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Published: March 1st 2009
Vampires and fishermen Sorry for the lack of photos so far - no CD drives in Internet cafe's here in Myanmar
The next morning John and I hired a motor boat to take us around the lake for the day. We split the cost and that is one of the boons of traveling together with someone, it mitigates the desire to go independent, which I certainly had at the time. We managed to avoid the commission system of the hotels and boatmen, mainly because the vampireish woman who ran the Teakwood Hotel was so pushy and in your face about asking you where you were going and sorting out everything for you, whether you liked it or not. Inle Lake was the most touristy place in Myanmar I had been to, but the day was rather enjoyable. We took in a large part of the lake, too many souvenir shops, but really saw cool villages on stilts. Everyone went about their business by boat, old ladies with their shopping, families with small children and fishermen. We returned to Indein and climbed one of the old dilapidated stupas with amazing views and urchin boy monks. We then went onto another
Paya some walk away but I'm getting Buddha fatigue now so it seemed a little repetitive. We then took the boat to another monastery, this time a wooden one on the Lake itself, in which despite its age, people only visit to see cats that jump through hoops, trained by the very busy monks.
The next day I hung out at the weekly market and bought some sun block - curiously described as 'skin whitener' here - I got talking to the young lad and his father who then fetched a stool and offered me sliced apple on a plate. We got talking about England, the market and then the father pointed out the young lad's wife, very pretty she was too and both only married a few months (at 21!). Then that Burmese song I've been hearing everywhere came on and I asked the father to write down what it was...it's called 'I Am Crying For You' and I'm going to have to track it down. That afternoon John G and I sat atop a pick-up truck with a pair of monks on our way to the junction with the Mandalay road. We then got the evening bus
to Mandalay - 8 hours long...
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