A Travellerspoint blog

A stop off in Prome to see a Pagoda or two

EARLY MORNING WORK - OUT ..

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These men pulling a boat stuck on a sand bar.

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another work - out ...

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Note the sign ...

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I forget what this is.

A Stupa perhaps?

I was thoroughly STUPAFIED by the end of this trip.

I know everyone else walked around it while I bought a book in the kiosk.

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Then we headed off to a Museum. Very nice, very small. I lasted about ten minutes inside & went outside to buy a drink. I was unsuccessful with that but did see some interesting stuff on the street ...

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A short bus ride brought us to this old wall. Not the Great Wall but pleasant nevertheless.

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Sunset & we are at a Pagoda ...

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and a stroll through the night market on the way back to the boat.

Lots of locals out eating & I tried some of the food on offer. Not bad - a little greasy & most slipped out of my fingers on to the floor.

Here's Barbara again, with the ever present couple of cameras ..

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That is the lady cooking the food I bought. Chicken I think - I hope.

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Mike the Canadian ... in the hat.

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Posted by hasbeen 10:56 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

A weaving village on the river

WE ARE OFF TO SEE A VILLAGE WHERE THE MAIN OCCUPATION IS WEAVING

You may have surmised by now that villages specialise in some occupation.

Pottery, weaving etc.

You would not be wrong to surmise that.

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First we get a look at the days climb up the river bank ...

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and we had the pig washing entertainment ,,,,

and the locals checking out the visitors ...

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baby pig washing, or attempting to wash the baby.

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And we do see some weaving ...

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While the group were in someones home watching some weaving I stayed on the lane snapping photos ..

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And then, there was this vision in yellow running towards me .. ...

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She was very shy & ducked away whenever anyone got close. Pity. She looks very photogenic in yellow. And this may be where I mentioned to Barbara i had found myself a new photographic theme - photos of girls in yellow. There are a few already & now Barbara is pointing out girls in yellow for me.

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These two ladies are very proud of their cats ..

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Silk thread hanging to dry ..

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Weaving is not for the weak. Look at the muscles on this young lady.

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Weaving is not just for the young either ..

And so home to our boat ... quite the steep hill to climb down .. never mind, there is an ice cold, free beer on board .. with my name on it .. i Marianne does nor beat me to it .

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On our way again - passing people at their daily chores ..

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This man checking for depth ... Mark Twain perhaps ..

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Fishing - for the evening meal I guess ...

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Posted by hasbeen 11:02 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

A jaunt to the oldest golf course in Myanmar at Thayet

WE ARE OFF TO VISIT THE VERY FAMOUS THAYET GOLF COURSE.

Getting up the river bank .... no problem ... a couple of the crew can give a lift up.

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We clamber onto the days mode of transport ... no not that one ...

... this one ...

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Marianne, being Marianne, takes the reins ...

& I spy todays girl in Yellow ... two girls in Yellow - A bonus day.

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& here they are cracking up at Marianne, also in yellow notice, driving by ..

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We have to pass through the small town ..

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A quick glimpse of another girl in yellow ..

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Is Marianne still with us? Still doing ok? ....

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There is no end to the stuff the ladies are prepared to carry on their heads .. flowers this time ..

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Mingalaba to you too young lady ...

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Right hand down a bit Marianne - Turn, Turn girl, Turn ....

Ok - Phewww !

and the lady on the left has what must be the smallest of loads on her head. What is that?

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A fuzzy shot of Marianne running someone off the road ...

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And here we are at the Golf club. Not just any old Golf Club but the oldest Golf Club ... affiliated to St. Andrews no less.

NIce looking greens ..

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but the fairway could do with a bit of work ...

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The passengers get a couple of chances at a hole in one but it is enough exercise for one day & it is way too hot for me so I head off to the club house ...

... with a quick chat with the horses on the way ..

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The fees seem ok but I think I will pass ..

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And we take the buggy back to to the boat past yet more ladies with things on their minds

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We shove off & head further upstream .. to see more life along the banks of the Ayeyarwady ...

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There is our hill to climb in the morning but I decide to climb it tonight.

I get to the top & it is quite dark. There appears to be only one road & as seems the norm in these villages, the road runs along a raised bank. I turn left & look to see what's what. The raised road lets me look down on either side. I can see people in light from dwellings. People watching TV or just going about their business. No locked doors. No glass that I can see in windows. There are few people on the road. I don't see anywhere to stop & have a drink of anything & what light there is peters out so I turn & trace my steps back & past where I came up from the river.

I finally find a rather ramshackle place that looks like it might serve beer. I step down the bank & into the place. There are a few of benches, one occupied by three or four men drinking what appears to be bottles of whiskey. I sit down on another bench. There is an elderly lady at the back watching a small TV. A lady just sitting. Everyone is quite curious that I am there. I doubt they get too many tourists even during the daytime.

A man comes over & stands in front of me & I ask for a beer, he sets a large bottle in front of me. I hand him a note & he looks at me & at another man a little away from me. They both shrug & then the second man hands the first some money. I realise I have not paid enough & the other man is paying the balance of my bill.

HOW NICE IS THAT?

I don't let him pay but I was amazed at the generosity of the man.

I sat there while I drank the beer & watched life return to normal around me.

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On the way back to the ship a man walked alongside me & then pointed me down a pitch black alleyway to the ship. Another man on a motor cycle parked his bike so I could walk by the light of his headlight.

Another very nice thing for people to do.

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At the end of the lane & just before it dropped down to the ship I noticed some men drinking in another small bar.

After a bit of trouble finding the entrance I went in for another beer & a few nibbles of whatever snacks the people there were eating. Again I was made very welcome.
People came in from other rooms to say Mingalaba, shake hands & smile.

Another beer & I still safely negotiated the steps down to the boat.

A very pleasant evening ashore. It would not be everyones cup of tea but I enjoyed myself. My first time out at night on my own since Yangon.

I might have spent five dollars - maybe.

Posted by hasbeen 11:07 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

The fort at Minhla

I OPENED MY CABIN DOOR TO THESE SCENES ..

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I had made it down those steps in the pitch dark last night. Wonders will never cease ..

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The locals - hard at work already. I doubt there are any harder working people anywhere than in Myanmar.

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Just to remind us where we are, it gets printed on the steps ..

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... and to remind me where I had been last night, these three are still where I left them.

Mingalaba fellahs!

They had been there all night .. but still don't look any the worse for wear.

Here we are arriving at Minhla Fort, built by the Portugese I think. I wasn't paying attention again I am afraid.

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I took to the street while the group wandered around the ruins ..

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There goes Mike in blue heading back to the ship. I am the one who went out last night & he is the one who has to go back to the ship early. Though he was not the only one to be sick on this cruise. I can think of five right off the top.

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That's it for the Fort & time for a wander up the road. This is a bit farther than I got last night ,, A nice Pagoda on the river.

As we stood on the corner, Mr So told a few of us about the building behind us. Sounds like it is the local Bordello & not a cheap Bordello at that.

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With a right turn into town & we are into the market ..

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Eric there on the left. Head & shoulders above everyone.

Notice how most of the ladies are wearing Thanaka paste on their faces. For fashion, sun protection and adornment.

Penny bought some in the market. It's made from grinding the bark of a tree.

Unique to Myanmar I think.

I like it ...

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It is also noticeable that the younger girls wear western clothes like this girls green dress, & when they get older, they wear the Lungyi. Not a hard rule but I often saw that.

Whatever - they just about always look very smart.

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Quite a lot of nuns in Myanmar - here is a nun , pretty in pink. I did not see them so much elsewhere in South East Asia.

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Lots of monks though. Here are some young ones collecting alms.

This is a public water jug I think ..

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Boys up til about age ten also wear Thanaka.

Satellite dishes cropping up the world over ...

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Barbara & Nancy at the rear, avoiding the morning rush hour ..

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Back to the bar near the beach. This is one of the ladies who came to say hello last night.

Other ladies at the waters edge, hanging out the laundry. It's no wonder their clothes always look so clean, they are constantly being washed.

Dry season & there is lots of dust in the air making it hard to keep anything clean for long.

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Off again - still heading north on the 'ROAD to MANDALAY' which must have been the river..

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Have you ever heard of the Burmah oil company? Somewhere on our trip we saw lots of places in the hills where oil was being extracted - often not legally apparently.

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The end of another day on the Ayerwaddy & I do believe tomorrow I get to meet young Sophy of RED IXORA TRAVEL fame.

Take some time & check out her website & tomorrow you can meet her & my mom.

Posted by hasbeen 11:18 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

A red letter day at the Mya Tha Lon Pagoda

TODAY WE GET TO SEE PAGODAS - I HOPE YOU ARE READY FOR THIS

We also get to meet Sophy & my Mom ... Can't wait. It's so exciting ...

But first a bit of a tour to see some sights, which this guy has probably seen before ...

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A couple of nice views close to the boat ..

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We head into another market .. passengers at the back.

Sue & Robert I think ..

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Nice shoes young lady ..

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a stop in a small park

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The young lovers moved off when we moved in ..

and the crew gave a demonstration of the national sport. Played with A ball made of Raffia, I would call it Keep-It-Up, these fellows are extremely skilful.

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Marianne - checking out the buns ..

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Note the Lungyis are tucked up to become shorts .

An old Steam train across the road from the park ..

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My first girl in Yellow of the day ... there will be more ...

Some pilgrims on the way to the Pagoda .. They sure do pack them into those small trucks ..

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but there's Mike - travelling in style.

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and we arrive at the Pagoda of Mya Tha Lon .. although it is a bit of a climb from here ..

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Still at the bottom ...

Now at the top & it's Just a little bit spectacular ..

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There are lots of Pilgrims here. Paying there respects, but not always somber. These girls get me into their photo ..

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I turn around & this couple also wants a photo with me. It is Sophy & her mom, looking a little tired as they had been to several pilgrimage sites today.

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Sophy explained that she works for a travel agency & she takes my E mail address. When I get home I have an e mail waiting from her & she tells me her mom still laughs when remembering our meeting at the Pagoda.

We have been in frequent contact ever since & her mother is now my mother.

Lovely girl. lovely mother too.

Nice to see she is smiling here - she does that a lot..

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Since I met her, she has opened her own travel agency - RED IXORA so why not check it out & consider asking her to sort you out a holiday in Myanmar ..

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Some views around the Pagoda .. & looking down hill ..

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Another girl in Yellow ..

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On the way down, I was bringing up the rear with Barbara & Marianne & Mr So the guide took us off on a side alley where these young nuns were looking out of a window ..

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A Red Letter day indeed.

Posted by hasbeen 11:44 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

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