Monthly Archives: February 2013

Joys of cycling: Myanmar (1)

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February 22, 2013 · 12:52 pm

Monks (and a nun) of Myanmar

Monks line up for meal

Breakfast time, Nuang Shwe


Monks line up for meal

Feeding time at the monastery near Mandalay: youngsters run the gauntlet of tourists, for second and last meal of the day


Nun at Bagan pagoda

Deeply undisturbed by the commentating French tourist guide and accompanying flock – nun at Bagan


Feeding time at the monastery near Mandalay

Monks in monastery dining room, near Mandalay


Very young monk

The youngest monk and friends, Mandalay


Buddhist monk near Mandalay

Monk at work!


Monk over wall

Here come the monks! Foreigners to look at…


Young monk observing foreigners

Not quite got the dress code yet…


Young monk looks at holy fish pond

Contemplating the holy fish, Mandalay

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Pagodas, Buddhas and bicycles

Have just returned from cycling in Myanmar (and Bangkok! at night! crazy or what?). The five days of cycling was pretty marvellous, enabling the usual handlebar height perusal of picturesque countryside, with many a ‘Mingalaba!’ (hello) along the way with the friendly locals. Sadly my camera died suddenly while I was snapping women roadworkers, and my backup camera only lasted for a few more days, so my picture haul isn’t so great. However…

Cycle from Mandalay

Ready to take to the road in Mandalay

Myanmar is facing the challenge of extreme poverty in many parts, staggering corruption, poor infrastructure to cater for all the tourists wanting to visit, and mountains of rubbish polluting the environment, AND all the political, economic and social issues not being addressed by this blogger. One cannot turn around without seeing a Buddha, Pagoda or monk: Buddhism is taken very, very seriously.

Pagodas Bagan

Just a few of the Pagodas at magical Bagan

Bagan golden Pagoda

Many of the Pagodas are golden, many ochre coloured

And monks line up daily for the gift of food. All males are expected to do at least two stints (of extremely flexible length: 1 day to forever) as monks in their lifetime.

Monks getting free food

They don’t say thank you either

Travelling Buddha

Appropriately, this is Buddha as Traveller

On the road, we saw beautiful trees in flower…

Flames in forest tree

Exquisite flames in the forest tree, just before a great downhill run

Sustainable transport:

Hay cart and cyclists

And just one more Buddha for this post (a large one):

Large reclining Buddha

We don’t point the soles of our feet at the Buddha; Buddha on the other hand…

More anon…

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Filed under Cycling, Travel, Trees