Sunday, December 9, 2012

Myanmar part 6

Kakku and back to Yangon
We decided to take a drive out to visit Kakku. It is amazing! Seriously! Check out that place. We had to be rushed away because we were having too much fun exploring this amazing place. We also hired a couple local PaO guides. Susu was the main one and the other was training. Susu was so cute because she kept telling us jokes that she had learned.
We came back to our hotel on Inle lake and were treated to an evening of local dancing and performing. The kids loved it and at the end were able to get up and join the fun.
 Our last day in Myanmar was spent shopping at Scott's market and visiting some of the places from the first day that we were too tired to enjoy. If you look closely, you can see Porter sitting in front of this laying down Buddha. It was soooo huge!
We finished up by visiting Shwedegon in the evening to see it with all it's lights on. Toby and his mom had a great time playing around with their cameras.

Myanmar part 5

Pindaya and Inle Lake
On our drive to Pindaya, our guide had me convinced that the cave was full of big fist sized spiders. Seriously, I totally fell for it. There is a whole story that goes with the cave about a giant spider and an archer that killed it. Luckily, this is the only spider I encountered.
We did, however, find lots and lots of Buddha statues. The cave is filled with about 8000 of them. They even have a section called "the maze" because you can't see where you are going and weaves around into different dead ends. Our favorite discovery was the tiny little crawl space that let into a tiny meditation cavern. The whole time the boys ran around trying to find another "secret passage way".

Inle Lake was the next on the agenda. We visited many of the local shops. This woman is checking the silk thread to make sure none of it had broken. They say she walks several miles a day going back and forth.
These gold blobs are actually Buddha statue completely covered with inches of gold leaf. There is a great story about how they came reside here. Inle lake is a huge lake community with people living on the lake in stilted houses. They were bringing the Buddhas here in a canoe and a storm came and one was lost, but somehow mysteriously made it on it's own.
We visited a shop with 3 Padaung or long neck women. They showed their rings to us and some of their weaving.
We stayed in a hotel right in the middle of the lake. The staff were so friendly and always had people waiting for us whenever we arrived.
This is how we got around the lake to visit all the different places.
A local fisherman showing us how to catch some fish. They have the most amazing balance.
The people on Inle lake are famous for their leg rowing. They stand at the front of their canoes and row using one arm and one leg. It really is so amazing to watch.
Somehow living in the middle of the lake didn't stop these people from being industrious. They have a large floating garden for tomatoes. They use seaweed to grow it and grow enough to export to the rest of the country.
The boys loved running around at night looking for lizard. They would flick them off the lights into the water and listen to them swim back to the wood.