I wonder …


… What his photo looks like? Guess I never will know!

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 .

A bottle of Sprite – blessed by the chanting monk?

Holy water is important in many religions, including Buddhism. Every day, water is made sacred through the monks’ prayer and reading from the Holy Scriptures.What I found unusual was the blessing of Sprite!? But by all means if the heavilysugary drink becomes more healthy, I am for the blessing of all drinks ….:-)

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.

Inle – off the tourist track

20120310-204040.jpgWe were lucky enough and persuaded the guide to take us off the tourist track, and by that we could visit the family of our driver

Anto – the eldest son of the house, must now help his mother to manage the family after his father passed away, only 42 years old. Everyone must contribute, so that they one day may get a TV. Still they do enjoy the tranquility, and do not want to change they’re life with the busy city life.
Before his mother dies, the son must become a monk, if her afterlife should be of the good kind. But he is getting old, and the monks life is not want he strive for at the moment.

There are only a few weeks until the election, but still they do not know whom to vote for, thus they know nothing about politics and are more concerned with daily life than the politics holders in Yangon.

Inle is situated in the province of Shan, which is the province that produces the most opium in Myanmar…

Strolling the bridge of U Bein

While the duck farmers gathered their geese and the sun was going down over Amarapura it was time to wander over the 1300yd Long teak bridge. Not only is it the world’s longest footbridge as it gently curves over Taungthaman Sea, it is probably the most photographed of its kind.

The monks from the convent school goes back and forth twice a day, simply to keep fit, but if I get to judge, also to get a break from the strict monastic life.
The bridge creaks quite a bit, and there are only a few of the over 1000 poles that have been replaced since the bridge was built. The bridge is popular, so one can not expect to have the bridge by one self, hordes of tourists take over the bridge and take their pictures of the monks and the local heroes. We on the other hand, went all the way to the other side, and therefore escaped the tourists. But we became populare targets by the locals whom wanted a picture of us. Gigglingly, they contacted, and was surprised and shy, when we smilingly gave permission to snap away. It was in a way fair after all the pictures we had taken of them. When the sun went down behind the hill, we walked slowly back to the western side, while we chatted with the monks, A wonderful experience