a Burmese landscape
6am on a crisp June morning. A near horizontal sun finds a vertical man-made structure to model on the otherwise flat plain. Its delicate pink light gathers strength enough to chase away low lying mist and awaken the land. The sun's rays pay homage to the grand crumbling mountains of the endeavor of men. Higher more noble and more ancient forms keep a bemused watch over this folly as the passage of centuries slowly turn them back into dust. Pagan valley on the floods plains of the Irrawaddy River, Central Burma, was one of the most extraordinary places I've ever visited. The ruins of what was a vast Buddhist city are spread out in every direction across the valley floor. The homes of ordinary people, their places of commerce and recreation, and the palaces of their kings, all made from teak wood, have long since decayed away leaving only these brick temples and stupas as evidence of the city's existence, its former grandeur and the spiritual commitment of its inhabitants. stop and explore these ruins?