Finally came the first pre-sabbath day and with him our weekend. Because in these months there are free days at sabbath and pre-sabbath days and at weekends. In principle, their month and free days are tied to the moon cycle and not to the weeks until October. With the monk who is responsible for us, we plan to go on a trip. And not just alone, but also with our students. Monk arranged everything, buses, boats and made up the program. After the discussion we decided to go to Inle lake.
We met at 8:00 in the morning. Two small vans awaited us in front of the pagoda. I thought there would be at least two more because we were supposed to be about 50 people. As usual time does not play such a significant role here and everyone was 15 minutes late. When we were all, we started boarding. At first the girls started to board and filled the vans. I’m saying OK. But then the guys asked me if I would sit with them up on the van. Fuuuu. I like every kind of fun so I thought it would be at least adrenaline. So I climbed up on the van and sat forward. The journey from the monastery lasted 2 hours and it was a good portion of adrenaline. The first stop was Nan Pan Market where we switched to boats. The port at Nan Pan was small, but it was teeming with small boats.
After 10 minutes of cruise we arrived at Silk, Coton and Lotus Factory on Inle lake. The building was nicely reconstructed and inside we could see live fabric production. All it was nice but I felt that it was quite oriented towards tourists. The prices also corresponded to Western Europe rather than Myanmar.
Next stop was Silver and gold smidth. I would call it a tourist attraction again. One big showroom where there were a lot of jewelry in the showcases. We didn’t see the process of making jewelry.
As we moved to the next stop, it started to rain very hard, so we anchored in the Alodau Pauk pagoda. A very busy place but right after the anchorage, a group of women gathered around us and tried to sell us flowers. There was peace throughout the pagoda, but there were boxes for money donation on every corner, and every Buddha shone with a neon. A little bit fake. After visiting the pagoda the local woman caught us and told us that they cook special food so we went to her to her restaurant. After ordering Shan Noodles they brought us normal Noodles. Since we were in the tourist area, it was a bit more expensive than I was used to. The food was good and it was special :D.
The next stop was the Buddhist monastery. There were many stalls in front of the monastery. But the surrounding views were amazing.
The last stop we visited on the boats was the Cigar factory. We saw the production of cigars. We also had the opportunity to try to make a cigar. And in the end we had less tasting. I’m not a big smoker of cigar but some were really good. I fell in love with anise cigars. Cigars prices were normal, but the prices of everything else were little bit expensive.
After we returned to the port, we put on the van again. Our last stop was Shen Bridge. About 1 km long narrow wooden bridge.
Inle Lake is a really beautiful location. But for me, already too touristy.
On the way back it got dark and we got caught by a storm. Sitting on the roof of a van in a storm wasn’t fun. The driver gave us canvas and for the last half hour we crouched on the roof of the van under the canvas until we reached the monastery.
For me, perhaps one of the greatest adventures I’ve ever experienced. Driving on the roof of a van in a storm along a muddy road.