>(posted Day 41)
After my little afternoon siesta yesterday (day 37), we first went to a lacquerware shop to see how they were made. When I read this on my itinerary, I thought it was one of those hokey, touristy things, but it was fascinating. They first make strips of bamboo, then they weave it together, then they apply coat after coat of lacquer, scraping it smooth after each application, then they etch it, then they dip it and dip it. A simple soup bowl takes one month to complete! Ok, so I broke down and bought a beautiful black lacquer box with gold leaf elephants and bamboo drawings. Not cheap really, but will make a nice addition to my collection.
We went to Nan Paya and Manuha temples, before the highlight of the day which was to go to the top of the Law Ka Ou Shaung temple to watch the sunset…and wow, the view was unbelievable…
We were the only two people on top of this temple, while all of the tourist buses were at this other location….
My guide knew who had the key to this temple…yep, he was the key keeper! Absolutely adorable!
The sunset wasn’t great as it was hazy, but the view at dusk was well worth it…
Then it was back to my hotel for dinner, during which they had a little puppet show, although the dinner wasn’t nearly as good as the great feast I had at lunch!
Yesterday was a phenomenal day!
So now for Day 38…. we headed out at 8:30am…not quite as early as yesterday’s 4:00am wakeup call :-).
First stop was the Min Nanthu village to see how the people live and the different things they do. We first watched the women collect water for their family….
It is hard to believe that is the water they drink (after they treat it with sulfate). Each water can weighs about 15kilos (I’m not sure how many pounds that is, but I think more than 20–Jim, I’m sure you’ll look it up for me :-). And they make several trips back and forth. And this woman was not young…
Then we went to a family’s home where several women were shelling peanuts by pounding on them and wiping them off of the table, and then later they go through to pick out the peanuts. The one woman seemed to be eating one for every two she shelled 🙂
This is one of their major crops here, and they are little tiny round peanuts and, sorry to any georgians, they are the best peanuts I’ve eaten. Then we watched a man making wagon wheels….unlike any cars, these will last for about 60 years.
Then it was on to see a glimpse of the family kitchen…
Then to watch grandma make “cigars” — not hesitating to show me how they work…
They also weave with cotton and make palm oil, among other things. Very industrious group. The two girls were university-educated, but preferred to work in their family businesses.
After checking out Paya Thone Zu…..
We went up on top of the Ta Yoke Pyay temple for the day time view…
…where we met a delightful couple from Lyon, France. And so stopped and chatted with them for about an hour. I only mention this, because it made me aware of how laid back my guide was that he wasn’t in any hurry. And when he saw me enjoying talking to this couple, he just let it flow. Was very relaxing for me too.
Then on to the largest temple in Bagan which was never finished (Dhanayan Ghi–not sure I’ve spelled that one right). This temple had many different features such as two buddhas facing out…
With a reclining buddha behind them…
(oops, wasn’t enough light for this photo)
…as well as other differences, including the size. The differences were because the king who was having it built wanted his to be bigger and better than any other in the region. Most of the temples in this district have four buddhas, one facing each direction, north, south, east, west, with the one facing the east being the largest. This king also wanted his temple to be perfect, so if a workman didn’t make the mortar exactly right, the king would cut off his hand (also, he had killed his father and brother to attain the throne!) So after a while, no one wanted to work on this temple, and so that is why it was never finished. The local people do not like to come here to honor Buddha as they feel this temple has bad karma from the ghost of that king.
We then went to Bu Paya, which resembles a gourd fruit, which was on the bank of the River Ayeyawaddy….
This stupa had fallen down and into the river during the earthquake so this is the rebuilt version.
We then went back to the same restaurant as yesterday for lunch, as I found the couple who were the owners to be so delightful, I wanted to bring them my business. This time the owner cooked, and I had Thai fish with chili….excellent!
Then it was time for the afternoon siesta that I took at the hotel pool.
I do have to admit though that I felt quite guilty next to this pool full of water after watching the women gather water from the water hole this morning.
Now back to the airport for my flight back to Yangon and more Myanmar adventures tomorrow. But I have to leave my wonderful Bagan guide of the last two days who was not just my guide, but my chef, my photographer (he was quite good with the camera), my friend and my younger brother. For my friends who want to go to Myanmar, I would highly recommend him and if you take me with you, he and his wife will have us to their house for dinner prepared by him!
Great two days in Bagan!
Posted using BlogPress from my iPad