Bloody hell it’s hot. We’re in Inle Lake now and the sun is fiercely hot – probably the worst possible day to have forgotten the suncream and then sit in a boat for six hours!
Inle Lake is a fascinating place. Whole stilted communities live their entire lives in the centre of the lake. Literally everything is on the water; schools, shops, the post office, monasteries and even allotments. For these people life revolves around the lake.
We decided the best way to see the lake was just to play the tourist card and hire a boat for the day. We did pretty much the entire length of the lake, paddling through floating villages and gardens, and stopping off at a silk factory, a cigar workshop and a silversmith.
Now we’re about to get on an overnight bus to Mandalay and then fly to Bangkok tomorrow morning. In hindsight a week really wasn’t long enough to do Myanmar justice, we’ve both loved it so much. I could have spent the whole three months here and still not feel like I’d seen it all. There’s so much of the world to see that it’s not often we go back to the same places but I’m pretty certain we’ll be visiting Burma again at some point.
Bagan. No words or photos could ever do justice to the sheer scale or beauty of this place. Over 3,000 temples, stupas, and monasteries are scattered across the Burmese plains, dating back more than 800 years.
It’s just incredible. It is so beautiful, so peaceful and as yet so untouched by tourism. We’ve spent two blissful, but extremely hot, days cycling around Old Bagan, scrambling up the sides of crumbling temples to enjoy the views and enjoying a nice cold bottle of Myanmar beer at the end of it.
It’s a shame we don’t have more time here but the next stop is Inle Lake!
Welcome to the Golden Land.
It’s really not hard to see how Myanmar earned its nickname. As we were flying into Yangon we passed over a huge, shimmering golden stupa, which we (mistakenly) assumed was the Shwedagon Paya in Yangon. Five minutes later we’d seen a dozen more dotted around the Burmese countryside, each bigger and brighter than the one before it. And then we actually did see the Shwedagon Paya. Wow.
Even the arrivals hall at the airport was beautifully decorated with golden spires, and we drove past a mechanics that could easily have been mistaken for some magnificent, ornate temple.
Well, to quote the famous Mr. Kipling (no, not that one!) ‘This is Burma‘. Sitting outside with a bottle – or three – of the local brew, the stresses of the last week seem a million miles away now and it finally feels like we’re on holiday!