Monday, February 10, 2014

FEBRUARY 19, 2014: SALAY AND MT. POPA




February 19, 2014

    Breakfast back at the hotel's Acacia Shade Restaurant by the river.  We meet Ko at 8:00 am.  I remember to bring our passports with us in case I need them.  Will sightsee in SALAY first.  We pass interesting scenery along the way.  Drive through the small town of Chauk with its morning market.    Pass oil rigs and gas wells.  Fertilizer plant.  We will pass through 5 tolls before reaching MT. POPA.
One of the tolls

Men at work

Crude oil rig/well



Chauk



Fertilizer plant

Fertilizer plant
     SALAY  It's about 1 1/2 hr. drive from Bagan.  Parallel to the Ayeyarwaddy River.  Faded buildings left over from the British colonial period.  But my main interest is visiting the monastery YOKE SONE KYAUNG.  Fee 5000k pp.  Had to show my passport.  This place has spectacular wood carvings.  Built in 1882.  Inside is arranged like a museum with items all clearly labeled.
Across the street from the monastery

Where you pay
















Inside it's set up like a museum











Ceiling detail















These were all around the outside perimeter of the building







Entrance

Underneath the monastery building



Old colonial style building in town





















Washing clothes in the river

Life scenes-Ayeyarwaddy River
     MT. POPA  Dedicated to the worship of the 37 nats-Burmese ancient animist spirits.    Popa Goddess/Popa Mother-protector of women.  At the base of the mountain shrine to Lord of the Mountain-protector of the house/town.  He and his sister , Lady Golden Face protect the Tharabar Gate in Bagan.  My research tells me not to wear red or black so as not to offend the spirits!  At the top is the view of the Myingyan Plain.  We stopped a few times along the road to take pictures as we got nearer to our destination.  Went to the NAT MUSEUM first.  Saw all 37 depicted.  Interesting.  You can keep your shoes on for the first group of stairs which lead past stalls selling T shirts, lacquerware, etc.  Then it's off with the shoes ( take wet wipes as your feet will get really dirty!) and a climb of allegedly 777 stairs.  I tried to keep count but the climb was not easy for me so I lost count after the first few hundred!  Stairs to top have metal roof covering so no views.  Reaching the top-finally-I look for this amazing view but in all honesty it wasn't that great when we were there.  I would not do that climb again as my legs felt like rubber.



Mt. Popa from a distance





Nat museum
Nats





Mt. Popa entrance

Saw lots of these

Souvenir sellers









At the top







At the top


















Lots of stairs!




Metal roof over the stairs to the top

More stairs

And more stairs!

     On our way back to Bagan we stopped to buy some palm sugar products,  to get some drinks at the  YANGON RESTAURANT and then we stopped at a small town so because our driver wanted to buy some strawberries to take home to his family.  He got some for us and they were tasty!  Cost for the trip 60000 as agreed the night before.  (This was 20000 less than Minthu wanted)







Palm sugar items






   

























     Dinner  LA MIM THIT  We told Ko that we would leave the choice of restaurant up to him and he said here we would have authentic Burmese food.  We were the only tourists there.  The menu offers sets with a variety of dishes.  My husband chose the Vegetarian Set 3500k which was bean soup, fried veg., veg. salad, veg. curry, rice, and fruit.  I picked the Regular Set 3500k which was same soup, same salad, veg. curry, 1 main choice of chicken/mutton/beef/pork, riverfish, rice, and fruit.  It was all very good and we were stuffed!!  Cost car Ko 10000k.  I arrange with Ko to take us to the jetty for the boat to Mandalay for 4:30 am pick up.  Back at the hotel we let reception know we will be checking out tomorrow around 4:00 am.  They will do a breakfast box even though we say it's not necessary.


Lots of tasty food

Soup

Have no idea what these were but I can say we ate everything and it was all good!

So much food!




Desert I think was some kind of banana treat??

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