True magic is hard to find, but we found it here in Myanmar when we took a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the temples in Bagan with Oriental Ballooning.
We awoke at 5.00am for our 5.30am hotel pick up, usually we would find it difficult to get up this early in the morning, but not today!
After a short 15-minute drive in the dark we arrived at the golf course, where the hot air balloons would be setting off from, and we were greeted with tea, coffee and warm pastries.
Our anticipation grew when the first light started to rise from the horizon and we saw the crew begin setting up the balloons for the epic flight that day.
Our friendly pilot, Pep, gave us a quick briefing before we head across to our giant green balloon to watch the final preparations.
It was so exciting to watch the balloon fill with roaring fire and hot air, getting so big it looked as though it might burst.
The crew then tipped the wicker basket upright and the filled balloon followed, the six green Oriental Ballooning giants stood tall and proud alongside each other, shadowing the eager spectators below.
We hopped into the baskets and within minutes we began to float into the air.
It was such an indescribable feeling; floating almost weightlessly from the power of a fire-filled balloon… it was breathtaking!
People began to become mere specks on the ground as we soared up into the golden sunrise.
From up here we could take in all of enchanting Bagan; the thousands of ancient pagodas, the vast stretches of trees and open plains, the local communities with children looking up and waving, this is what real magic looks like!
We were up in the air for over an hour and we spent the entire trip peering over the edge of the basket, ohh’ing and ahh’ing at every pagoda we passed and every balloon we sailed over the top of, all whilst slowly watching the sun rise and light up the once misty Bagan.
At the end of our trip we gently landed without even a bump, in the safe hands of our pilot Pep, and were greeted with a couple of glasses of welcomed fizz!
Glasses were clinked and we both said ‘cheers’ to a perfect morning spent floating above Bagan.
We both agreed that this was definitely a highlight of our seven months trip in South East Asia and a moment that would forever hold a special place in our hearts.
Oriental Ballooning couldn’t be recommend enough, from start to finish the trip was handled professionally and included many unique touches that you don’t get with other companies.
If you would like to book an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime, hot air balloon ride over beautiful Bagan then click here, we promise you won’t regret it!