Day 10 Myanmar (30th Dec)
Today we spent nearly all day in canoes on lake Inle. First we went on a motorised canoe right across the lake, watching fishermen – who can use an oar with one leg while arranging their fishing nets.📷 We stopped to see fish being sold by the fishermen to the wholesaler – who weighs the fish (sorted into 3 sizes), pays the fisherman & takes the fish from the lake to the market. One fisherman was paid ~$3 for a nights worth of fishing – seems like hard work for little money. We then went along canals & over weirs looking at the floating gardens & irrigation systems. Tomatoes & flowers are grown on floating gardens, held in position by long bamboo poles which are driven into the bottom of the lake. We visited a very popular local market in Inle village, where we spotted at least one VERY famous person, who we won’t name to protect his privacy. Instead, we will provide his initials – L.A. If you would like to comment including his name, & you are correct, I will probably neither confirm or deny! Dad had his second best haircut that he has ever had (best was in India).📷 After the market, we went to see some small pagoda ruins that were built in the 17th century and ruined by rain in the 18th and 19th. There were even some banyan trees growing out the top of some!📷 We then went to see some blobs at Phaung Daw Oo Paya – one of the holiest sites in the Shan state. The blobs in question are actually 5 Buddha statues, but because Buddhists have put so much gold leaf on them, they are no longer recognisable as Buddha statues.📷 After lunch, where we tried the delicious local fish, at a local canal-side restaurant, we got back in our motorised canoe and went off to see these things being hand made: gold and silver jewellery, offering jars and all sorts of other small things (present for Granny fix-it bought here); scarves and other stuff woven from silk and lotus – a unique fabric made from fibres pulled from the stems of lotus flowers; cheroots in all sizes; and finally local traditional knives at a brilliant old floating forge. Dad bought a rustic cleaver for chopping stuff up in the kitchen and a machete for cutting sugar cane (I guess this is what we are going to be growing on our new land in Bisham!). We transferred to a small canoe to visit close-up a village on stilts. I was quite surprised to see pigs in pens on stilts. We motor canoed back to our hotel as the sun was setting, & it was dark by the time we got back.
That’s all for today,
P.S. Photos to be posted when the internet speed is better