Asia | South East Asia | Burma (Myanmar) – Inle Lake
Oh, how wonderful the boat trip was to Bagan. Why can’t all transport be like that?
“We’ll stop here for an early lunch break, 30 minutes…”
Somewhere near Thazi Township, just over half way of our trip we sit down and have some ‘flied lice’ that again costs virtually nothing. Admitted, it won’t get a Michelin star either, but it’s nice enough and nutritious.
After an hour, we start to think that even for Asian standards this half hour is starting to be a bit long…and will be a lot longer, judging buy the state the bus is in – the right front wheel is off (not too disturbing, happens all the time here, especially as we have gone down a notch again on the comfort – it’s a glorified school bus type of bus this time), but half the fore ax seems to be standing next to the bus as well – no good this, this might take a little while…
We’re 4 westerners on the bus and impatient as we are (even after 3 months of travelling around here), we have a look at other busses and pick ups that come calling…but with no avail, even though full is never full here, we can’t see ourselves jumping on this pcik up truck… and resign ourselves to waiting a bit more…
Four hours after our lunch break was announced we leave – and all of a sudden so much in a hurry that they almost forget me!
It means it’s getting dark we we get off the bus at the junction for Inle Lake and arrive only around 8pm in Inle lake, at the Teakwood Guesthouse. Luckily enough the landlady cooks well and prepares some noodle soup…
After a day of slowly loitering around, drinking tea and having nice discussions with people you might never see again in your life, we get feasted with a large Burmese meal at the guesthouse. Delicious!
Almost all the guests (we’re 7 in total!) are out the next day for a day on the lake: a local market on the lake (Pan Market), beautiful lilac flowers on the shores, shy children in some pottery villages (Kuaung), silk weaveries, tomatos that are grown on heeps of reed, a Buddhist temple up some stairs, a funny bump of gold in another temple, made by people putting tiny gold leafs for years, the jumping cat monastery, where the monks actually have taught the cats to jump through loops – but know also all about football and we are quickly invited to have a look at the match that is going on right then…
A full day, but another lovely day, with kind people, children giving out handkisses and smiles like candies, beautiful sights and interesting visits. It reminds me a bit of Titicaca lake in Bolivia and Peru, where there is a lot of activity as well on the water, maybe growing tomatoes on their reeds might be an idea!
Tomorrow most of the guests are leaving and there will be only Ali and myself left – looking forward to that, will be wonderfully calm!
Indeed an easy day, but full of frantic activity around town: it’s the annual exam day for the young monks and all their families have come to town from all around the province to celebrate this. A big lunch is prepared in the town hall and everybody has come in their sunday best. It makes for a colourful spectacle: the Pao people in their traditional indigo blue and black dress with the colourful towels on their heads as turbans, some of them with traditional pants rather than the much worn longyi, but still tucked in the waist in the same way they do the longyis.
There are young monks everywhere, hurrying to the examination class. A big day for everybody….