Sunday, August 3, 2014


February 27, 2014

     Well, I didn't hear any music during the night so either the wine worked or the guy decided to give it a rest.  Breakfast is good and hits the spot.

     Our driver picks us up at 8:00 am.  I think he said to call him Then??  We are headed to KAKKU and I must admit I haven't done as much research on this as I should have.  I do know we will pick up a Pa-O guide so I figured he/she would give us all the info we would need.  Our driver has a nice, comfy car and the A/C works great.  As we drive along he points out sights-sugar factory, a middle school, rice winery, garlic fields, a bus station, the oval window monastery, high school, train station, toll gate with the name High Land Rd. Construction, a golf course, an amusement park, the town of Taunggyi.  Soon we stop to pay our fees-the permit/zone fee is $3 per person and the Pa-O guide is $5.  We have to show our passports so if you do this trip make sure you bring your passport.  Our guide is a lovely young woman by the name of Aang Yin Aye but she tells us to call her Aye Aye.  As we are driving she gives us so much info-garlic is the main crop, then rice, also wheat, Chinese beans.  She lives in town with her uncle and her family lives in a Pa-O village.  There are lots of tribes other than Pa-O/Shan.
This is the office where we paid our zone fees and picked up our Pa-O guide.

Locals working in the fields

This woman is watering the plants using a special can

A new road being built
The sign points the way
     In no time at all it seems, we arrive at KAKKU.  It is pretty amazing and you have to see it to feel the full impact.  Thousands of stupas in one smallish area.  We walk up and down, going through , stopping here and there.  Sounds of all the tinkling bells.  Almost magical here.  Hardly any tourists.   We get to the back where the river is and she tells us all about the different celebrations, stories about Ashoka, and the different styles of stupas and the umbrella tops.  Glad we have a guide!  She's an encyclopedia of knowledge!  She has us sit in a "secret" spot and asks us what do we see?  OMG-all the stupas are reflected in the water where we are sitting.  Amazingly beautiful.  She also shows me how she wraps her scarf on her head.  Soon another of her friends/guide joins us and we just enjoy the beauty and peace of our surroundings.
Seen from the parking area by the restaurant


Beautiful carvings

Buddha inside stupa that is in the picture to the right

View to the back of the complex

Holding place for fallen, ruined umbrellas

Holding place for broken parts of the stupas

More being kept secure 

Liked the color of this one

Aye and my husband-she's giving him info about this place

Aye in orange and her friend in red

Aye Aye and her friend 

     Lunch is right there at this huge restaurant HLAING KOON.  We have a vegetable salad and fruit.  More than enough for the 2 of us.  We'd asked Aye Aye to join us but she wants to catch up with some of her friends who are here.  Cost for lunch 5000k.  As we are leaving I'm approached by a tourist who wants to know if it's worth it to have a guide.  I tell her that as far as I know you're supposed to pay the zone fee and guide fee-that it's mandatory.  But yes, I tell her, having a guide can make a big difference in what you get out of this place of endless stupas.

     We are back in the car and we see the new entrance gate being built.   Aye Aye wants to show us a Pa-O village so we stop and follow her.  Most of the homes have no one there and she explains they are probably all working in the fields tending to the crops.  An older woman is home and invites us into the house.  She makes green tea for us.  She lives her with her son, his wife, and his 2 children.  Her daughter lives in a nearby village and has 2 children.  We talk (with Aye's help) about our grandchildren.  We only have just the one and he lives far away in China so we don't see him much.  She wishes she was able to walk to town like she used to but can no longer do this due to what comes with aging.  This house is very large.  The kitchen has a fire pit area in the center of that room for cooking.  There is this room where we're sitting-like a living room-and 2 bedrooms.  The lower level is a storeroom area of sorts with huge bags of rice.  Aye explains most will have enough rice to last a yr.  I don't take many pictures of the inside of the house or the lady we talked to.  Not sure of the spelling but this village is WIN YAT.  We drop Aye back off to her office and I give her a generous tip of 15000k for the hospitality she has shown us.
New entrance gate for Kakku area

The house we visited in the Pa-O village of Win Yat
Storeroom area


     Our driver asks if we want to stop at the winery but I explain we've already been to Red Mountain. He says this is a different one.  Ok.  AYTHAYA WINERY  We do a tasting and have some cold drinks.  I didn't like the wine here as much as at RM so we don't buy any wine.  Then it's back to the hotel, cost for the day 50000k.  I see Ko and he says he's confirmed our flight to Thandwe tomorrow and has arranged for a car to take us to the airport for 16000 which is a lot less than what I paid to get to the hotel from the airport.  It pays to arrange these things with your hotel.  The car will pick us up at 6:30 am.

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Wine tasting

Myanmar Rose/Shiraz Muscat and Myanmar Red Wine Reserve

Myanmar White/Sauvigon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest

Going back through the town of Taunggyi again we see this sign.

     Where to go for dinner??  The place where we had a great meal of course.  GREEN CHILI.  This time it's stir fry chicken and vegetables, rice, chicken club sandwich (my husband had it the other time and I had a bite but now I want my own whole sandwich!), tea and Tiger beer.  Everything is so good.  Cost 13600k.  We take a slow walk back knowing this is our last day/night here but the beach and Ngapali beckons.  We need to just have some time to relax and do nothing.
Complimentary chips and sauce

Chicken club sandwich

Stir fry chicken and vegetables

1 comment:

  1. I'm really enjoying the reading of your adventures and also your beautiful pictures. As I'm planning a similar trip on january 2015, I wonder if you can remember how much did you pay for the Inle Lake- Ngapali beach airline ticket!!! Thank you and keep travelling!!!