Yandabo and Bagan

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January 23rd 2016
Published: March 14th 2016
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Welcome to YandaboWelcome to YandaboWelcome to Yandabo

A small village along the river that is famous for its clay or terra cotta pots.
Day 11-Saturday-January 23 After breakfast this morning we arrived in Yandabo, a small rustic village on the bank of the Ayeyarwady River in the Mandalay Region. We had a very interesting docking process! The boat could only get close enough for the crew to put out a long gangway by getting into the water and extending it to the shore. There was a very short wooden dock that a small primitive ‘ferry’ type service boat could pull up to and pick up or drop off people with goods or small motorbikes. Yandabo is famous for an Anglo-Burmese peace treaty that was signed in 1826. It is also known for making finely crafted terracotta pottery. Our excursion this morning was a walking tour that took us into the village where we watched a lady and her niece make a couple pots.

On the way we watched children playing a badminton type of game with a wicker ball about 8” in diameter. They used their feet like soccer to get it over the net.

The potter created pots from a large handful of clay that they get from the river while her niece pushed the pedal that turned the wheel. One
Yandabo in sightYandabo in sightYandabo in sight

Annette and Jane checking out our arrival.
person can make 30-50 pots per day which are used for food or water storage. Each potter has their own trademark on their wooden mallet which they used to create a design on their pots before they dried. One could buy a finished pot there for about 20 Kyats ($.20) or $1.00 after they are shipped to market. There were a number of potters in the village.

After we arrived back at the AmaPura, we were treated to an hour-long presentation by Ye Min on the “Bagan Dynasty” and an overview of the different styles of pagodas. After lunch we were able to relax for a couple hours and at 4:15 we departed by bus for the Watch Tower, an 11-story building in the midst of many pagodas where we were able to take photos at sunset. AmaWaterways provided some refreshments. After that we met with the other group and went to the Guni Temple at a Candle Blessing Ceremony with a monk. He gave a blessing and then we gave offerings to him. Following the ceremony, we made our way back to the boat to enjoy dinner.

Additional photos below
Photos: 44, Displayed: 23


Local transportationLocal transportation
Local transportation

Canoes lined up as we pull into port.
Crew membersCrew members
Crew members

In the water preparing for our arrival.
Raw productRaw product
Raw product

Freshly dredged clay from the river arriving by boat.
Local shuttle boatLocal shuttle boat
Local shuttle boat

We watched from the ship as these local commuters and motorbikes arrive to off-load onto a small dilapidated ramp. They also pick up people for other destinations. We saw several of these come and go as we prepared to disembark.
Off they goOff they go
Off they go

They motor or walk up the steep hill.
Long gangwayLong gangway
Long gangway

Our crew had to create this long exit ram in pieces so we could disembark as we could not get any closer to shore.
Coming togetherComing together
Coming together

Our guys have it almost assembled while another local shuttle boat arrives.
Off we goOff we go
Off we go

Annette on her way to shore behind John and Jane on the newly finished and safe ramp.
And up the hill!And up the hill!
And up the hill!

Along the way we encountered a number of steep climbs to reach our level destinations. You can see the rope tied to a tree that helps anchor the boat.
The AmaPuraThe AmaPura
The AmaPura

Some folks still offloading.
Welcoming partyWelcoming party
Welcoming party

These youngsters were here to welcome us...and not selling anything.

Welcome to Yandabo.
Boys playBoys play
Boys play

This is a badminton/soccer type game where they kick a small bamboo ball over the net with their feet and not using their hands.

There are numerous pot makers in Yandabo. When ready, they transport them by boat to the larger cities along the river for sale.
More raw materialMore raw material
More raw material

After the boats bring the dredged raw clay to Yandabo, it waits until it can be formed into a pot.
Ye Min describes the process Ye Min describes the process
Ye Min describes the process

He describes the different steps from the raw material to what happens with the finished product. Each potter can make between 30-50 pots per day.
Our potter and assistantOur potter and assistant
Our potter and assistant

The young lady constantly pushes the pedal with her foot which turns the potter's wheel as she forms the glob of raw clay into one of the different types of pots or vessels that she will create. The young lady holds the hand of a child.

This one is almost finished and she turns to smile.
Several stylesSeveral styles
Several styles

This shows her pottery station and several of the different shapes and types that she creates.

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