I was waiting for him that day to be able to go up in a hot air balloon. To begin with, I had looked on the internet at the various existing hot air balloon companies in Bagan. I mention it in my article Book your hot air balloon flight to Bagan.
I see that booking is simple, I enter my desired date and I read the description of the tour organized by hot air balloon in Bagan. The company just needs the address of your accommodation to know where you can pick you up early in the morning. What if I don’t have a hotel address booked yet? I can put in an existing one and request a change of hotel address later. And that’s good because most travellers like me don’t always book their accommodation months in advance… I booked my flight almost two months in advance to make sure I have a seat, as now the Bagan pass is valid for 3 days (5 days before July 2018) which effectively leaves only 3 dates to choose to book your flight. So I want to tell you that if you really want to have your balloon ride in Bagan, it is better to see the availability of your flight and then book your accommodation in Bagan after.
The day before my hot air balloon flight to Bagan, I went to dinner in a restaurant called the Black Bamboo à Nyang-U. The prices are slightly higher than the average observed on Bagan but the cuisine is very good.
Then I went back to my hotel at Royal Bagan Hotel à Nyaung-U, which has the advantage of being close to the “take-off runways” of hot air balloons.
That’s it, it’s very simple. I knew that for the “D” day, I had to be in good shape, and therefore put myself in good shape because I knew that I would realize one of my childhood dreams. So to do this, I relaxed by having a good meal and a good night’s sleep!
The big day: my hot air balloon flight to Bagan
It’s time, I wake up after a good night’s sleep. I do not have breakfast at the hotel because the service is closed at 4am and Golden Eagle Ballooning offers it to you when you arrive. Around 5am, a van comes to pick me up at my hotel, I leave with other travellers to the take-off runways. Once there, it is still dark outside but I can see some tables and chairs, some lights… it looks like a candlelit dinner… Which is not the case since it is almost 5:15 am, it is early this morning and there are croissants and chocolate rolls on the table! It’s time to have breakfast, to have a chat with your neighbour. The team of pilots comes to introduce themselves and welcome us. I understand that at this moment everything is well organized and not for nothing. That I have a chance to be able to afford this flight at a slightly high price, that I am one of the privileged ones. Not everyone can afford such “luxury”. I managed to do so because I saved up for a while for this trip to Myanmar and to make this childhood dream come true. The pilot with whom I am leaving is a Swiss national and speaks French, a chance for me to be able to understand all the safety instructions he lists step by step. We are witnessing the inflation of the balloons and believe me it goes fast… I had time to take some pictures. And immediately I get into the balloon last. At that moment, it is obvious that it is no longer dark but daylight (slightly). The takeoff is going smoothly, I was scared at first but you can feel so much just in the end, I was stressed for nothing.
We can already see some temples of the Bagan plain, or even large temples whose names I don’t know, but I know they are part of temples to see in Bagan.
I crack, I cry, in fact I am moved because I am aware that I am fulfilling one of my childhood dreams. I quickly dry my tears for fear of not enjoying the moment. I see many temples in the plain, trees, a few Burmese… it is early and this moment is really magical. It is really nice to fly over the Bagan plain, the experience is completely different from visiting the Bagan temples while staying on the ground.
I can even see from above some hills arranged for visitors who want to see sunrises and sunsets in Bagan. We fly over some villages, where we can see people greeting us with a wave of their hands. In fact, the pilot had lowered the balloon while maintaining a safe distance so that people could be seen. It’s like we’re brushing the roofs of houses. I am impressed by the control of this pilot.
Then we arrive after an hour of flight to a very clear place, I understood that we will land. Here too it goes fast… we put ourselves in a sitting position in the basket as indicated by the pilot before the flight in a hot air balloon. And we land on the ground, the nacelle only drags a few meters, two or three meters? I don’t know anymore…. And there all around the basket I can see the employees holding the basket so that we don’t tip over lying on the ground. This organization is crazy! Everything is well organized….. It’s super secure, actually.
We leave the basket to sit around a table with the participants and enjoy a few cakes and especially a glass of champagne. They have thought of everything, if you don’t drink champagne then there is water and soft drinks:) After exchanging our impressions of the flight, the Bagan plain with the participants and the pilot, we receive a flight certificate in our name before getting back in the van that takes us back to our accommodation.
There, it’s done. I realized one of my childhood dreams and I have no regrets about this experience. If you are interested in a hot air balloon flight to Bagan then to book it is this way. If however, there is no availability with this company you can try another balloon company in Bagan . Discover below some pictures of my flight.