Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi visited this ancient city of temples and met her youngest son on Monday during her first trip to the countryside after being released from house arrest in Yangon in November.
The 66-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate plans to spend four days in Bagan, also known as Pagan, where her son Kim Aris is visiting from Britain.
She was here last in 1989 for a political appearance that drew thousands of residents.
Ms. Suu Kyi is also planning more trips to meet supporters outside of the capital, though the state-controlled media last week warned her against political trips, saying they could cause chaos.
Her last political trip to the countryside in 2003 drew huge crowds but also earned the wrath of the then-in-power military government whose supporters ambushed her entourage. She was eventually detained and placed under house arrest. She was met at the Bagan airport by her son, her pet dog and a host of plainclothes security police and reporters.
Ms. Suu Kyi's security aides said she will relax and unwind in Bagan. “One of her pastimes in Bagan will be drawing. One of her close aides have bought canvas and painting paraphernalia,” said one, who asked not to be named because he is not authorised to speak to reporters.
Ms. Suu Kyi has in the past often faced problems whenever she travelled outside Yangon, with the government stopping her motorcades.
A trip to Mandalay by train in 1996 was aborted when authorities said her carriage had mechanical problems. During her second attempt to travel there by train in 2001, the government stopped her at the station and placed her under house arrest for 18 months.
Keywords: Aung San Suu Kyi