to visit in the mornings or evenings) and spend time in the Old Bagan markets. That evening I hiked to the top of a pagoda to watch the sunset and witnessed a lightning storm far off in the distance with bolts shooting down on the plain amongst the temples and pagodas, a truly magical experience. Later, I enjoyed a special dinner puppet show with a feast for a meal. The following morning at sunset, I visited the tower on the property that provided 360 degree views of one of my favorite places on earth.