Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Myanmar - Inle Lake

It took about 1 hour 10 mins to fly from Yangon to Heho, the airport closest to Inle lake.

On the way to our hotel, we stopped at an umbrella workshop.
Did anyone know there are still places making paper & wood umbrellas? I think the skill of handmade umbrella might get lost soon. 

We stayed in Paradise hotel at Nyaung Shwe.
They have a massage room that can handle 4 people, so just 4 of us had the massage (we got a deal of US$10 instead of US$12) before our dinner. 

After we had our 5:30 am breakfast, we were on the road.
Ah, we still can see these horse cart in this little town.

I read an article about "Orphanages are not a tourism attraction" from the magazine in the plane, that gave some reasons why visiting orphanages is not advisable. 
Anyway, I followed the tour plan to an orphanage. 
I chatted a little with some of them, some said they did have parents, but they lived in a war zone, and the orphanage was a safer place for the children.  The children also get education there. 
We spent about 1.5 hours. Everyone received something, and solo pictures were printed for the kids on the spot and put in little stand frames. That must be a very special gift in their memory. 
Thanks to Eason, who brought his printer there, we have our picture and a group picture. 

Opposite the orphanage is a school.

Then we headed to their morning market.
Steve bought a longyi (a long cloth worn to cover the legs), so that he could use it when visiting the temples.  Pants must cover to below the knees when entering temples in Myanmar.  It also covered his sunburn and kept it from getting worse.

Seemed like one of our group is interested having a trishaw ride?

We took a boat around Inle lake.
This is one of the lake residences, a man washing clothes.

The fishermen are skillful using one leg to row the boat, while handling the fishing net.
A little boy in his boat learning the trade.

These poses are for tourists only.  They do it for tips during the low fishing season.

We stopped at a floating farm.  It looks like they are building it to grow more vegetables.

We also visited a traditional weaving shop.
Weavers in this area make thread from lotus fibers.

The stalks of the lotus are cut open every few inches, revealing the thin fiber strands within. The strands are pulled out, and rolled together by hand to form thread.
After the thread is formed, it's spun into yarn.
After the yarn is spun, it's dyed, then ready for weaving. Setting up the loom can take up to 2 weeks, depending on the number of threads in the warp & number of colors in the pattern.

We had our lunch at the lake restaurant. The water clay pot is unique and keeps the water cool.

Roaming around their area after lunch. 
The Burmese cat houses in Myanmar style, so cute.  

We were told there was occasionally some confusion when the tour guides mention to Western visitors that they're taking them to a "cat house". :-)

Beautiful yellow bamboo with dark green stripes.

Then the boat took us to a tobacco workshop.  In addition to regular cigarettes, they also made some with spices rolled inside.
That's not my favorite place, oh well. 

The tour included visiting the Padaung tribe in a floating store.
I was struggling when taking their picture.
There were many comments about their long neck, but who is wrong and who is right? Who knows?
I wished I had talked to them to listen about their life and thoughts.

I think we didn't circle the whole lake, I have no sense of direction when in a boat.

Anyway, what I needed to do was look at the views as we passed in the boat. 

Until the boat stopped here. We stayed overnight in Sky Lake Inle resort. 

We arrived at the right time for sunset. 
I didn't walk around the area but just enjoyed seeing the lights and colors changing.

 Did you see the cloud shaped like a heart?

"Action!", the director said.

Thanks to Stanley for taking the photographs.

The net is not for decoration, it is a mosquito net, so you know there must be mosquitoes.

We had 5:45 breakfast, then checked out. 
I felt like we didn't have enough time in this beautiful resort.

Back on land, we went to Shwe Yan Pyay monastery at Naungshwe Shan state.
 This is an old wooden monastery. 

Looks strange?
The cat is inside the Buddha hall.

Very unique wooden architecture with the oval windows.

We headed to the airport to fly to Mandalay next (this photo is from Eason.) 
Looking at Stanley, was he in a confused mood? Why was that? Let me tell the story.
We just happened to be sitting together while in the boarding area. 
Steve and I only had a few Myanmar Kyat left after we exchanged in the hotel a few days earlier. (note: they only want new, unfolded US dollars, with no wrinkles.) So I asked Stanley whether he had enough Myanmar Kyat to change US$10 or 20 for us? 
The exchange rate was between 1,270 - 1,280 Kyat (US$1), I said generously: We'll just use 1,200 to make it easier. 
He took all his money out, counted, and said: Enough to change only US$10.  
Well, we changed the money, one bill to several bills.
After a while, I counted my Kyats again, ten 10,000 Kyat bills and other, smaller bills.  It seemed like a lot of money. I wanted to make sure, so I asked Steve quietly: Is it right?
Not right.
He mistook 10,000 bills for 1,000 bills. I returned him all the Kyats. He said happily: I wondered why I just had a few little Kyats left.
I said: You have enough to change US$20 now.
So he gave me 24,000.
After a while, I said: I forgot to give you the other US$10.

We all had a good laugh!


Anonymous said...

Very special country!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful. Thanks, Sin E!


Anonymous said...

So sweet ♡


Anonymous said...

Blur with kyat exchanges lol