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// APRIL 2016
Where the Past Meets the Present
Yangon
Bagan
Bagan
Mandalay
Inle Lake
Yangon
Bangkok
Thessaloniki
Istanbul
Bangkok
He Ho
Nyaungshwe
Nga Phe Chaung Monastery
He Ho

Inle Lake - Yangon


5th of May
Significant treasure and Padaung long neck ladies (giraffe women)!!!

After having enjoyed our breakfast in an idyllic set up, while listening to the sounds of local music, we started again a boat trip, along with our tour guide, to Phaung Daw Oo temple
It is one of the most sacred pilgrimage places in Myanmar, which dates back in the 18th century.

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is situated in the Ywama village and it is an important shrine in Shan State. 

The central parlor hosts five, small, golden statues of Buddha. Buddha’s images have been covered with so many leaves of gold that it is almost impossible for someone to take an idea of their original structure. 


 

During the homonymous festival, in September (or October), four or five of those Buddha’s images are put into a barge, which resembles the once original royal barge, and are carried all around Inle Lake.

We saw those kinds of barges anchored by the channel, on our way to the Ywar ma village, where we had the chance to meet the Padaung long neck ladiesalso known as giraffe women. 



 

Rotating circle of five days...

We continued by boat and enjoyed a wonderful route (length 8 km) through a long and narrow channel, (Inn Thein), before reaching Indein Village, inhabited by the minor ethnicity called Pao.

The village is accessible by boat, through the channel Inn Thein, in the winter and during the rainy season only, since during summer the water level is too low.

During our floating route, we left behind us the area with the reeds and watched the vegetation at the shores becoming dense and luscious, just before we saw the village appearing in front of us again. 

 

 

A market that takes place in a rotating circle of five days is hosted in Indein and in four more villages around the lake. People who live on the hills surrounding the lake sell here their products.

The village Indein is also known for its many ancient pagodas, in many shapes and sizes and also in various maintenance stages.

We visited two complexes with ancient pagodas: Nyaung Ohak  and Shwe Inn Thein. 


Mystical atmosphere and a little tiny pixy……

We found the first pagoda complex, known as Nyaung Ohak, near the pier. 

Most of the pagodas were not restored, but they were in several maintenance stages. Some were in a quite good shape and some others were smothered in vegetation seeming abandoned…

Many of them were having embossed decorations of spirits or mythical animals, like the Naga snakes and the Chinthes. In some of the pagodas we saw images of Buddha.

In between some ruins, we found a little girl who was selling longyis.
She followed us all along, while she was mumbling something monotonously about the things she was selling.
It felt a bit eerie and the little one reminded me of a tiny pixy…

 



We visited, next, the second pagoda complex, which is situated at the top of a hill and is known as Shwe Inn Thein Pagodas
We arrived there walking along a covered corridor (700mt length).
Many peddlers had put their goods on benches and were selling them.
Some of those goods were characteristic hanging bags of the Shan State, longyis, T-shirts and other craftworks.  
We bought two traditional trousers, submitting to the smiling persistence of a young peddler, who was there with his mother. It was a quite good bargain, since he didn’t hesitate to pose for our cameras afterwards. 



We were left to be absorbed into the mystical atmosphere created by the pagodas on the hill of Indein and had a tour in the village of the Pao minority.

The area dates back, accordingly to the legend, to the Era of the Indian Emperor Asoka, who had sent monks, in the 3rd century BC, all over Asia, so as to spread Buddhism. 

After many centuries, two kings of the Bagan Empire, Narapatisithu and Anawrahta built pagodas in the area.  
The place kept being enriched with hundreds of pagodas, through the years.
Most of them were constructed in the 17th and 18th century and the oldest dates back to the 14nth century.
The particular pagoda complex hosts also a golden picture of Buddha, in mudra meditation.

We enjoyed a lot the amazing views of the village Indein and the area surrounding it, while we were at the top of the hill. 


Invited to the traditional Shinbyu ceremony…A magical experience!!!

While climbing down the hill, we realized that in the village a traditional ceremony was taking place and, to our surprise, we were invited to it by the locals.

We participated joyously, along with all the other villagers, to the celebrations concerning the young nephew of the village’s mayor. The little boy was to become a novice monk, through anovitiate ceremony.

 


We saw the young boy all dressed up with gracious silk robes beautifully embroidered and when we asked, we found out that the novices to be, during the Shinbyu ceremony are supposed to be dressed like royal princes or kings.
The parents or the uncles, in this case, are proud and happy during the ceremony, since it is considered the most important duty that they ought to offer to their son.
In another word, to let him leave home, go to a monastery and to be engulfed by Buddha’s heritage.
Nothing is more important for the boy than to participate to the Sangha (the monastic community) and to receive the teaching of Buddha, the Dharma. 

We ate meat, which was cooking for many hours in slow heat in the kitchen and we accompanied it with rice and salad.
Afterwards, we drank tea with some sort of seeds , we smoke traditional cigarettes of the area, along with the locals and after having congratulated the happy uncle, we left the young novice to be who was playing happily with his friends, so as to return by boat to the lake and then to the village Nyaung Shwe.

On the way to the airport, we visited a traditional craft shop which was making paper umbrellas, while a bit earlier we had enjoyed a riot of pink and red colour, offered to us by a group of young monks on the roads of Nyaung Shwe. 



 

When we arrived at the airport, so as to take our flight back to Yangon, we said good bye to Ms. Win and promised to ourselves that we would return again, with the first chance given, to this magical country.

At Yangon’s airport, we were waited by our friend, Mr. Soe Yi, who welcomed us and escorted us to our hotel. 

Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Date: 2016
Route: Myanmar (Burma)
Cities: Yangon, Bagan, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Yangon, Bangkok
Duration: 8
Difficulty:
Population: 54.704.285
Rating:
comments
VIEW
comments
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Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Date: 2016
Route: Myanmar (Burma)
Cities: Yangon, Bagan, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Yangon, Bangkok
Duration: 8
Difficulty:
Population: 54.704.285
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Date: 2016
Route: Myanmar (Burma)
Cities: Yangon, Bagan, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Yangon, Bangkok
Duration: 8 days
Difficulty:
Population: 54.704.285
Rating:
comments
VIEW