A Travellerspoint blog

Myanmar

Myanmar

Our last vacation stop

overcast 80 °F

Yangon Day 1 June 26, 2018

Myanmar is amazing. From the beautiful scenery, to the food and the kind people, it's a stop worth making!

We made it to Yangon, Myanmar! Another check off the bucket list. It was another early morning flight and after a 2.5 hour flight, and an hour long drive from the airport to the Chatrium Hotel on the Lake we were exhausted. This hotel has a beautiful view of the lake and the
Shwedagon Pagoda. Too bad it was raining we couldn’t swim in the beautiful pool. They let us check in about 10 am, and we took a power nap.
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Then it was off for adventures. Grab is super cheap here, and you can Grab one so quickly. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to meet up, but so far it’s worked out. We went to a market looking for all the gems they supposedly mine here. We thought we could pick up some gifts for friends and family really cheap. NOT! Small, like really small rubies were in the hundreds. Of dollars. The most interesting thing about the market was all the small children that were dressed as monks coming around the stores singing. The store owners would give them rice or money. Each one would carry a pot to put the donations in. So many of the children are orphans. Sad to see.
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Another interesting thing is the powder that is worn by most of the women, and some of the men. It is called Thanaka. They rub this powder from a piece of bark and make a yellowish powder which they rub on their face, especially the cheeks. Apparently it protects them from the sun and makes the skin more beautiful.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanaka

We looked at the food at the market and decided we didn’t want to get malaria or sick, so we headed to the local mall for lunch. Steak and baked potatoes.

We then headed to a store called Hla Day. It featured so many local products made by people with disabilities or mothers trying to stay home with their children.

We headed back to the hotel and then walked to the Shwedagon Pagoda. This is the largest temple complex in the world. And the oldest. The largest pagoda is plated with gold. The grounds were immense and because we came at night the lights were beautiful. You do need to walk barefooted, so it’s a little gross on the feet.
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We took another grab to the San Yoe Yar Restaurant for some yummy and flavorful food from the Shan State. We had stir-fried Marrow leaves, Stir-fried Pork with sour bamboo shoots, and for an appetizer Steamed Chicken and onion leek wrapped in banana leaf. We topped it off with some sweet mango for dessert. The food was rated highly on trip advisor, and deserves the top rating. We were treated so well.

It was off to the hotel and some rest.

June 27 Wednesday

We got up and made some airline and hotel reservations to head to HeHo airport and Inlee/ Inlay Lake. Walked around the lake for a bit and had some lunch at the White Rice Restaurant. When you order a dish, just beware it serves more than one person. We had a prawn sweet and sour dish, asparagus, rice and lime juice. There were leftovers, so we gave them to the guards at the gate, who looked at us a little funny. But we couldn’t take it with us.

It was a small plane to HeHo airport from Yangon. Then we got a taxi for a set price of 40,000 kyat, or about 30 dollars for a 2 hour ride out to the lake and our resort, Amata Garden Resort. It’s really a once lane bumpy road with all sorts of traffic, including herds of buffalo walking. We finally made it about 8 pm. We had opted to pay less for a deluxe room, but when we got here they said they wanted to upgrade us to a villa. And what a beautiful room. Large entry way, very large bedroom/living area, nice patio, and a huge bathroom. All surrounded by beautiful gardens, with a whole orchid area, and including many banana trees. Tourist season runs from November-April, and we totally missed that memo. So, because of that we are almost alone. There are 5 guests here. During the high season, this hotel and villas can hold 250 people. But the restaurant and spa are open. They are just waiting around for us to come.
We had some dinner and settled in for the night.

Thursday June 28 we got up early, had some breakfast and went to meet our tour guide at the hotel’s dock. Our tour guide’s name was Sai, pronounced sigh. He was wearing the traditional longi, the long “dress” that both men and women wear. His English was really good, and he was super informative about the trip.

We saw the famous fishermen who paddle with one food, while balancing on the other while putting out nets and catching fish. And the guy caught one while we were watching.
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We traveled thru the tomato floating gardens where they produce all the tomatoes for Myanmar. The process of obtaining the land by cutting up land from the other end of the lake, and floating down to this area is amazing. There are 7000 acres of gardens. They have 2 crops a year.
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We visited a building where the Long Neck women live. They are originally from Thailand, and I was able to see them there last year. Still can't understand why they would do this to themselves. For life.
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We visited the silver making shop, and picked up a couple of items. After making our own jewelry in Bali, we appreciated how much effort it takes to make it now.

We traveled thru a floating village and saw the school, where the parents had built up the land so the kids could have a place to play. We watched as women washed their clothes and dishes in the lake. Many people were bathing and even brushing their teeth from the water. Sai told us that they do bring in bottled water to drink and cook with. But the toilet water does flow back into the lake.

We stopped at a village and toured the Indein Village and Pagodas. 1065 of them. `
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https://www.renown-travel.com/burma/inlelake/indein.html
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Bought some handicrafts from the locals. One man had two arms that were not formed correctly, but he was using them to engrave these drawings. Melissa bought some jewelry that he said his brother made.
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We had some fresh fish, rice, and tomato/tea leaf salad for lunch at a floating restaurant.
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Then we continued to on to a floating weaving factory. Here we watched them making lotus leave threads from the stalks of lotus plants, and then weaving it into scarfs. The process is incredibly time consuming. And we watched the many women weaving, making about 200-300$ a month. Melissa got herself a nice lotus scarf.
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It was an incredible day.

Friday June 29.

We decided to have a down day today and enjoy this beautiful resort. And it is so beautiful and peaceful. We had breakfast and went for a bike ride. No electric motors on these bikes, unlike Bali. And it was hard work. We pedaled for an hour and didn’t find any reason to keep going. So we turned around and stopped at an elementary school we had passed by. They had grades K, 1, 2, 4 and 5. The younger kids sang songs for us. They are learning English. The teachers live at the school in these barrack things. Sai told us they make 150$ a month. Their retirement has now changed and they get 50% of their salary a month. These people live on next to nothing.
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We came back and swam in the lovely pool, and then relaxed and worked on videos and blogs. Shared some tomato soup and cashew chicken for dinner. Tomorrow we are starting our journey home. It's been an adventure!

Posted by dianeski4 06:34 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

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