What’s an E-Bike I hear you ask? Well that’s exactly what I had been wondering before arriving in Bagan when everyone I met told me that I just HAD to rent the E-Bikes in Bagan. Basically, it’s just an electric scooter. Now, being a bit of a petrol head, I wasn’t sure what to make of these strange electric scooters all over Bagan, but given there was no other option, and I’m always keen to give new things a go, I decided to rent one.
When the man I rented my E-Bike from explained to me that “this bike go 80km, this bike go 55km” I made the rookie mistake of assuming he meant the distance it would travel before running out of juice; it was powered by a tiny battery after all! So, not wanting to go too far around Bagan I selected the cheaper bike with the 55km range. It didn’t take long to figure out he’d meant speed…
I jumped on my newly acquired bike and started looking around for how to start the thing, accidently honking the horn in the process, causing passers-by to wonder why I was honking at nothing while stationary, and finally gave up and went back inside to ask how to make it go. The nice man obligingly came out and told me that you just go and don’t hold the brake like you would on a normal scooter. Right, that was simple enough.
It was a strange sensation for me riding the E-Bike, given I’m used to riding normal motorbikes, but it didn’t take long to get used to. When I first took off I’ll admit I was a little shaky as I hadn’t been prepared for how light it would be, and it was practically silent, which again was a strange feeling. Add to that it had a top speed of 52kmh going downhill and mostly wouldn’t go over 48kmh it took a little getting used to. It also wasn’t the ideal bike for going off road to see most of the temples, but made for some fun navigating through the soft sand, and watching other tourists do the same.
All in all it was a great day out and I got to see a lot of temples I wouldn’t have been able to see without the bike. It also allowed me to work to my own time schedule and skip the overcrowded temples to get to some of the ones more off the beaten path. So, my verdict… If you’re in Bagan, you just HAVE to rent an E-Bike!