Hot-air balloons rise over the plains of Bagan, Myanmar. // © 2015 Melody Chen
In the cover of darkness before the sunrise, our hot-air balloon floated up slowly over the plains in Bagan, Myanmar, illuminated only by flashes of flame from the burner as our pilot nudged our balloon higher and higher. But as the sun rose, a sea of red, yellow and green hot-air balloons surrounded us in the sky.
From our incredible, 360-degree vantage point in the air, we ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the surreal display of thousands of pagodas rising out of the mist. The beautiful rambling temples — in hues of marigold, brown, red, orange, gray and dusty white — dotted the green fields below us, all bathed in the hazy yellow glow of the sun.
“Good morning to you, too, Bagan,” I thought.