Ananda and Shwesandaw Pagodas in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

This gallery contains 10 photos.

We also visited Ananda Pagoda while in Bagan.  Ananda was built between 1105 and 1180 AD, and houses four large, standing Buddhas. One Buddha welcomes visitors with an impish smile.  The statue’s pursed lips seem to hold back a particularly amusing anecdote, which the Buddha will be glad to tell you once you’ve made your … Continue reading

Recording of an English Girl’s First Impressions of Burmah, by Beth Ellis

Before leaving for Myanmar, I read a book called An English Girl’s First Impressions of Burmah, by Beth Ellis. It was a free book, which I downloaded from Project Gutenberg. I have since recorded this book, with the assistance of recording-team members Availle and Kathrine Engan, for Librivox.org. Feel free to download it, and listen at … Continue reading

Photographs of Sulamani Pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

This gallery contains 13 photos.

One of the highlights of our Smartours trip was our visit to Sulamani Temple in Bagan, which was built in 1183. Throughout Myanmar, dogs lay wherever they choose. People walk past them without speaking to them, or making eye contact. Dogs react similarly to passing people. I only heard barking once, when our group crossed an empty … Continue reading

Bagan (Myanmar) – Horse cart ride; Dhammayangyi and Thatbyinnyu Temples

This gallery contains 6 photos.

It’s hard to write about Bagan, because it’s images rather than words that fill my mind. Early in the day, we boarded the tour bus.  But we’d driven only a short way when the guide declared an impromptu photo stop.  A farmer was driving an ox-propelled plow among a collection of stupas. We disembarked, crossed … Continue reading

Aye Yar River View Resort, Nyaung Oo Market, and a puppet show in Bagan (Myanmar)

This gallery contains 7 photos.

From Yangon, we flew to Bagan.  At the airport, we disembarked and found our way out of the airport — a meandering line of tourists zig-zagging across driveways and through a dirt parking lot overflowing with clumped cars. Here and there, drivers left their vehicles to direct others out of their pathway,  and toward a different … Continue reading

Exchanging money and government spies in Myanmar

Exchanging Money The Sedona Hotel Yangon has an on-site bank, where tourists can exchange U.S. currency for kyat [pronounced chat].  But there’s a catch.  The U.S. notes must be pristine and crisp.  And fifties or hundreds are best. I had learned of the necessity for pristine bills well before our trip commenced, but getting such … Continue reading

Myanmar National Museum and Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

This gallery contains 3 photos.

The air in the Myanmar National Museum in Yangon is stagnant and hot.  We fan ourselves with museum maps, as we wander room after room of banal artifacts.  Tools used by the country’s 135 indigenous cultural groups are displayed, as are a sprinkling of articles used by ancient kings.  The presentations are completely apolitical.  There … Continue reading