Tuesday, August 5, 2014


February 25, 2014

     Holy s__t!  What is that noise?  It's 4:00 am and there's this really loud music playing.  Sounds like it's right outside our bungalow but of course I find out later it's coming from a private house down by the jetty.  This house has a big loud speaker attached to the outside by the roof.  Breakfast starts at 6:30 am so we are there along with a few other hardy souls.  It is cold and I have my fleece on.  A young woman comes to take our order.  I decide to do juice, tea, fruit, and a crepe/pancake.  Very good.  OMG!  She's bringing me 2 fried eggs and toast.   We meet up with the other couple-Maggie and her husband (oops-I forgot to write his name down).  Very nice from Germany.  They speak better English than we speak German.  Sometimes it's nice to have company on a day trip.  At 7:00 am our boat guy meets us at the hotel and we walk the short distance to the jetty area where there are several boats.  The boat is nice with life jackets, chairs with cushions, and blankets.  One guy is in charge of the motor and steering the boat and the other I guess is in charge of us.  Lots of activity going in both directions on the lake.  Some boats are transporting tourists like us, others are transporting locals, and other boats are just transporting goods.  I have my fleece on over a long sleeve wicking material shirt which is over a short sleeve shirt so that should give you some idea of how chilly it was early in the morning.  By about 10:00 am I am only in my ss shirt!  So the advice about layering is right on.  After a while we stop at a fairly large building for a toilet break before heading further south.  We have some tea.  We see some Intha fishermen going about their business and not interested in us.  They have developed a special metod of rowing.  It's done with one leg while they balance their body with the other leg, while standing on the edge of the boat.  I wonder if I could learn to do that??  With the rowing leg it's like a figure eight like motion in the water.  Captivating!  We also see people tending to the gardens.  The design is floating.  Narrow strips of buoyant natural material are superimposed with soil and anchored to the lake bed with bamboo sticks.  And on top of this is where they plant the gardens.  It's spread apart enough to allow for harvesting .
This is the jetty area where we walked to get our boat to go to Sankar

Tourists heading in the other direction

It's getting warmer

Intha fishermen 

Intha fishermen have a special method of rowing.

Goods on board

Tending to the floating gardens.  Lots of bamboo sticks here.

Italian restaurant-Golden Kite



     SANKAR  Seat of Shan Saw Bwa-heredity prince.  Ancient capital.  Located at the southern end of the lake-the eastern shore of the second lake.  3 hrs. journey there.   A small village with interesting monasteries and pagodas.  I had read that there was an entrance fee plus a fee for a PaO guide but we don't pay and we don't have a guide.  I have no idea why.
     First stop MAWBE MARKET.  Lots of Shan people here and we're told they come down from the hills to this market.  Lots of produce and a ton of souvenir/crafts for sale.  I buy the typical Shan purse in colors of red and back for 5000k.  We were running out of toothpaste and I find a box of Colgate for 800k.  Very busy.
Lots of boats here already

Lots of cattle around.  They are used to pull the carts to market from the hills.

Selling crafts and other souvenirs

     We finally reach SANKAR.  We are told we have 1 1/2 hrs. here.  As we're walking around I meet a young monk who tells me his name is Etumba (Don't know if spelling is right but that's how it sounded).   The German couple have gone off on their own heading down a path which we later learn leads to a place where Maggie has a smoothie or shake of sorts.  Anyway Etumba showed us around several monasteries, the town well.  We saw lots of ruined and restored stupas.  We enjoyed the time we spent with him.  All too soon we head back to the boat and leave.

Putting in a new floor

Original manuscript

This is the road Maggie and Stan walked down where they had their drinks/shake.

One of the oldest structures

The town  well


     We stop at a place for lunch where there are lots of tourists.   Maggie elects to stay in the boat as she's not hungry.  BWE BAI RESTAURANT (forgot to take a picture)  I have fried rice with chicken, beers for my husband and Stan and coke for me.  7500k for lunch.  Then in the same area we decide to make a quick visit to TAUKHAUNG PAGODA.   Lots of tinkling bells.  An impressive place.

     More interesting scenery on the lake.  Another shop stop.  This one is MYAT PWINT CHEL silk and lotus weaving-where we see how lotus is made into very expensive scarves, etc.  I really want to buy the smaller scarf but at $180 my husband gives me the "look".   They have silk items but for me it's the lotus or nothing.  I leave empty handed.

Lotus weaving

Silk weaving

     A nice sunset on the way back.  I'm looking for my share of money to pay and realize I left it in the bungalow.  I will explain to the guy as he is also taking us to Indein tomorrow.  Ko has told us the total cost for today will be 50000k and split between each couple that amounts to 25000k which is a bargain.  I start to try to explain to the guy but he says everything taken care of and he will pick us up tomorrow at 8:00 am.  As the 4 of us are walking back to PG Hotel I'm telling Maggie about leaving my money for the boat trip behind and she tells me that they paid 50000k to the guy which she says was their share.  I say to her and Stan that Ko said it was 50000k total for all 4 of us but I will check with Ko.  If Maggie is wrong I'll come to their bungalow and give them 25000k.  Maybe that's why the guy said it was fine.  I check with Ko.  It's 50000k total for all 4 of us-for the boat-so I head over to Maggie's bungalow and give them the 25000k.  Maggie is sitting on the porch with her leg elevated.  It's really swollen.  She injured herself in Bagan, saw a doctor, had x rays, etc. but it doesn't look good.  They will be heading home soon.  I ask if they want to join us tomorrow to Indein and Stan says he'd like to as he's never been but Maggie isn't up to it so they will just rest tomorrow.  Probably best that way.  We won't see them again as they're leaving.  Maggie gives me her business card with e-mail address so we can stay in touch.


     Dinner time.  We are going to walk to the GREEN CHILI.  It takes 5 minutes or less.   A very nice place.  I order chicken kabaeb with rice and my husband orders the chicken club sandwich with fries.  What can I say??  Although that sandwich looks really good and DH says it's very tasty.  Tiger beer and coke bring the bill to 13100k.

Chicken kabaeb

Chicken club sandwich and fries

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