Today was a pretty great day! It started at about 7:00 this morning. I went to breakfast at my hotel. The swimming pool is right by the restaurant. As I was having the breakfast I noticed hot air balloons over the temples. It was kind of magical. So, that's how the day started, eating breakfast watching hot air balloons over the temples. Grabbed my phone and managed to get a quick photo. It was a great start to the day.
After breakfast I met my guide for the day and got my sweet purple electric bike. I named it Doris, for the day, duh. Electric bikes are super fun! I kind of want one now. We started out and rode to a monastery and pagoda and checked that out. The monks live in a cave there. It's a little creepy but kind of cool at the same time. I saw how their daily life went. None of the monks would let me take their photo so I took photos of the kitchen. Don't worry about it Monks. I wanted to take photos of your food and cooking area anyway.
After the monastery we rode on to more temples. We came to one and there was a lady with a baby collecting firewood. I started taking her photo and photos of the baby. She didn't seem to mind. I thought it was awesome. Then, after I got done taking the photos she wanted money. Probably should've asked first. So I gave her $500 Kyat, which is about $.50 US and she was happy with that. Everybody wins. There were two little boys with her playing with a dead pigeon. Not my favorite part of today. Oh, they won't serve chicken here because of the H1-N1 (bird flu). I bet that pigeon died from the bird flu. I don't want that so I kept my distance.
After the photos and the pigeon death games, we stopped at a few more temples and then came to a small village. When we arrived a girl came out and wanted to show me around the village. I saw how daily life is lived in this village. They make their own clothes from the cotton they farm. They also farm peanuts and sesame. I saw how they make wagon wheels for the ox carts and just how daily life happens. It's a tough life, but everyone seemed happy. We came around a corner and there was this old lady smoking a cigar. I had to get photos of that. Again, I was taking photos and after she wanted some cash. The only small bill I had was a $200 Kyat (about $.20 US) so I gave it to her and she thanked me and went on her way. That old lady was awesome. It's weird that people here want money for taking photos. But, maybe I understand. Lots of tourists around snapping photos. If someone was taking my photo every day, I'd probably want some cash too.
After the village we made our way on our sweet purple electric bikes (Doris) to New Bagan for lunch. Found a sweet restaurant on the river and had a nice casual lunch. After lunch my guide left me and I had to take Doris back to the hotel. Guess what. I didn't get lost going back to the hotel. It was kind of amazing as he told me where to go and I actually made it happen. So I got back to the hotel and had a few hours to kill. So, lounging by the pool in the shade sounded like a dream. I made that happen. Yes I did.
Later this afternoon I was picked up and taken to the Ayeyarwaddy River for a boat ride. We got on the boat and the guide and myself were the only passengers. They had some tea and snacks waiting. It was pretty great. The guide brought some watermelon juice with wine and we drank a bunch of it. It was kind of strong so I was a little buzzed when we got off the boat. We mostly just took the boat up the river, then hung out for a while. Then made our way back to the dock and I went back to my hotel. It was a packed day, but so much fun!!
Tomorrow I fly to Inle Lake and stay there for a couple of days. I hope to have some photos for tomorrow's post. I bet I will. Also, two selfie videos at the end. You're welcome SV!
Until tomorrow everyone, thanks for reading!