A Travellerspoint blog

An All Teak Pagoda

After climbing up the river bank, we waited for the group to assemble, making sure we kept out of the way of the traffic ...

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Wandering slowly down the streets, passing some locals ... Nuns here, gathering alms.

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There's my girl in yellow .. early today ..

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We pulled a left, passing the tiniest of markets ...

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and - what is this?

TOURISTS!

Maybe the first tourist group we have seen since leaving Yangon

The little boy has his eyes on something ---- I'd give a thumbs up to that too ...

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This lady is a fellow passenger & I know she is an American, living in Italy, but cannot recall her name.

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Here's some rather attractive fire buckets ...

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This is the main attraction of the day but I was not paying attention, again. A Teak pagoda perhaps.

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There was a frieze around the building, telling a story.

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I did not go into the building, just walked round the outside. That young lady was the guide for inside as she had the flashlight.

Perhaps I should have gone in after all.

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More of the story ..

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In case you wanted to clean your teeth, here is a Neem tree, conveniently labelled.

In india, people use twigs from the Neem as tooth brushes. One use only as opposed to many uses with a tooth brush.

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And a Tamarind ..

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This was taken from underneath the building ..

... and some public drinking pots ..

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Maybe the story was a little rude - & I should have been paying attention ..

While we were waiting for the group to re-assemble, Mike bought a picture a man had just finished. Mike had to wait for it to dry before he could collect it. A very fine piece of work & worth quite a bit more than the 3 or 4 dollars he paid ..

We are across the road now .. on our way back to the boat ..

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The girl guide again - I really should have gone in that building

This strange gateway leads to a Pagoda ...

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More wonderful shadows ..

and that lady again .. Chatting with the locals .. Showing them their photos ... Myanmar ladies were only too pleased for us to photograph their children ..

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Now then Barbara - what does that lady have on her head?

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You guessed it - an oil drum ..

A monk out for an evening stroll ....

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A Stupa - note the people at the bottom, waving to me. Mingalaba to you.

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Children come out to see us as we pass, & mom follows .. with baby.

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Teenagers - doing what teenagers do ...

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The lady with the white shorts is also a fellow passenger whose name escapes me. Part of the group who live in Italy, but this one is from the UK ..

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Back to the boat ...

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Where the locals are doing what the locals do ...

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A riverside demonstration on how to wear a Longyi ..

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AND - THAT'S A WRAP ...

Posted by hasbeen 11:50 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

We find if there is anything on sale in Sale

===STILL HEADING NORTH - WE ARE APPROACHING SALE & THE START OF THE PAGODA TRAIL - LOTS OF PAGODAS ..

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THE ENCAMPMENT BEHIND THAT PAGODA IS WHERE PEOPLE ARE EXTRACTING OIL ..

AND THESE DO INDEED LOOK LIKE OIL CANS ..

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UP ON THE HILL IS WHERE WE ARE HEADING ..

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PILGRIMS ARRIVING ..

ADDS A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO THE EXPRESSION ' GASSING UP '

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WE HAVE NOT REACHED THE SUMMIT YET BUT TAKE A SIDE TURNING TO SEE THESE PLACES ...

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NOW WE ARE AT THE TOP ...

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SOME OFFERINGS ...

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A PASSENGER, WHOSE NAME WILL COME BACK TO ME - ONE OF A PARTY OF SIX, TWO LIVE IN THE UK & FOUR OWN A TEA PLANTATION IN KENYA.

NOTE THE BARE FEET. AT EVERY PAGODA EVERYONE GOES BARE FOOTED.

AND MY GIRL IN YELLOW .. MAKE THAT GIRLS IN YELLOW .. LOTS OF THEM UP HERE ..

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LOOKING DOWN FROM ONE PAGODA TO ANOTHER ..

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HERE'S A SEQUENCE OF PHOTOS SHOWING EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN ABOUT MYANMAR GIRLS NOT SMILING.

THIS ONE - A COUPLE OF SHY LITTLE GIGGLES ..

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NOW THEY ARE ALL SMILING -- VERY NICE, GIRLS ..

AND ONE LOOKS AT ME AND THE SMILE DISAPPEARS ..

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AND I SAY THE MAGIC WORD 'MINGALABA' & THE SMILES RETURN ..

CAN YOU SMELL THE INCENSE BURNING ..

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ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT MYANMAR IS THAT THERE ARE SO FEW WESTERN TOURISTS, THE PLACES WE GO TO ARE FILLED WITH REAL PEOPLE. PEOPLE GOING ABOUT THERE LIVES, VISITING THE PAGODAS NOT JUST FOR A PHOTO OPPORTUNITY .. BUT AS PART OF THEIR RELIGION, THEIR WAY OF LIFE ..

WE ARE BACK NEAR THE BOAT NOW & ARE TREATED TO A LITTLE THEATER & MUSIC ..

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PILGRIMS ON THE WAY HOME .. LOTS OF YELLOW HERE TOO ..

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DID WE SEE THE GIRL IN ORANGE TWO DAYS AGO? MAYBE WE ARE FOLLOWING HER AROUND ..

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IT WAS ADVERTISED THAT WE WOULD TRAVEL BY JEEP BUT IN THE EVENT HAD A MORE COMFORTABLE CAR ...

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Posted by hasbeen 11:58 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

Nearly at Old Bagan

We have not moved very far & I think this is the day a few passengers took a hot air ballon ride, while others took a tour inland somewhere, probably a Pagoda or two & I for the most part stayed on the boat.

I think one other passenger stayed too, So we had the run of the boat - & the bar.

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I thought it would be a nice relaxing day, not tiring at all.

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These people made me tired just watching them. They are loading a truck with gravel ..

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Hair washing is a major exercise here. It takes me about a minute tops. Watch this lady ...

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The gravel girls - yes, girls - are still at it, as is the hair washing ..

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There's the mound of gravel to be moved & a truck. When they finish that truck they have a five minute breather & start on another one .. enough to give a Council worker nightmares .. and they are cheerful too ...

By way of a change - they start loading or unloading a boat ..

That went on ALL - DAY - LONG.

Still makes me tired now and at the time I was sorely tempted to go down & buy them a beer.

The crews guestimate was they got paid between 5 & 7 dollars each, PER - DAY.

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These girls are maybe the first we have encountered who lie in wait for us getting on or off the boat. Selling shirts, souvenirs etc ..

Here they wait for the Balloon people. We will see them again ..

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Not nearly as annoying as in some other countries, they can be persistent.

Posted by hasbeen 12:00 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

Now we are at Old Bagan

AGAIN WE HAVE NOT MOVED VERY FAR.

TODAY IT IS TIME TO SEE SOME OLD PAGODAS. THERE ARE LOTS AROUND HERE. HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS. IN EVERY DIRECTION THERE ARE MORE.

MR SO - OUR GUIDE, TELLS US IN DETAIL ABOUT THE THREE OR FOUR WE WILL VISIT TODAY, BUT DON'T ASK ME WHAT HE SAID ...

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WHILE I WAITED OUTSIDE, I HAD A DRINK HERE. THE LADY WHO SOLD ME THE DRINK GAVE ME A CHAIR TO SIT ON. I MUST BE LOOKING MY AGE, BUT IT IS HOT & TIRING ALREADY .. VERY THOUGHTFUL OF THE LADY TOO .

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THAT IS ON THE WALL INSIDE A PAGODA ..

MAYBE THIS ONE .. MAYBE NOT

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I WENT FOR A BIT OF A STROLL ON MY OWN ...

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NOW I AM BACK WITH THE GROUP & THIS YOUNG THING IS TRYING TO SELL ME THE LITTLE POT IN HER HAND.

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BARBARA & I CIRCLE THE BUILDING & SHE FOLLOWS, CHATTERING AWAY IN HER EXCELLENT ENGLISH.

I LIKE HER GUMPTION SO I OFFER TO BUY A POT, SHE OFFERS TWO FOR 15 DOLLARS. WAY OVERPRICED BUT NEVER MIND & I GIVE HER A TWENTY. SHE OF COURSE HAS NO CHANGE WITH HER BUT TAKES THE TWENTY & SAYS SHE WILL BE BACK WITH THE CHANGE.

SHE DISAPPEARS, NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN I EXPECT.

BARBARA & I COMPLETE THE CIRCUIT & THE LITTLE GIRL IS WAITING FOR ME WITH THE 5 DOLLARS CHANGE.

GOOD GIRL!

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WE MOVE ON TO ANOTHER PAGODA .. THIS ONE IS VERY LARGE & HAS SOME ACTUAL TOURISTS & LOTS OF SOUVENIR SELLERS.

I BUMP INTO THE LITTLE POT SELLER AGAIN. SHE IS TRYING TO SELL TO A JAPANESE TOURIST BUT WAVES TO ME ON THE WAY ... SHE KNOWS I HAVE FIVE DOLLARS IN MY POCKET.

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I HEAD INSIDE THE PAGODA ...

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AND OUT AGAIN --

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LOTS MORE SOUVENIR SELLERS OUT HERE & THIS LITTLE FELLOW HAS HIS EYES ON AN UMBRELLA ...

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HE RUNS AWAY WITH IT AND GIVES THE LITTLE GIRL A GOOD IDEA ....

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I GO LOOKING FOR MY BUS & THE POT SELLER SPOTS ME. SHE DIRECTS ME TO THE BUS, STILL TRYING TO SELL ME THE OTHER POT.

SHE TELLS ME SHE & HER FRIEND ARE TRYING TO RAISE SOME CASH TO SEE FIVE CITIES IN FIVE DAYS, SO THIS SELLING IS MORE OF A GAME FOR HER THAN A BUSINESS.

SHE IS VERY GOOD AT IT, THOUGH MY FIVE DOLLARS REMAINS IN MY POCKET.

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MY DAILY GIRL IN YELLOW ...

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I THINK I WAS ONE OF THE FEW PASSENGERS THAT DID NOT CLIMB THE PAGODA ..

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WHILE I WAS WAITING ON THE BUS THE LITTLE POT GIRL WAS OUTSIDE, STILL AFTER MY FIVE DOLLARS. I REGRET NOT GIVING IT TO HER NOW.

BARBARA & MARIANNE - IF YOU READ THIS. THAT IS WHERE YOUR POT CAME FROM.

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BACK ON THE BOAT WE WERE GIVEN A VERY ENJOYABLE PUPPET PERFORMANCE.

THAT WAS A VERY GOOD DAY ..

Posted by hasbeen 12:03 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

Another pottery village and a visit to a school

TODAY WE GET TO SEE HOW POTTERY IS MADE .

Here's some ready for shipping ...

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We get on shore, climb up the bank as usual ( it would be a lot less tiring in the rainy season when the water is 30 meters higher ) & make our way into the tiny village ..

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The youngster is spinning the wheel with his feet while his mom throws the pot ... I think she has done that before ..

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Trying to make a sale ...

no luck this time - what a bunch of meanies ..

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Imagine making all those pots - one pot at a time ..

I think this is a girl .. showing off her Karate moves . ...

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And she knows how to pose too ...

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Firing the pots here maybe ..

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but this is firing the pots. They go into a big pile of dirt that has charcoal burning inside ...

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Here we are inside a room where the lady kindly demonstrated for us .. I did not see any passengers give any of these people any cash for their time & don't know if the guide did either ...

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An ancient looking village - with solar panels ...

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KIds playing games with anything to hand ..

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These kids were in school ... Some of the passengers gave gifts here.

Pandaw have a good way of dealing with gift giving. A few days ago we were in a market & Mr So suggested if we wanted to give at the school, that we buy locally.

A far better idea than lugging stuff halfway round the world.

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They are singing us a song here ..

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OK children - the boring tourists have gone now - back to play.

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Watch these ladies take some pots to their boat ...

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Oh my Lord ..... Now, that is tricky! ...

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We have tied up for the night & the locals do what the locals do ..

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The steps you can see are a bit the worse for wear at the bottom. I should have paid attention to that.

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A girl negotiates the climb down with her empty water buckets ...

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and what goes down - has to go up. Here she sways home with full buckets. Looks like hard work but great for keeping slim ...

I followed her along the road & then down the main street looking for a beer. No beer but I did find some tea & the locals came to see the crazy tourist trying to sit on a chair inches from the ground.

Not for the first or last time in Myanmar, someone found me a bigger chair.

Thank you ladies & gents.

Here the souvenir sellers hatch their plans for the morning.

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They look for a likely customer & try to make contact. Each seller gets one customer & they will stick like glue to you for ages trying to make the sale.

They are not impressed if you buy from someone else either.

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I went for a walk through town on my own that evening. Not too difficult on the way out but pitch black on the way back & those stairs I mentioned don't make it all the way to the beach.

Oh well - I did make it home after a bit of a struggle.

Posted by hasbeen 12:18 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

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