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Bagan to Yandabo - Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Walking tour of Yandabo - Famous for pottery

sunny 30 °C

On 24 February 1826, the peace treaty of the first Anglo-Burmese War was signed at Yandabo. Today it is a picituresque village famous for its pottery. During our walking tour of the village, we had the opportunity to stop at various family homes and workshops, each with its own unique style and markings, to witness the making and firing of the Yandabo pottery, famous throughout Myanmar.

There may be up to three thousand pots in a single layer that is covered with a large pile of ash, straw and wood and then set on fire. The temperature in this kiln reaches 1200C and the heating process takes three or four days, including cooling. At the end of the process, the pots have changed from dull brown to a brilliant red colour. The pots are transported by boat all over the country.

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We scrambled ashore and up the river bank. We are getting very good at this now, but there are always Scenic staff at every turn to help.

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We wandered through the village and Susan explained about the pot making process. The children were a bit shy at first but then we held hands and they walked along with us, until Nana called them back.

This woman was making pots and I was amazed to hear that she has been to University and has a degree in History, but chose to come back to the village and make pots. I just don't understand that at all.

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This little boy was collecting food for the monks. We followed him along the lane for a while. His load was so heavy to carry.

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We arrived at the school and interacted with the kindergarten class. Some of the small children were only three. They sang the ABC song to us and in turn, we sang "I'm a Little Tea Pot" and did all the actions. Susan translated the words for us and then when we sang it again, the children copied our actions. It was fun.

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We actually remembered to take money ashore with us today as I was hoping to be able to buy a local pot, but unfortunately there were no shopping opportunities in the village.

Archaeological evidence shows humans were present in Myanmar approximately 400,000 years ago and were among the first to grow rice and domesticate poultry and pigs. City states appeared as early as the second century with the Pagan Empire uniting the Irrawaddy valley by 1050 AD and rivalling the Khmer Empire. Empires in Burma rose and fell over the centuries, until the British colonization at the end of the three Anglo-Burmese wars in the early 19th century. Resentment of the British was high, resulting in both peaceful protests and violent riots. A major battleground during World War II, Burma was devastated, with as many as 250,000 civilians killed. At the end of the war, General Aung San (Suu Kye's father) negotiated Burma's independence, creating a unified, independent state. Aung San was assassinated by a military coup in 1947, resulting in one of the world's most closed societies, with one of the worst human rights records. Since a 2010 free election, the government has embarked on a number of reforms to direct the country towards a liberal democracy.

On our return to the ship, our Captain was waiting at the foot of the gang plank to help us board.

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After lunch, while we were resting, there was a slight drama when we got momentarily stuck on a sand bar. This ship was too and we seemed to weave in and out of each other and then we were free and we sailed off one way and they, the other. It was pretty close to us for a while.

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I went to the dining room later in the afternoon for the bread and pizza making demo. It was a lot of fun. The pastry chef is so clever. He makes it look so easy and of course, it's not. I have been controlling my rhinitis - JUST - but all the flour flying around the bread and pizza making really set it off, so it will be time for a "bomb" tonight before I go to sleep. It is just a nuisance.

While I was at the bread and pizza making, Phil invited Reece and Bob from WA up to have a drink on our balcony as the wind has abated and it is very pleasant sailing along, with just a gentle breeze blowing.

Ingrid and Elfie came at 5.30pm as we have two bottles of champagne to drink and we just don't have the time after dinner because there is always something to do or we are so tired, we just want to go to bed. It was a very pleasant evening.

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We had dinner with Howard and Isla from Sydney and after dinner we went up to the lounge to watch Part 1 of the story of Buddha. To be continued tomorrow night.

Buddhist thought for the day - "We are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves".

Posted by gaddingabout 06:43 Archived in Myanmar

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