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Bagan to the middle of the Irrawaddy,Monday, 23 January 2017

Horse cart tour of Bagan's ruin temples and visit the Lacquareware Factory

sunny 32 °C

We had a later start to the day today with breakfast commencing at 7.30 am instead of 7. It was good to have a relaxed morning after yesterday's HUGE day.

At 9.30 am we went ashore for a horse cart ride through the ruined temples of Bagan.

There is a lot of activitiy on the waterfront where our boat is moored and these poor ladies have been working since day break, carrying rocks on their heads.

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We drove a short distance in the bus, then hopped onto our horse and cart and drove for about 40 minutes through Old Bagan and the ruined temples. There are over 4,000 temples. A lot of them were damaged in the 1973 earthquake and have been closed as they are too dangerous. But work is progressing on renovating and maintaining them. But, as you would expect, progress is slow.

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The horse cart ride was reasonably comfortable but very dusty.

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Back on the bus for a short ride to a lacquerwear factory. How enlightening this was. This was the real lacquerwear that is made from a base of bamboo strips, wound round and round and then the process begins of painting layers and layers of lacquer (from the rubber tree) on to it. It was fascinating. That of course, is the difference in price between lacquerwear. Some is quite expensive and the cheaper version is mass produced and has a base of plastic.

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Lacquerwear is a bit "busy" for my taste, but I did find a lovely square plate and two smaller ones that are now in my possession and will be travelling back to Australia with us. Phil didn't have any money with him and Ingrid came to my rescue!

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As soon as we came back on board, we set sail for Yandabo.

This afternoon has been spent SLEEPING (for about three hours after lunch). We are so lazy.

There was a galley tour this afternoon, but I didn't go to that. I will possibly have a look at the galley on the Scenic Spirit next week as the ships are very similar.

The sun has now set and we haven't docked yet so I'm not sure what is happening as we don't sail at night due to the sand bars in the river and the water level is getting low.

Just went out on the balcony as we were docking. We are somewhere in the middle of the Irrawaddy, tied up to a tree. How funny!

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Did you know? - Early every morning, Theravade Buddhist monks and novices pour into the streets silently, barefoot and single file with bowls. For over 2,500 years, since Buddha decided that the monks and nuns should not cook or store their own food, Buddhist monks have walked the alms rounds. The alms bowl is still an enduring symbol of the monastic order for all Buddhists. Monks and novices take no food after twelve noon.

Buddhist thought for the day - "Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned"

Posted by gaddingabout 07:11 Archived in Myanmar

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