A helping hand in mystical Bagan / by Dimitra Taslim

Bagan is an ancient city in central Myanmar, located by the eastern banks of the Ayeyarwady River. It is known as the Bagan Archaeological Area, where more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments tower over endless plains. Cast onto the dusty and misty plains, and dotted with spires of pagodas and temples, sunsets in Bagan are stupendous. You could quickly get lost in your own thoughts whilst staring out into the vast expanse of warm, golden light.

Although the beauty of Bagan dazzled my senses, it was the spirit of the people that captured my imagination. We had more than our fair share of punctures on our rented bikes, but every person who helped patch our tyres asked for nothing in return. Not a cent. 

Check out the sole of my flip flop in the picture above. The ingenious Burmese man from a remote village in Bagan fixed it with a metal hook. These people are kind and intelligent, and espouse a level of community spirit unseen in our apparently more civilised societies - who's the primitive one?