Well the time has finally come for me to set off to Bagan. One of the places I’d seen pictures of at home that drew me to SE Asia, and beautiful sights like Bagan. My expectations are high, which is always dangerous. My hotel has been excellent and everything was arranged for me at 6am in the morning to set off to the Ferry port.
Myanmar wakes up in the same way each day, that is,in recognition of their religions. So as I set off I could hear the recorded mantra for both Buddhist temples and the many mosques, that are also common here The mantras are repeated for around an hour, I was later to experience this on the bus to Kalaw, a one hour mantra, a western “cowboy” film, then a further 4 hours of Myanmar pop music. Mama mia!
It’s a good time to mention that there is a lot of Chinese and I think Indian influence. China most certainly has a big commercial stake in Myanmar especially mandalay,as well as culturally. India’s influence is definitely seen in the food and religion, Buddhas’ face has gotten rounder, the eyes and mouth are different, and there is an amazing selection of Indian dishes to be had, including a butter chicken to remind me of home. many Indians have over time migrated to Myanmar and established themselves over generations.
So I arrived at the Ferry port, to see a large ferry, that had obviously had a lot of use, after a while of everyone wandering around working out where to sit and set up camp for what will be a long 12 hour journey. We soon set off, and breakfast followed soon after, a boiled egg, cup of coffee and two pieces of toast, one with strawberry jam.
I took the opportunity of having the time to do some editing of my photos and plan my trip for the next stops. There were some interesting sights along the river Ayeyarwady, and at the same time it was so wide it was hard to get some photos of the river side. In one sense we were lucky, the river at this time of year is so low, I heard from a traveler going the other way that their boat got stuck and was stranded for an additional 5 hours, 17 in total!.
It was around 7.15pm in the evening that we arrived. I had two options to get to the hotel, car taxi or horse and cart taxi. I took the horse and cart of course, it was a bumpy ride, it appeared we had the slowest horse, as all the others over took us, we soon limped into the hotel Zfreeti, for a bite to eat and bed.
Sights from the boat.