Blogs from Inle Lake, Mandalay Region, Burma, Asia - page 15

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Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake March 20th 2006

Myanmar First Impressions Millitary rulling is not the way to go. Though Myanmar lacks a lot of basic infrastructure, phones, internet, electricity, it still manages to be a wonderful place. Somehow a military run government has created some of the kindest people I have ever met. I decided to forgoe trying to get a plane ticket and just go overland to Myanmar. I entered the country at 10:02 am on March 15th. Start the clock that means I have 28 days or exactly 672 hours in Myanmar. I have decided to call this country Myanmar because I have learned Burmese in only one of some 35 different tribes that make up Myanmar. Thus the name Myanmar Encompases all of these differnt people. Back to my story... I entered via land. The lady at the border office ... read more
Rowing at sunset
Thanaka
Cute monks

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake January 23rd 2006

Again, this date is fabricated and we are really somewhere else. Please stay tuned as Aneta is responsible for the entry preceeding or at least chronologically before this one. Okay. So this is Inle lake and more specifically we stayed in a place named Nengshwe (sp?). This is basically the only budget option in the area as the rest of this 22 km lake is either villages on stilts or fancy schmancy resorts on stilts. But for us a nice room by the water being gently awakened by the long boats taking tourists to handcraft markets (read as sarcasmm - think chain saw at 5 am) was just fine. Actually this is supposed to be a heavily touristed area but seemed rather empty by most travel destination standards. All the locals said business is down. Which ... read more
Fish Market
Water Buffalo
Village on stilts

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake January 1st 2006

It's late afternoon when I book into my bungalow on the river at Queen Guesthouse with a view across to the boat docks. The room has just been completed. I am the first occupant. The pine smells fresh and the boards on the wall are rough and splintered. I say good-bye to Alex, Keyo and Tutu, offering them each a tip. 'Time is money' does not apply equally in all parts of the world. For his three days work, Alex will earn 23$, a good sum in Myanmar. 'Time is time'. It takes a young woman three to four days to complete a tight-weave scarf that will sell in the market for three to four dollars. The vendor in the market and the woman's boss will take most of that. Everybody seems to have time here. ... read more
feeding the gulls
morning mist, New Year's Day
fisherman, early morning

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake November 15th 2005

The journey from Bagan to Inle was another bus based nightmare, 16 hours on a “mini-bus”. A “mini-bus” in Myanmar is not what the rest of the world would call a “mini-bus” - it's basically a bus where everything has been halved in size, including the space for the passengers, tie that in with 40 years of abuse on Myanmar's terrible roads, and add in a broken seat in front where the entire weight of the passenger is supported by my knee, and this becomes my worst ever bus journey. I emerge from the bus temporarily crippled, some how negotiate a taxi from the bus stop, to the village of Nyaungshwe 11km away. The Remember Inn is our base for the 4 days we stay in and around Inle, it wins the “second best breakfast” in ... read more
Welcome to Lake Inle
Giving Flowers
Proud Father

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake November 1st 2005

Myanmar (Burma) was definitely one of the counties on this trip that I was most excited to visit. Not because I was anxious to experience a culture I had read so much about, but because I was going to experience a culture I knew nothing about. I wasn’t the only one that felt this way. As we sailed into Yangon, there was no one on the ship who had set foot on Burmese soil with the exception of our American interport lecturer, and even he did not know what to expect. This was not the first time Semester at Sea had visited a country under the control of a military regime, but it was the first time Semester at Sea had been to Burma. Excitement and hesitation filled the air the night before our arrival as ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake October 29th 2005

Above all powers above all kings, above all nature, and all creative things, above all wisdom and all the ways of man, You were here before the world began. Above all kingdoms, above all thrones, above all wonders the world has ever known. Above all wealth, and treasures of the earth, there’s no way to measure what You’re worth. Crucified, laid behind a stone, You lived to die, rejected and alone, like a rose trampled on the ground, You took the fall, and thought of me, above all.- Above All: Michael W. Smith Myanmar: A country that many Americans haven’t heard of, let alone been to. Burma: a little more familiar, yet still not widely traveled by Americans. Myanmar and Burma are one in the same; Myanmar is the name that the government gave Burma when ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake October 24th 2005

Tachilek is a scruffy, busy little border town. People wander around the market selling cartons of cigarettes and porn DVDs, offering to procure opium or young girls. Taxi drivers take people on hour-long tours around town to see the ‘highlights,’ which include a pagoda and some Long neck Karen, catering to tourists who pay $5 to cross the border for the day, in order to acquire another 30-day Thailand visa. If your pockets are a little deeper, you can also go and play a round of golf or visit the Casino in the 20 million dollar tourist complex, built to service the needs of Burma’s drug lords and politicians as they swap gems and opium for gold bars in this portal to The Golden Triangle. It felt like we were in quarantine; a dusty border town ... read more
The procession approaches...
Festival barges towed through the Lake
The monks

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake October 20th 2005

Lake Inle is definitely a site of great natural beauty, anyway in its vicinity there are also several interesting cultural attractions to see. When we came from Mandalay, the taxi stopped in Pindaya, a place famous for its Buddhist caves. We did it like this because it was practical, requiring only a small detour, but most people visit Pindaya in a day trip from Lake Inle, as it is situated only at a 2hrs ride from there. Another day we chartered a taxi with Huguette and Jean-Marc that took us to the archaeological site of Kakku which turned out to be so fantastic that it consumed a whole day. When we made our extensive walk in the lake’s surroundings, we passed by the Shwe Yan Pyay monastery 2km from Nyaungshwe in direction of Heho (location of ... read more
One of the alleys in Kakku
Stupas of Kakku
Stupas everywhere

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake October 17th 2005

We had managed to come to Lake Inle for the Phaung Daw U festival going on for 18 days until its 2005 grand finale on October 21st. Its beauty, harmony and originality make this aquatic spectacle superior to all other traditional festivals in Myanmar, and some even call it one of the best of its kind in South East Asia. Well, we would be present to witness, and agree to or contradict this opinion. Its tradition goes back to the 12th century, when a very pious king was zealous to spread Buddhism in his country. Wherever he travelled on the lake, he always used a royal barge, on the top of which five little Buddha statues were set. By and large the statues were more and more venerated and the Phaung Daw U festival was born. ... read more
Local population waiting for the cortege
Offerings for the Buddha statues
Everyone is excited

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Inle Lake October 16th 2005

Again we were on the road for a full day to get from Mandalay to Lake Inle, but the taxi was pretty comfortable, the roads not too bad and the scenery really beautiful. We soon left the main road linking Mandalay with the capital Yangon, and after passing a checkpoint we kept driving uphill for a considerable time. The resulting cooler climate was a welcome change after the heat and dust of Mandalay. Jean-Marc had an altimeter with him and entertained us with the announcement of the changing altitude. Especially our taxi driver was fascinated and kept asking for new information. He was a nice guy speaking excellent English and told us that he had studied economics but was barred from studying after participating in student protests, which had rendered him very frustrated and filled with ... read more
Bicycle tour
Pagoda on a hilltop
View from the small pagoda




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