|Inle (Inlay), Myanmar||Week 152 February 28th 2014|
A boat trip on the lake.
At US$18 per boat for the day, seating 5 people, it was difficult to refuse.
| We formed a small group, and off we set.
A smooth operation, this is industrial scale tourism.
Life jackets and cushions on the seats.
Quite comfortable - I'd been a bit nervous about making my aches and pains worse.
| The propellers can be lifted out of the water.
A more sophisticated version of the direct drive we saw at the beginning of our trip.
Avoids the need for a seal where the drive shaft leaves the stern, but needs a universal joint.
| From the town there is a couple of miles of channel.
Its a commercial waterway.
|Some boats are faster than others.|
| There's a bird sanctuary.
One per post.
We also saw a flock of coots, some herons, and a few cormorants.
| The channel, and parts of the lake, must be kept clean.
A big vacuum cleaner.
| There seem to be people going about their normal life.
And people providing something for tourists.
This gentleman is the former.
| A precarious one footed existence.
How to paddle and manipulate the net at the same time.
Presumably the water is clear enough to see the fish, manouver the boat, and drop the net over the fish.
|There are wide nets as well as the conical traps.|
| Agriculture on the lake is fascinating.
Tomatoes is the main crop.
Floating beds of weed with soil added.
The poles keep it all in place, to rise and fall with the water level.
|Channels every which way through the "fields".|
|We followed a small channel.|
| No need for wellington boots.
Use a boat.
| The villages are substantial.
All on stilts.
| Look out Henley.
There's a large ceremonial boat behind the picket fence.
| Weed for the fields is scooped from the bottom of the
Loaded to the gunnels takes on new meaning.
| Not cleaning fish as we imagined.
A boat load of monks, feeding the seagulls.
| Perhaps the reason for the low boat price is that it
delivers us to various local craft ventures.
But we manage to smile.
| An aspect of Lotus we didn't see in China.
Within the stem are fibres which can be removed, spun and woven.
In a stroke of marketing genius it has been labeled "silk".
We are reliably informed that it has a value 7 times that of normal silk.
| Then woven.
The looms have hand operated flying shuttles.
This lady was quite happily operating the 5 combs with her feet and changing the 5 shuttles periodically, while chatting and smiling.
About 1m of weave per day.
|The factory floor.|
|We moved on to "how to make knives from old vehicle springs".|
|Then to cheroot making.|
|And on to main street.|
|From our restaurant (a nice meal of spicy fish) a view of Phaung Paw Oo Pagoda.|
We walked across the bridge to view the five gold enrusted Buddhas.
The story goes that every year four of them are placed in boats and form a procession.
The fifth one remains as in a former year one of the boats sank but the Buddha was magically found.
Gold leaf continues to be added. Gold from the peddlars outside is not acceptable, it must be purchased from the stall inside the pagoda.
On to silver jewellery manufacture.
Not often am I impressed by a combination of design and workmanship.
|Thence to parasol making.|
| These two young ladies have neck braces made of gold.
Sadly, the expression of the young lady on the right, between photographs, suggested a very uncomfortable life as a model.
The ornament is spiral and can be unwound at the end of the day.
The camera battery expired at the "leaping cat monastery".
But that was the end of the tour. We returned home after 8 hours and a little sun.
|Nay Pyi Taw to Hpa-An via Golden Rock, Myanmar||Week 153 March 1st - 3rd 2014|