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The Authentic Asia

MYANMAR | Friday, 5 September 2014 | Views [503]

Country living near Inle Lake

Country living near Inle Lake

THE KBZ FLIGHT FROM YANGON LEFT FIFTEEN MINUTES EARLY, as if to make up for all of the late flights in China.  It’s only an hour to Heho and another hour by taxi to Nyaung Shwe and the Amazing Nyaung Shwe Hotel which is surprisingly amazing.  Except for the elegant hotel, rural Myanmar is what we had expected — nay, yearned — to see in China. 



We hired bikes and wandered around the area along canals, past stilt-houses and into rice paddies where recently cut rice was drying along the dikes.  Along the road, teams separated the husks from the rice with portable gas powered threshers, a proscess that used to be done by hand.  The birding was exceptionally poor; maybe it has something to do with avian flu?


     Roadside Rice processing

No matter, there is so much more to see, a new culture to explore and wonderful, friendly people to meet.  Village life goes on without playing up to the tourists, few though they are.  And we felt very welcome as we peered here and there.


    Friendly people

There are many bargains in Myanmar, Amazing Nyaung Shwe being a notable exception.  Bikes rent for $1.50 a day, Diet Coke costs fifty cents a can and you can get a four-course dinner of fresh-caught grilled fish for $4.  So we treated ourselves to massages; three bucks for a 30-minute foot massage and only five for a full-hour body massage.  They weren’t the best we’ve had but it’s hard to beat the price.


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