A Travellerspoint blog

Inle Lake Day 6

Local Celebration Starting!


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The local celebration has begun in anticipation of the Bhudda images arriving by royal barge tomorrow. Half of the town has been converted to fairgrounds and Shan State people from all over are pouring in. We took a few pics that caught our eye. Please stay tuned for another post later today after the boat races and procession.

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Serious soybean cooker
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Please make menu choice
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Then proceed to our tat artists
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Patriotism at its best

Posted by mjschrum 17:10 Archived in Myanmar Tagged burma pagoda festival myanmar maison shwe oo nyaung bermaine phaung daw Comments (1)

Eat Pray Love some wine please

Inle Lake Day 5


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EAT
We arrived in Taunggyi early, the provincial capital, to pick up our required Pa-O Guide and permit because our destination for the day, Kakku, lies in Pa-O tribal territory. With luck it was market day so Jin Jin gave us a mini tour and answered all of our dumb questions about the identity of exotic items on display. We picked up some tasty cooked sweet potatoes (yellow variety) and some awesome local apples.

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Pa-O traditional dress
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yummy
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pork sausage
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tanaka cosmetic

PRAY
42 km and 1.5 hours later we were in Kakku, an ancient pagoda complex that is the most important Bhuddist site in Shan state. Our young Pa-O guide had deeply introverted tendencies so we were glad that Jin Jin came along, our uber-guide from Nyaung Shwe. We chilled at the overlook restaurant upon arrival for a briefing from our guides and then set out walking in a clock-wise direction around the 1 km square complex. It was explained to us that the clockwise path increases the power of our visitation good deed.

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Kakku is a Pagoda complex encompassing 2478 stupas from the 9th century onward. The stupas are built in 3 principal styles, including solid, pagoda, and monument. It is possible to sponsor a stupa renovation for about $2000 with your name on a corresponding plaque. The umbrellas that tinkle delightfully in the wind among the stupas are seen in 2 styles at Kekku, Shan and Myanmar. The Shan umbrellas are black and tightly textured while the Myanmar umbrellas are rust-brown and more ornate.

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LOVE some wine please

We saw Athaya Winery on the way up the mountain to Taunggyi and stopped on the way back at 4:00 PM for a quick tasting. Jin Jin described it as the German style winery, as opposed to the French style winery at Red Mountain (previous post.) Not being one to take sides, we of course had to give the Germans a chance so we stopped in to see how the latest wines were shaping up. We had the place to ourselves overlooking the Inle Lake valley and enjoyed some Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Shiraz, and a red wine from the Cinsault grape. Nothing quite worth taking home with us (the cheapest are $10) but tasty nonetheless.

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Jin Jin's contact details:
yinyinkyaw.ptm@gmail.com
09401588776

Posted by mjschrum 19:00 Archived in Myanmar Tagged burma pagoda festival myanmar winery maison shwe oo nyaung bermaine phaung daw athaya kekku Comments (2)

Inle Lake Day 3 - Inthein Village and Pagoda


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After the procession Chit Twa our intrepid boat captain drove south down the lake and along the canals to Inthein village where a complex of 1054 stupas and zedis dating from the 13th and 14th centuries appears on the hillside. A 10 minute walk took us to the first group of stupas surrounded by dense foliage notable for the ornate carvings of animals, deva and chinthe. A beautiful mural is still visible on one of the stupa arches.

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We then climbed the stairs to Shwe Inthein Paya and more stupas as well as gorgeous views of the hillside and valley. We were tempted by the beautiful handmade textiles sold along the way, but unfortunately with only one small backpack each have no way to transport them.

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Posted by mjschrum 03:07 Archived in Myanmar Tagged burma pagoda festival myanmar maison shwe oo nyaung bermaine phaung daw Comments (1)

Inle Lake Day 3 - Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival


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As the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival gains momentum, 4 Bhudda images were tugged by royal barge today with much fanfare as they make their way in clockwise procession around Lake Inle. We departed from Nyaung Shwe at 6:30 and made our way about 7 miles south to sit in a giant raft of boats and watch them go by on the lake. Our guesthouse emptied out at 6:00 AM as everyone headed to the jetty to hop on a boat and watch the show. There were at least 100 boats waiting for the procession.

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Spectator boats were full of monks, tourists, and locals all waiting to see the costumed leg rowers. After a 30 min wait 20 barges approached with standing rowers using the one legged technique that Lake Inle fishermen have made famous. The crowd energy was pumped up by blasting gongs and music, dancing and of course the 4 Bhudda images on their way to Jumping Cat Monastery. Local boats were filled with offerings of flowers and elaborately decorated cakes.

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Posted by mjschrum 02:46 Archived in Myanmar Tagged burma pagoda festival myanmar maison shwe oo nyaung bermaine phaung daw Comments (1)

Inle Lake Day 2


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Wine tasting on Inle Lake

The Bhudda procession took a rest day on Oct. 7 so that gave us a great chance to check out the local winery. We headed south on bikes and about 3 km later arrived at Red Mountain Winery. We took a quick tour and settled down for a tasting of 4 of their wines, a Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. All the wine was super tasty, lots of flavors and dry to our preference. The winery had great infrastructure and the owner had clearly made a huge investment and was trying hard to make great wine and create a market for it locally at the same time.

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We were of course exhausted after our intensive 3km ride to the winery so had to go for a 90 min Swedish massage at the superb Aqua Lilies Spa. Their masseuses are well trained and very strong!

Posted by mjschrum 04:57 Archived in Myanmar Tagged burma pagoda festival myanmar maison shwe oo nyaung bermaine phaung daw Comments (0)

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