Asia | South East Asia | Burma (Myanmar) | Nyaungshwe – some cycling
At five in the morning we took the bus to the Lake district. The road was in a poor condition sometimes and the suspension system of the bus not too good, but the scenery was beautiful.
Didn’t do much today. Cycled around. It is not possible to reach the lake on a bicycle. Why should you make a road when you have a river and a boat?! It took quite a few dead end roads before Albert realized the logic of this situation. We talked a lot today about work, plans for the future, travelling together for a year or so. We have fun. This trip is good for both of us.
Today we made a boat trip. First to a market, partly a tourist trap, but with a lot of local people. A little boy followed me for about 15 minutes, saying nothing, only staring at me. I talked to him in Dutch and even that didn’t change the expression on his face. At last he said ‘Hello’ and disappeared. On this market you could buy all kinds of intra venous medication (exp. date: 1997). We visited an almost deserted village. There was a long gallery up a hill finally arriving at a small paya. This paya was surrounded by a lot of little stupa’s, a lot of them were almost overgrown. The wind made the bells on the stupa’s cling, a peaceful sound. A weird place with a nice atmosphere.
At the Nga Phe Kyaung monastery we saw the famous jumping cats. The cat jumps through a hoop that is hold up by a monk. Amusing, but more beautiful is the collection of Buddha’s in the monastery and more interesting are the toilets. The toilets are cubicles with a kind of saloon door (western style) and a hole in the bottom right above the lake.
We did a trek yesterday. The lady of the guest house who organized the hike promised us many, many villages. We saw exactly ONE village. Well it was a good fitness training. The village was very poor. The clothes the people were wearing consisted more of holes than cloth. The Lonely Planet guide names a literacy rate of 81.5%. I don’t understand how they come to this high number. Most of the children I see are not going to school. The children in these kind of villages definitely never see a classroom on the inside.
We are waiting for the bus in the direction of Rangoon now. This morning we visited the market of Nyaungshwe. Beautiful people. I love markets. A little boy wanted to give us something. My first reaction is to refuse it because I expected that he wanted something in return. But he handed me a sweet and said hello, that was it. He only wanted to be friendly like the little boy who gave me a flower yesterday. This Asian country isn’t spoiled yet. Please let it stay this way for some time.