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Published: December 29th 2016
Ok so part 2 of our boat trip
Whilst tootling we saw people washing and bathing in the river/lake, monks going to their monasteries and most exciting we saw (and heard) a procession taking place for a young boy who was going to join the monastery, everything involved boats and water.
Our next stop was at the Hpaung Daw U Pagoda, this was fun, there was a big market under and around the pagoda, the most disgusting loos yet and in the pagoda itself on a raised platform - no ladies allowed, lots of men were sticking gold leaf onto what looked like golden blobs, apparently there are Buddhas under it all! You could even watch them doing it close up on TV monitors.
Back outside again we discovered a big procession taking place (no idea why) but it was great, lots of people carrying silver things, lots of ladies dancing, musicians and they all went past us and into a big hall.
On board once more and yet another close call with the water, these boats are really wobbly when you don't know what you're doing, and we were shown tomatoes being grown on floating Gardens
on the lake and then on to our final stop. The was the Nga Phe Kyaung monastery, otherwise known as the Jumping Cat Monastery - apparently one of the monks trained them to do this for the tourists but sadly he is now dead, but why did he ??????
From the outside the monastery looked like a shack with a tin roof but inside it was beautiful, all teak and stowed out with Buddhas everywhere and there on the carpet lay the cats! YAAAY! They didn't budge an inch but occasionally gave the tourists a dirty look! Ha ha good for you cats 😊
So we made our way back across the lake, passing loads of fishermen, none of whom appeared to have caught anything - not really surprising given all the boats harassing them for photos.
All in all it was a good day out.
That evening we ate in the buy 2 get 1 free cocktail place next to our hotel as we couldn't be chewed walking anywhere. Turned out to be a good call, we were all given Santa hats, the owners little girl dressed as Santa and the ladies were all given
a present. You could hear Christmas songs from a nearby hotel rooftop and Howard passed his time hanging over the balcony calling out merry Christmas to entice others in - all helped along by extra strong beer and several piña coladas........we had a good night.
We had a lie in! I opened my present from last night........it was.......a......scarf!!
We wandered out to see if we could find a boat to take us back to In Dein, as we had enjoyed it there so much but after being quoted stupid prices we nearly gave up. However we spotted the Inlay Boy Travel Agency and were given a decent price and were soon on our way again, this time without doing any of the touristy things. It was great, I didn't take a single picture on the way there as I took so many the day before, so I just got to relax and enjoy the ride.
As there was no market today, In Dein was much much quieter, we had breakfast/lunch by the river, walked up to the weir and wandered back through the woods. We walked further along the road
in the opposite direction and saw a little mobile petrol station before coming to a monastery and then onto another pagoda on top of another hill, this time the path up was too broken up to attempt and my feet breathed a sigh of relief. So we just soaked up village life and watched people going about their daily routines and it was lovely.
For the journey back we put on our Christmas hats, waved and called out merry Christmas to all the boats we passed. Now, all the Asian people loved it, waved and called out back, took pics and generally joined in, however all the westerners just ignored us........most of the tourists here are French.....just saying! We had a hoot though.
If you can't be with your family at Christmas then this was a fab, chilled out way to spend a Christmas Day.
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