1. Travel

Burma (Day 8)

Yesterday we spent so much time in the van. We didn’t get to Pindaya until past dinnertime, but none of us were hungry, so we just checked into our hotel and called it a night.

Sunrise from our hotel in Pindaya
Sunrise from our hotel in Pindaya
A type of ရှမ်းခေါက်ဆွဲ (Shan noodles) for breakfast
A type of ရှမ်းခေါက်ဆွဲ (Shan noodles) for breakfast

After breakfast in our hotel, we set off for Pindaya’s most famous attraction: the Pindaya Caves. These caves have maybe a million Buddha statues. They are actually in every nook and cranny of the caves. It’s a bit overwhelming.

On the up side, not nearly as wet or claustrophobic feeling as the caves we went to in Maymyo. On the down side, I always happen to wear ထဘီ on the days we go to caves -__-

Walking up the entrance. You have to go up a big flight of stairs (or alternatively, take the elevator, which we did not do) before you enter the caves.
Walking up the entrance. You have to go up a big flight of stairs (or alternatively, take the elevator, which we did not do) before you enter the caves.
Buddhas. Everywhere.
Buddhas. Everywhere.
EVERYWHERE
EVERYWHERE
Saw this on the way back toward the car. These guys are 100% not scared of heights...
Saw this on the way back toward the car. These guys are 100% not scared of heights…

After Pindaya, we drove off for Inle! Other than Bagan, Inle is what I’m looking forward to most. Inle’s a pretty big lake in the middle of Burma, and there’s a bunch of stuff that happens on the lake itself. People live in houses on the lake (free standing wooden houses!!! not attached to land or anything!), people have floating markets on the lake, people do leg-rowing on the lake… etc. Lots of culture at the lake.

A pretty cool part about Inle is that you must take a boat to get places. The boats are wooden and powered by engines. Somehow it works.

View from our boat. This is very common - people sell flowers, jewelry, and snacks on boats.
View from our boat. This is very common – people sell flowers, jewelry, and snacks on boats.
Here's the parents' boat with the boat driver in the back. All of us kids are taking pictures of all of the parents taking pictures of us.
Here’s the parents’ boat with the boat driver in the back. All of us kids are taking pictures of all of the parents taking pictures of us.
One legged rowing
One legged rowing
This is a house in the middle of the lake. This is definitely the one that's most on land.
This is a house in the middle of the lake. This is definitely the one that’s most on land.
After 45 minutes, our boat dropped us off here. This is the restaurant where we had lunch! Eating completely over the water.
After 45 minutes, our boat dropped us off here. This is the restaurant where we had lunch! Eating completely over the water.
Typical Shan lunch
Typical Shan lunch

After lunch, we set off in our boat again. We stopped at a couple of touristy looking huts that sold jewelry and gold, a hut where we met some women of the Kayan tribe (they wear the brass neck rings), a hut where we saw silver being forged into jewelry, and of course, a pagoda.

Tons of specialized merchants on Inle - the most common ones sell jewelry, gold, or other trinkets
Tons of specialized merchants on Inle – the most common ones sell jewelry, gold, or other trinkets
There are a few Kayan huts on Inle, and we stopped in one to learn about the Kayan culture
There are a few Kayan huts on Inle, and we stopped in one to learn about the Kayan culture
A Kayan woman at work
A Kayan woman at work
Next stop: pagoda on the lake
Next stop: pagoda on the lake
Family photo at Hpaung Daw U Pagoda
Family photo at Hpaung Daw U Pagoda
We only posed like this because locals were taking pictures of us on the side so we thought we'd stand nicely for them
We only posed like this because locals were taking pictures of us on the side so we thought we’d stand nicely for them

One more stop before we head back to solid land: a lotus weaving hut!

This woman was showing us how to weave using lotus thread - if you look closely you can see the thin white thread. HOW COOL IS THAT
This woman was showing us how to weave using lotus thread – if you look closely you can see the thin white thread. HOW COOL IS THAT
Believe it or not, these robes are all handmade at this hut from the different threads. AMAZING.
Believe it or not, these robes are all handmade at this hut from the different threads. AMAZING.

After the lotus weaving hut, we started our hour-long journey back to land. It was cold in the boat, but! the sun started setting as we set off, so not only did we catch an amazing sunset over the water, we got see the lake during my favorite part of the day: dusk! You could actually see the sun on one side of the sky and the moon on the other. It was beautiful.

Fishermen. Apparently sunset is an awesome time to fish because we saw a bunch of fishermen on our trip back to land.
Fishermen. Apparently sunset is an awesome time to fish because we saw a bunch of fishermen on our trip back to land.
THIS IS A REAL PHOTO when I get home I'm gonna print this on nice photo cardstock and send it to people as a postcard
THIS IS A REAL PHOTO when I get home I’m gonna print this on nice photo cardstock and send it to people as a postcard
bye bye sun
bye bye sun
My favorite part of the day :)
My favorite part of the day 🙂

This trip has made me such a sucker for sunrises and sunsets. When I get home, I’m gonna chase down every sunset I possibly can.

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