Sunday, 12 March 2017

Standing in the hand of Buddha

I am reaching pro status with these early mornings now - 5 am today! We needed to be up and away so early because we wanted to catch the sunrise at the U-Bein Bridge. Only we didn't because it was too cloudy. 

But here it is any way.  This is the longest teak bridge in the world, spanning over 1 km over the marsh and lake.  

As you can see we acquired a couple of escorts to see us across...

...and we did have a sunrise of sorts.  If I'd nipped down to the shoreline I could have captured a marvelous photo of the fisherman as he did his casting for the photography tour.

But I didn't, so you'll just have to have this one.  Not as impressive I suspect!

But my row man looks not too bad.

The bridge is used by villagers on their way to work, and monks just doing their thing.  I've yet to see an adult monk either not clasping a smart phone or smoking a cigar...

Most of the pillars are covered in graffiti, which in white pen ( just who carries a white pen by chance??)  and in a script I can't read, looks quite charming.  Apologies if you can read Burmese and it says something unsuitable!


There are also a few food-to-go stalls, fish anyone?  Although I strongly suspect that top left is actually BBQ rat.

More monks, there are a lot of them.  We'd seen lots on our way carrying their alms bowls in search of food donations.

Towards the end of the bridge there was quite a commotion going on in the air,

I don't know if this chap comes to feed them every day, but they did seem to know what they wanted. The dog was ever hopeful too.

Just as we neared the return we spied quite a sight.  Fake news being generate!  More probably it was a photo  shoot for something or another.

But it gave us pretty photographs too.  Can you spot the princess still wearing her socks?

It was this little chap who stole the moment though.  Can't decide if he's still in his pj's, but great mask!

Just about to board our transport bus when I spied this, no one about, just a loaded bike.

Here we are at the start of the day's 50 km ride....and it's started to rain.  Guess who forgot her rain jacket?

And this is what we looked like after 20 km, thankfully I'd been loaned an over shirt, but I was still soaked to the skin and my shoes were sloshing.

Eventually it slowed to a drizzle, so we were able to visit Boditahtaung pagoda 

which has both the largest standing and the largest reclining Buddhas in the world.

But actually, seen one Buddha, seen them all, I thought this little fella was cuter.

Don't we make a raggle-taggle bunch.  By now we're attracting a lot of stares, and not in a good way!

It's the ordinary, every day things that catch my eye.  I don't think I'd be in too much of a hurry to use this ladder though.

Pink, to make you think?

Here's parts of the largest reclining Buddha. He's 100m long and 27m high and I stood in his hand!

This area is also where the tree grows which the locals use to mahe sun protection paste.

Also on this site are 1000's of Buddha statues, each one planted under a banyan tree.  Must look fantastic when the leaves are out.

Which is more than can be said for my feet when we had to remove our shoes and socks to enter the Himdu style Thanbodday Temple.  Still at least I had painted my toe nails.

The temple houses more than 500,000  Buddha images.  But all a bunch of locals wanted to do was photograph themselves with myself and Jackie because we had white skin, blinks hair and blue eyes...

Love the script and hand signs,

 and as you can see, his feet are a tad cleaner then mine too.

I don't know what this building is, but I love the faded grandure.

So the rain stopped and we eventually rolled into Manywa, for a jolly thorough clean up!

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