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March 30th 2014
Published: March 30th 2014
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Sunset in SittweSunset in SittweSunset in Sittwe

We had walked down to the market area in the late afternoon and were fortunite enough to see this lovely scene . Sittwe is a pretty grubby town but does have it's visual jewels.
Having a 4 day holiday in Ngapli Beach was a good idea . We were ready to move on and it did take a bit of effort to get to Mrauk . We flew to Sittwe , the capital city of the area , had to overnight in a dingy hotel then take a 7 am ferry . The boat trip ,on a no frills government ferry took only 5 hours because the current was with us that day . It was actually only a 40 mile trip!!! Travel in Myanmar is SLOW by road and by water ... not expensive but really slow . I do not regret choosing to fly 5 times while we were there.

Sittwe was unlike any other place we were in Myanmar . There is a lot of tension there that we had not experienced anywhere else . THe Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority are at such odds that there have been killings , mob actions , house burnings... the area around the mosque had road blocks. When I returned home I happened to read about a large refugee camp for Muslims outside the city . There is a curfew in place and
Coffee BarCoffee BarCoffee Bar

At the back of the ferry was this lunch bar . The coffee was the ever present Nescafe 3in1 instant . Although I do not use sugar the coffee was preferable to many others I have had in my travels.
tourists have only been allowed to travel there since the summer . It wasn't a problem for us just a different experience .

Getting to Mrauk was definately worth the effort . The people , the surroundings and the ambiance were most welcoming and definately a high point of the journey .

This may be the last Burma entry although I do have photos taken of Yangon on our last 2 days there ... I will though do an entry on Seoul before I conclude this journey.

Additional photos below
Photos: 29, Displayed: 23


Another TempleAnother Temple
Another Temple

Always a temple on the horizon . River trips are a pleasant way to travel . This ferry was definately a no frills affair but the porter had managed to place us at 2 of the more comfortable chairs . There would have been @200 people on the boat but only 9 caucasian tourists .

This part of the state , Rakhaing , is riddled with rivers , lakes and waterways . People and goods travel by boat...many kinds of boats .
Main FloorMain Floor
Main Floor

The ferry was PACKED! the main floor had no chairs but the 2nd floor where we were did ... the washroom(?) was on the main and to be avoided if at all possible!

The woman with the tray came on to the boat to sell her snacks.

The villages were by the river and were never to large . We saw more women wearing western clothing in this part of Burma than anywhere else.

The view from the Schwetaung Pagoda .It is on the highest hill in the area and was immediately behind our hotel . We climbed there after we had settled in and marvelled at hazy hills and the pagodas scattered about . Most in disrepair but more awe inspiring than Bagan . The lush green had something to do with that I am sure but the fact that people lived in and around the ruins added to their appeal.

The 2 miles to the Lemro River ( a one hour jeep ride) were filled with various farming endeavors . It is there winter so the cabbage crops were nearly ready to harvest . The grains were also.

I had read of harvest/cleaning grain in this fashion but never dreamed it was still used . Labour intensive
From the boatFrom the boat
From the boat

The water levels are down here also but it makes it easier to bring the cattle down for a drink.
Oosama and a Chin LadyOosama and a Chin Lady
Oosama and a Chin Lady

Oosama was our guide for the day .He was a scorcerer ...I said 'I beg your pardon " and he answered "you know , like a magician "... Right ... He was saving money to go for further training in Kachin State further north . It turns out his grandfather and an uncle were also sorcerrors ...his father was a government clerk. The woman with him is a CHIN woman who's face has been tatooed since she was 9 years old.
Firewood BundlesFirewood Bundles
Firewood Bundles

The women in this village were bundling firewood . They tied them together tightly then hammered in another stick or 2 to make a tight bundle.

Isn't it amazing! Cucumbers ,squash of various types , eggplant are all trained to grow upwards and then the fruit hangs down for very easy harvesting and little loss .
Another GardenAnother Garden
Another Garden

At the forefront the longi are hung to dry after being laundered.
The RoadThe Road
The Road

This is the is why it takes so long to travel
Shittaung TempleShittaung Temple
Shittaung Temple

The most famous of the only 7 temples that have been restored to some degree in the area. Built in 1553 it has it all . Main hall , pagodas , stupas ... a graceful building.
Interior PassageInterior Passage
Interior Passage

Encircling the central chamber are these back to back meditating Buddhas.At times you can see "through" to the next passage.
Andaw-thein Andaw-thein

Graceful structures
Buddha Buddha

Not a lot of light in some of the passages

30th March 2014

Good way to experience your pics
I like having a manageable number of photos with commentary.Close ups work well for me. What a wonderful record you have of this trip. Mo
31st March 2014

The decisions you have to make choosing your pics to share....
Wow! But it sure must keep your adventure fresh in your mind. Good for you. Tks for sharing. love,
31st March 2014

Morning Pam. Great pictures. Coffee bars sure don't look like the ones in Regina. It looks like your on a boat. It's nice to travel to all these places through your photos. Thanks.
31st March 2014

Wow, the road!
Pam, that shot of the road says it all. And it made me laugh! How do they do it? Extra tires would be necessary, I would guess, for any trip. I also love the Buddha face coming out of the dark. Lovely. Great photos.

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