Inle Lake Myanmar

Jan Leeming

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

INLE LAKE - Myanmar

Date: 18th December 2016

I've given up trying to get the correct dates for when and where we saw everything - all the pagodas, temples, villages etc. have now merged and it is difficult to sort them out especially as I couldn't take notes of place names because I didn't stand a chance at trying to discern Burmese writing which appears to be a succession of circles.  So I shall just write about the final visits of our Burmese tour.

INLE LAKE

We were supposed to take a train ride from Kalaw through picturesque countryside to Aung Ban and then by bus to the northern end of the Inle Lake. Initially we were told the train was one hour late so we kicked our heels in the lovely Dream Resort Hotel but when our Tour Manager got word that the train was now delayed by 4 hours (not so much leaves on the line maybe an elephant!!) he had to take evasive action. We had to get to the Inle Lake in time to take our outboard motor propelled boats on a one hour journey to our hotel. So we had to abandon the train and go by coach but it was still an attractive drive - in the middle of nowhere you will see the gleaming gold of a pagoda or a stupa even in tiny villages.

Our hour’s ride over the lake was superb and we even briefly glimpsed the famed fishermen who stand up in their boats and row with a leg around an oar.

The next day was going to be spent on the Lake going by boat from village to village and also to several shrines - a Pagoda surrounded by beautifully carved Stupas and old Stupas which are sunken for part of the year with flood waters. At the villages we saw many crafts, weaving and pottery being just two of them. I’ve made whole series of craft programmes in the past and am fairly well versed as to the skill of various craftspeople. I was very impressed with the elderly lady ‘throwing’ her pots on a primitive table which she kept in permanent motion with her foot. Their ‘kiln’ was a huge hole in the ground where they stack the pots until the ‘cave’ is full and then they make fire. Again all very primitive but it did the job.

We visited a weaving village where every house on stilts appeared to be yet another small business weaving silk or the thread which they extract from the lotus root. I had a go at rolling the thread. The lotus root is about a metre in length - you crack it, twist, pull the two ends away from the ‘thread’ in the middle and then roll it. The thread when woven makes for quite a coarse but hard wearing material. It is a slow process to extract the thread and this is reflected in the price of the garments for sale.

Light was failing when we got back to our hotel for an early dinner because once again we had an early start in order to reach the airport for our return journey to Yangon. 

I could show you lots of pretty pictures (which I hope to find time to put in the gallery) but I just had to show you this.  There we are almost in the back of beyond in a very basic village and what do you see but a solar panel!  And this is to generate enough electricity for the television!

INLE LAKE - Myanmar

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