The Burmese culture reflected in the people of the market, both sellers and buyers. From the headgear to the use of thanaka paste, the longyi (wraparound skirts), the market reflects traditions that have endured for as long as nearby temples.
A woman at market spends time carefully selecting a basket full of mini eggplants.
Women balancing market goods in baskets on their heads.
A bull, unfazed by the market activity right around him.
We spend our days either walking or electric biking (no motorbikes allowed, which is great as it eliminates the noise and emissions that would come with regular bikes.) The electric bikes are rather slow, have no pick up, but are perfect for temple hopping. They get returned each night in order to recharge for the next day.
Some of the temples have 4 Buddhas, each one facing a different direction of the compass.
Gold cloaked Buddha inside one of the larger more prominent temples: Ananda Temple.
A secret inside stairway leads us to the roof of a small old monastery. Perfect spot for sunset and meditative moments.
Once again, “have bike, will travel.” Our favorite mode of transportation. In this case, the electric bike.
The pool at our lodging, which is right on the edge of the fields, with a panoramic view of temples in the landscape.
Internet is a tricky business in Myanmar as its not easy to get online for the most part. A gift as well as a challenge when it comes to things like blogging.
Food looks simple, but tastes delicious. There is a lot of emphasis and variety of soups: pumpin and ginger soup being a constant. Veggies are left crunchy and its easy to get yummy meals in Myanmar. We had read that Burmese cuisine is a combination of Indian, Thai and Chinese. However, our experience is that it is a unique taste profile that differs from all three. Fish sauce, noodles, veggies, mutton, crunchy toppings, herbs which all create the Burmese flavor.
One bowl of mutton curry, the rest of the bowls all have veggies: Vegetarian paradise of chickpeas, eggplant, okra and green beans.
6 days in Bagan: serenity and architectural beauty. A once in a life time experience!
We spend hours chilling in the languid pace of Bagan.
While sitting next to a small temple, a herd of cattle, including baby ones, pass by in a dusty silent magical moment.
Relaxing on the banks of the Ayerwaddy River.
Burmese tapas approach to eating: small plates of yumminess, in this case mostly veggies. The pumpkin bottom left is particularly good. Reading “Twlight Over Burma” an autobiography of an Austrian woman who married (unknowingly) a Shan Prince from HIspaw, North of Mandalay. She found out she had married a Burmese prince when their boat arrived to much celebration and festivity, which unbeknownst to her, was for him and his new bride.
Plenty of opportunity and time to stretch, create space in mind and body.
Burmese ‘doughnuts’ ~ the center has coconut and cinnamon. Delicious.
Sugarcane juice was one of our favorite Vietnamese fruit juices…. We rediscover this forgotten pleasure once again in Myanmar. Super nutritious too!
We stumble upon a procession… turns out to be a very special day indeed: a community send off for young boys about to become novices at the local buddhist monastery.
Young women in brightly colored best longyis lead the procession towards the temple, which will celebrate the start of the young boys becoming novice monks.
Villagers on the side walk watch the procession go by.
Young boys in their finest. Proud parents walk alongside the horses, ox and carts, as their children are heading to temple for initiation into monkhood. A week is the minimum amount of time.
A proud mother shows off her offspring from the ox driven cart, during the procession.
Some carriages, such as this one are highly decorated for the festive occasion.