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Published: March 22nd 2016
Hot air balloons
When we got up early this morning, we could see about 15 balloons on the horizon.
Day 13-Monday-January 25- When we arose early this morning, we could see about 15 hot-air balloons in the hazy distant sky. After breakfast we departed the boat to board minivans with 4 to a car and drove up a long dirt road to the town of Tant Kyi Taung, famous for its impressive Tant Kyi Taung Pagoda. This prominent Burmese Buddhist pagoda near the historic city of Bagan was built in 1059 by King Anawratha. The pagoda is believed to house four of Gautama Buddha’s teeth, donated by King Vizaraba of Sri Lanka. The pagoda is 90 feet tall. It is said that this is the location where the royal white elephant bearing the tooth relics rested for the second time. There were beautiful views of the Ayeyarwaddy River and Bagan. Before we drove back to the boat we were entertained by a fascinating elephant dance performance which honors the Burmese tradition of using an elephant to determine a suitable location for a pagoda.
We sailed for Salay, arriving after lunch. At 3:00, we departed the boat for a walking tour of the ancient city of Salay, best known as the birthplace of the famous poet and writer U Ponnya.
We visited Yoke Sone Kyaung Monastery, built in 1882, it is the region’s oldest surviving wooden monastery, famous for its wood carvings and collection of religious artifacts. It is more like a museum today. Then we walked to the Man Pagoda, which contains the largest lacquer Buddha image in Myanmar. We were able to crawl inside a small door in the back and look up into the hollow Buddha image. We also stopped at a house that we were able to tour. Lots of cute and friendly kids that we found were happy to be photographed.
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