Tuesday, August 12, 2014

FEBRUARY 18, 2014: MORE SIGHTSEEING VIA HORSE CART



February 18, 2014

     Gosh-didn't sleep well as someone (maybe the unit next to us?) left the TV on all night.  Then a lady knocked on our door at 5:00 am but was looking for someone else!!  She had the wrong room.  We have breakfast at the PRINCE RESTAURANT at our hotel due to the rain.  This building was originally built in 1922 to house the Prince Of Wales when he came to Bagan for a visit.  There is no egg station that I can find so pancakes it is.  DH tries mohinga but not too crazy about it and neither am I.  Oh well.  We talk to a couple-Tom and BJ-from Seattle.  They're going to Mt. Popa today and tomorrow to Inle Lake.  We are debating about going to Mt. Popa ourselves.  We meet SS at 8:00 am and are off.  Thankfully it's not raining.

     GUBYAUKGYI-MYINKABA  Great painted cave temple constructed in 1113 by Prince Rajakumar after the death of his father King Kyansittha.  Nicknamed the "Love Temple" due to beautiful stone inscription of dedication from the Prince to his father.  Spectacular murals inside.  However, no pictures or video allowed and it's too dark inside for my small flashlight to really see any of the paintings.  We leave disappointed.


As you can see no pictures or video allowed









Beautiful windows



Stuccos of Ogres known as Balu Panswel on the temple
     SHWESANDAW  The climb up (steps get narrower and steeper near the top) is totally worth the views of the Bagan plain.  Top levels are small-not much space.  Very crowded.  This is the "sunset" temple where everyone gathers-except for us!!  There are 5 terraces.
As  seen from BOB on Feb. 15
The views are awesome!



The climb





































Here we are!












     SHWEGUGYI  Near Shwesandaw so has almost the same views but there is only 1 way in and 1 way our so it takes a while to get up and then back down.  Nearby are the ruins of the former royal palace.  Built around 1131 in about 7 months per Pali inscription on stone slabs in the building.







View 










Detail













Inscription






















Crowded as only the one way up and down so you have to wait

Add caption
 



Ruins of former royal palace




     We tell SS that we want to see a monastery and he suggests a boat ride on the river.  Where we would get the boat is right next to the monastery so we agree unaware that when we arrive the cost for the 1 hr. boat ride is 30000k!!  I should have refused to go but I didn't want to create any problems so my bag.  We don't see much river life that we were told we'd see but it is relaxing.

Our boat










Our boat crew


     NAT TAUNG KYAUNG MONASTERY  Built in the 18th century.  Oldest teak religious building still surviving in Bagan.  Beautiful wood carvings-rosettes and other shapes.  Roofs decorated with wooden statues.  An oasis of peace.


























   





 
     BUPAYA  A golden gourd shaped temple by the Ayeyarwaddy River.  Rebuilt after 1975 earthquake.  Ended up talking to some stewardesses in uniform from KBZ Airlines.  We have an upcoming flight with this airline.
Tharabar Gate

Ogres guarding the gate.  On the left is the brother  "Lord of the Mountain" and on the right is the sister "Golden Face".
The other side of the Tharabar Gate
We passed this on our way





Entrance


Buddha image




Guardian lion



View

     Now we end up stopping at SS's home where his wife hands him a much bigger flashlight than the one we have.  So it's back to GUBYAUKGYI.  SS gives us the flashlight and my DH and I enter the pagoda eager to view the paintings.  The flashlight is a bit better but it's really dark indise.  Aha, a man comes up to us with a HUGE torch like device that lights up the entire wall!  He shows us all the beautiful , colorful wall and ceiling paintings.  Wish you could take some pictures as they're breathtaking.  I give him 300k even though he doesn't ask for anything.   Outside I'm in a good mood and when approached by a lady trying to sell me a pair of those lightweight pants I ask "how much" and she replies 20000k.  I start to walk away as I don't have enough money with me.  She asks how much do you want to pay.  I say I only have 7000 k and I get the pants which I will give to my daughter who loves them.
     Lunch is at THE MOON, BE KIND TO ANIMALS  It's packed with people.  We have gazpacho soup (for me as I really liked it when my DH had it before on Feb. 15th) and pumpkin soup with ginger for DH.  Also an order of spicy vegetables and drinks.  Cost 10000k.  I talk to Minthu on SS's phone about going to Mt. Popa tomorrow.  He wants 80000k and I don't know if it's worth that much for me to go so I tell him I'll think about it and will send him an e-mail.  We return to the hotel by 3:30 pm.   I tell SS that we have enjoyed our 2 days with him.   As we're walking from the road up to the hotel we see our driver Ko and I ask him about going to Mt. Popa.  He will do Salay and Mt. Popa for 60000k so I book him and then let Minthu know we have decided not to use him for Mt. Popa.  I don't feel bad as Minthu didn't come through for us with the 2 days of horse cart sightseeing I had arranged with him almost 6 months ago plus this is way cheaper!  We relax by the pool for the rest of the afternoon.





Pumpkin soup with ginger

Gazpacho soup

Spicy vegetable chapati wrap



Minthu's uncle Saung and my husband Richard


Hotel pool


     Dinner-THE LIBRARY  Located in Wet Kyi Inn Quarter, Nyaung OO.  We are the only ones here and I don't understand why.  It's not Burmese food but Italian and it's the bomb!!  The tables are set with table linens and really nice glassware, silverware, etc.   Margherita pizza with thin crust just how we like it.  It is so good it's gone in minutes!  Beer and American coffee.  A mixed salad we decide to share and it's a good thing as the portion is quite large.  It's served to us on 2 plates, already divided.  Nice touch.  My DH has mixed fruit-cherries, grapes, honeydew, watermelon, pineapple, and apples-for desert and I have the absolute best tasting different tiramisu than I've ever had.  It has chocolate biscuits on the bottom and a thin layer of chocolate on top.  The cream is so light and airy.  Fastest service from our waiter.  Bravo!  Cost 24000k.

   






Margherita pizza

Mixed salad
Tiramisu

Yummy!!

Mixed fruit

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