Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Myanmar / Thailand Trip Recap (10)

Day 10 and 11 - Inle - Yangon

After a relaxing afternoon back in the hotel, we are ready to head out again.  As I was anxious to return before sunset, I politely declined the guide's offer to dine at a local restaurant instead of the overpriced hotel... I guess I'd rather be cheated on food than to be attacked by lizards again...


reminds me of the Dragon Boat Festival

Our "driver" took us through the "back roads" to the Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery and we saw more of the local lifestyle.  My mom said it's probably the tip money we gave during lunch time working its magic.

navigating between the floating gardens
one of my favorite pictures this trip :)
lonely?
Nothing special about the monastery except there were a lot of cats taking naps.  Instead of making the poor cats jump, just Google for a You-Tube video.

Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery
kitten!
lazy cats

On the other hand, we saw a lot of crops growing on the lake.  Our guild told us locals grow vegetables and fruit in large gardens that float on the surface of the lake.  The floating garden beds are truly an ingenious invention.  Formed by lake-bottom weeds from the deeper parts of the lake, the floating beds are anchored by bamboo poles.  As these gardens rise and fall with changes in the water level, they are resistant to flooding.  The constant availability of nutrient-laden water results in these gardens being incredibly fertile.  I have been contemplating the whole time if I can get my hands on one of those juicy ripe tomatoes!

ripped, plum tomatoes within my reach
looks like a good year to me!
We also visited a silversmith and a few ladies from the Kayan tribe.  This is the tribe whose women wear the brass neck coils.  Our guide told us the ladies started wearing their first set of brass coils at the age of 5, with the last set put in place when they are around 24.  The ladies rarely take the brass coils off, which weighs 5 to 7 kg, except at their wedding, child birth, and death.  One of the ladies showed me they can partially detached the coil so it's easier for them to sleep.  It's one of those aesthetic things that I could not comprehend.  The weaving skills, on the other hand, is something I can appreciate.  I am glad to hear that this practice has been on the decline as the younger girls no longer find the coils necessary to make them more attractive or desirable.

@ the silversmith
the Kayan tribe ladies
making a shoulder bag
Tory Burch was recently here too!

In the end, I weren't able to avoid the lizards fill bridge so the locals had another opportunity to hear this crazy tourist screaming over tiny lizards.  The hotel restaurant tried to make up to us by offering a free main dish that evening (and did not disappoint finally!) but didn't admit to the fact that they actually served us stale food the day before.  Thank goodness we have a responsible guide who helped us complained to the hotel management and actually went to check on our food in the kitchen!  I also realized without the Internet, I can actually fall asleep by 8pm and have 8+ hours of beauty sleep everyday.  (My dark circles completely faded by the time I returned to Macau.  I can't remember last time I didn't have to put on any concealer - whether I was on vacation or not...)

the cloud made the mountain looked like a volcano
veggie medley (top left), potato salad (top right), curry shrimp (middle)
the shrimp was on the house to make up for yesterday

We woke up early next morning and bid goodbye to this peaceful town and flew back to Yangon.  What a wonderful trip!

Good morning...
like a mirror
serenity
 
if I stoop like he did, the boat will flip, guaranteed!
a heavy load
... and till next time!

My aunt had another feast ready for us when we returned.  Pretty uneventful day otherwise, minus the fact that we went to complain at our travel agent... (we were really there to book our hotel for another short trip to Chaung Tha) - just catching up with family while unpacking... and we slept very early again...

I love everything!

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