Holy places

Religions are important to us, and to some extend it describes your personality or how you want others to perceive you. Generalized, the essence of religions are for us to behave good, and if one do so,  his afterlife will be good. In reverence of our gods, we erect buildings or constructions, and make sacrifices.  Here are selection of the thousands of holy places I have visited. I tried not to put them into order, as religions now mix together as people move to new countries and settle down. Communism do not recognize any religions, yet people in communist regimes tend to look upon their leaders as they have divine power.

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Dhammayangyi Temple – Bagan

The biggest temple of all the temples in Bagan, was abandoned when King Narathu,whom got it erected, was assassinated.
The story behind this lunatic king is that he killed his father and his brother, so that he could step up on the throne.  Later he also killed his wife, and I have reasons to believe that it was her father that got Narathu killed eventually.
Most temples, as you may see, has the shape of a leaf, but the Dhamma Yangui is shaped like a pyramid. Some locals believes it is haunted, and it hangs a certain kind of mystique around the temple.
If you do not find the Dhamma Yangyi temple interesting, there are several more to choose from. Bagan is in fact an entire forest of stupas, temples and pagodas, and they are a beautiful sight as they reminds us of ancient times with all their mystique and tranquility.

The farmers in Bagan operates their agriculture between the stupas, as they have done since ancient times. Our guide took us on a tour of the village and we got to meet the farmers and learn about their hard, but also quiet farmer’s life. The cows that came in from the pasture was the signal for us to go and take pictures of the  beautiful sunset over Bagan.

Bagan is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Should you be in the area, do pay a visit, you will not regret it.

Flight announcments at Yangoon domestic airport

At the domestic airport in Yangon, the flight announcment is done the good old way. Traffic staff just walk around in the departure hall and announces the flights “manually”. They simply calls out your flight number and hold up a board. All departures are using the same gate and they even take off at the same time, creating a small caos at this small airport.

All the flights start early in the morning from Yangoon, and they fly a particular route, either to Heho, Bagan and Mandalay or vice versa.
One must not be surprised if they change the routing and fly over your destination, or they add an extra stop, without further notice.
Before arriving in Myanmar, we were warned about the safety of the airlines and in particularly airlines run by the military regime. But even though we were somewhat hesitant when we saw the airline’s slogan Safefy (?),Reliability and Comfort, but it appears that Air Mandalay kept their promise and had full control of the passenger’s safety .

Taung kalat – walking in monkey poop

After driving for about 2 hours from Bagan we arrived at Mount Popa, where we would climb the 777 steps to the top of the mountain Taung Kalat to the Taungkalat shrine. The view from the top of the mountain was of course fantastic with a stunning view of the Ayeryarwaddy river and the surroundings. But the “trek” to the top is also quite an experience. At some places the steps are really steep.

Monkeys have found their livelihoods among the pilgrims and tourists. And they do what ever it takes to get a small meal, even though it means steeling. Several times we saw sticky-fingered monkeys looking for a chocolate hidden in a bag or a cigar in a breast pocket. They gave us many good laughs, but these monkeys can be quite troublesome. They also fight quite often and can make a tremendous noise.

In the Budda temples shoes are  prohibited, so we had to walk barefoot from our car to the top. The steps seemed a bit sticky, and several times we wondered what we stepped on, and our suspicions were confirmed at last, we had stomped around in monkey poop and pee. Despite this fact it did not take from us the great experience to “hike” to the top.