A Day in Burma

Myanmar, (Burma) was absolutely beautiful. It was totally different from any place we had been so far. So far apart from the Orient, from India or Thailand, it was something completely its own.

From the ship we caught glimpses of little farming villages that blended into the landscape of the muddy river we were in. Gondola style boats floated by, and every once in awhile the spire of a golden pagoda could be seen rising in the distance out of the mud and flooded farmlands.

It was so humid outside that my poor camera had a hard time of it fogging itself up constantly. So you will have to picture in your mind a golden spire rising in the distance..

Such a wealth of riches rises out of such a poor landscape. But more on that tomorrow.

Here we are. We docked at 6pm on Saturday evening, and it was announced that the crew were to have a curfew of 10pm. Since the gangway was busy with departing tours for a good while, none of us had a chance to go out the first night. There was nothing on the pier, and the air was thick with insects as night time fell. Well, one did fall, on my head, a gigantic beetle as I opened the door to outside (on a dare, upon hearing of the total infestation) Beetles and grasshoppers were everywhere, outside and squished down the staircase.
It reminded the crew of the Amazon, since we have all been, the scenery of the river with its flooded farmlands and the bug infestation, the lit ship being such a magnet for these critters.
The sign in the hallway the next night read “Crew Bar on Deck 6 aft will be moved inside due to bugs!”

Here is our port. They must have a big logging industry. I saw men in skirts loading logs onto cargo ships.

Speaking of men in skirts – yes, that is what they wear. They are called Longees, and actually, (maybe I have been at sea for too long?) are quite attractive on the handsome men. The people here are good looking.
Here is an example of the typical wardrobe. Skirts for both, a dress shirt for the man and a sleeved shirt for the lady. And flip-flops.

The women paint their face with a white paste. They make different patterns on their cheeks, from circles to spirals to a leaf imprint. It looks nice.
This woman had her own special pattern.

First, we went to the Pagoda. But that was so fantastic I will give it its own separate entry.

Then, we hit Scott Market.

First, we were approached to change money. Ok. And Indian guy did the transaction from out of his shirt! $30 gets me… Wow, that’s a heap of money, a small fortune. 3 600 Kyats.

A nun comes up asking for money. “Sorry, I’ve got none!” I joke.

I pocket it. A mother comes by with a baby, the baby is eating a huge cake and drooling. “Give me money, my baby’s hungry!” I point out that her baby is eating right now. Oh yeah! She laughs.

We looked at fabric. The guys (entertainers…) wanted to buy skirts, for the big fancy dress part coming up, of course.
I found some really nice Japanese fabric for quite cheap.

Paintings were ridiculously cheap. From $7 to $50, if you want a giant one. You could get a nice medium sized one for $12.
This is a Buddhist nun posing. They come around asking for money, all the time, and I gave some to this one on the condition that I take her photo amongst the paintings.

A man was selling these tasty snacks, it looked like crunchy dried shrimp cakes.

Yes, more fruit pics.

I found my beloved Mangosteens and loaded up on them. Which reminds me, I have one right here… mmmm

And, right in the open, the offensive Durian fruit. I should have bought one to set my roommate straight 😉

This man sold tobacco leaf cigarettes, and coins

I think I am beginning to be a coin freak. $2 for some old coins.

The guys were ready to go home, but I was keen on seeing the lake, so we took our self-appointed tour guide and patiently waiting Taxi driver and went to the lake.

The lake, right by the Zoo, was so popular with the locals.

What photo-ops as well, except for the humidity.

The boardwalk goes around the lake, to this thing.
I was here 6 years ago, this is the place where I got food poisoning! But whatever it is, it is beautiful.

Inside it, I get my picture taken, in the same place it was taken 6 years ago, taken by people I barely know and probably will forget or mix up with other people in my memories.

And we all sat down outside this spectacle, on the lakeside and had a Myanmar beer with the Taxi driver, Self-appointed tour guide, and the 2 entertainers that I barely know and probably will forget.

This menu is unforgettable (as long as there is a photo of it)

You can see they are cheap, 1 000 Kyats is $1 US.

I had to circle my favourite menu item. 70 cents! I should have ordered it.

We sit there as the bugs come out and evening falls. The spectacle lights up at night. Can you see the golden pagoda in the distance? It holds 8 hairs from the Buddha.

More about that tomorrow.

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3 Responses to A Day in Burma

  1. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful pictures…I was in Burma a long time ago…and your pictures bring a lot of good memories back…from my childhood.

    I wish I can go back for a few days.

    Many thanks!

  2. tatiana says:

    The last photo is especially beautiful. The way the dusk light has so many vivid colors with the golden backdrops. I love it!! I can’t wait to see the post on the pagoda….

  3. Ginnie says:

    All your pics, Stacey, tell your stories so well! You even get to go back and relive your memories. What a deal!

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