Khaung Daing

the five-day rotating market at inle lake: khaung daing village

Monday, February 23:  My boat guide drops me off at the lake shore and directs me inland to the five-day rotating market, which today is at Khuang Daing Village.  I walk along a dirt path, toward a small pagoda, but I don’t really see signs of a market.

walking from the shore to Khaung Daing Village

walking from the shore to Khaung Daing Village

Small pagoda near Khaung Daing Village

Small pagoda near Khaung Daing Village

I see a local boy balancing some goods in two baskets slung over his shoulder, so I figure I should follow him.

Balancing act

Balancing act

Buddha

Buddha

I follow him through an overgrown path until I emerge at what is clearly a boisterous market, very well attended by locals and tourists alike.

preparing for market day

preparing for market day

market day

market day

bagging the prodcue

bagging produce

Click on any of the pictures below for a full-size slide show.

It’s so much fun walking around the market and observing the locals engaged in making their livelihoods.

mats for sale

mats for sale

boat parking lot

boat parking lot

heavy loads

heavy loads

the bustling market

the bustling market

coconuts

coconuts

the lady of the coconuts

the lady of the coconuts

The market is the perfect place to capture local people; they are so involved with what they’re doing, they don’t often pay attention to tourists like me who are intent on snapping pictures.

balancing act

balancing act

grains

grains

I love this tough lady with a slim cigar dangling from her mouth.

cigar-smoking vendor

cigar-smoking vendor

Click on any of the images below for a full-size slide show.

There are so many things I want to buy, and of course I fall for a piece of fabric which I can wear as a long skirt, like the locals.  Later in my travels, I end up buying a Buddha head that is not too dissimilar from the ones shown below.

Buddha heads

Buddha heads

One of my friends from Korea, Myrna, asked me to take a picture of the red betel juice spittle that is found all over Myanmar. It is also very commonly seen in India.  Myrna inspired me to come to Myanmar, saying it was her favorite southeast Asian country.  After having traveled here, I would have to say I agree with her wholeheartedly!

the red spittle from betel leaves

the red spittle from betel leaves

baskets for shopping

baskets for shopping

coconut vendor

coconut vendor

After spending quite some time just wandering around the market watching all the hustle and bustle, I make my way back to my boat and guide, passing by this pretty stupa.

stupa

stupa

The morning light is so gorgeous. I love the glow painted over the scenery like a warm butterscotch sauce.

the shores of Inle Lake

the shores of Inle Lake

walking back to the boat

walking back to the boat

pagoda

pagoda

long-tail motorboats

long-tail motorboats

boats at bay

boats at bay

boats

boats

boatman

boatman

propeller

propeller

leaving Khaung Daing Village

leaving Khaung Daing Village

floating gardens

floating gardens

floating gardens

floating gardens

As we leave to head back out to the lake, it’s only 8:15 a.m.  How I love getting an early start while I’m traveling!  I can anticipate a full day of exploring, laid out before me like a fine feast. 🙂

Categories: Burma, Five-day rotating market, Inle Lake, Khaung Daing, Myanmar, Photography, Shan State, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

a sunrise cruise on the waters of inle lake

Monday, February 23:  Last night, I accidentally set my alarm for 5 P.M. for a sunrise boat ride on Inle Lake this morning.  Luckily, my husband texted me from the USA at 5:35 and woke me up, otherwise I would have slept right through my appointed meeting.  I rush to shower and gobble down breakfast and meet the guide just in time for my day-long boat ride on the lake.

Several fellow travelers had warned me that the early morning boat ride on the lake would be cold, so I bundle up in my blue Wal-Mart men’s jacket; I bought this jacket in China because I hadn’t brought any warm winter coats to Nanning and women’s clothes in China are too small for me.  I get as comfortable as possible in a long-tail motorboat, commonly used for tours and fishing on Inle Lake.  Luckily, the boat guide also has a blanket I can wrap around myself.  It is freezing and windy out on the lake at this early morning hour, despite temperatures that rise up to 90 degrees in the daytime.

heading out on the canal to Inle Lake at daybreak

heading out on the canal to Inle Lake at daybreak

We leave before sunrise, so I’m able to see the sun coming up slowly over the horizon.  The plan is to spend the whole day on the lake, visiting stilt-house villages, floating gardens, and Buddhist temples, as well as hopefully getting glimpses of the famous Intha people using their unique technique for leg rowing — in which one leg is wrapped around the paddle to drive the blade through the water in a snake-like motion.

Inle Lake

Inle Lake

buildings along Inle Lake

buildings along Inle Lake

Inle Lake

Inle Lake

the boat cuts through the mist

the boat cuts through the mist

sunrise on Inle Lake

sunrise on Inle Lake

scenes along the wy

scenes along the wy

serenity

serenity

sunrise at Inle Lake

sunrise at Inle Lake

houses on stilts

houses on stilts

Click on any of the photos below for a full-sized slide show.

As we ply the waters, the golden sunlight washes over the waterways and stilt houses, giving the entire place an otherworldly aura.

shores of Inle Lake

shores of Inle Lake

sun reflection

sun reflection

Click any of the photos below for a full-size slide show.

We come across several Inle Lake fishermen; when we approach them, the boat guide turns down the engine of the long-tail motorboat so as not to scare away the fisherman’s intended catch.

fisherman

fisherman

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

sunrise, fishermen and birds

We head first to the five-day rotating market which is today at Khaung Daing Village, on the northwest end of the lake.  At the market, locals bring in fresh fish and produce from the floating gardens.

heading down a waterway to the market

heading down a waterway to the market

In Inle Lake’s famous floating gardens, Intha farmers grow flowers, tomatoes, squash, and other fruit and vegetables on long wooden trellises supported on floating mats of vegetation.  It’s hard to get a good view at lake level, but I’ve seen pictures of views from the hot air balloons that are fabulous.  Sadly, the hot air balloon prices are exorbitant, over $500, so I pass on this trip.  When I took a hot air balloon ride in Turkey, it was about 180 euros for one hour.

floating gardens of Inle Lake

floating gardens of Inle Lake

floating gardens

floating gardens

gateway

gateway

floating gardens at sunrise

floating gardens at sunrise

morning light

morning light

waterways of Inle Lake

waterways of Inle Lake

floating gardens

floating gardens

motor boating through the waterways

motor boating through the waterways

There are also Buddhist temples along the way.

Buddhist temple

Buddhist temple

After about an hour ride, we dock at this spot near Khaung Daing; I will walk from here to the market.

reflections

reflections

parking

parking

parking lot

parking lot

I walk inland to the market, not knowing what a colorful and lively experience it will turn out to be. 🙂

Categories: Asia, Five-day rotating market, Inle Lake, Khaung Daing, Myanmar, Nyaungshwe, Shan State | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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