An interesting thing about Myanmar temples is that many are much older than they look. It seems Myanmar has chosen to restore many ruins to something approaching their original forms, so though they may be hundreds or even thousands of years old, they don’t look like ruins. A few more photos from the palace:
After the palace, we went to Kyaik Pun, home of the four massive seated Buddhas, one facing each direction.
Next, we saw a reclining Buddha, right now I can’t find the name of this one.
Then another reclining Buddha! Shwethalyuang Buddha is housed in a building of sorts. It had the story of its construction told in carvings along one side.
Next was the massive Mahazedi Pagoda. Note the size of the man in the close up to get some perspective on the size of this structure. I as a female was not permitted to go up there, by the way.
My favorite thing here was a temple ruin that truly looked like a ruin. It was off to the side, had a gorgeous crimson color in the afternoon light, and was free of gender discrimination. No access inside, unfortunately. It was a nice exemption to the usual restoration of temples here.
The next stop, according to my guide, is an ancient and important Paya. It is a circular hallway inside the Paya lined with seated Buddhas. He wanted to take my picture there, so here it is.
We went to a few more temples before calling it a day. I didn’t get the names, but the last one seemed to be an active monastery and my guide asked me not to take pictures after I had taken a few. He then tidied his hair and longyi (the skirt-like garment worn by Myanmar men) and solemnly bowed several times to a monk who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere.
Here are some photos of the last stop of the day.
Looking back at this a few years later, I’m surprised I didn’t write about getting sick. It was uncomfortable at the time, of course, but looking back I appreciate the memory. I won’t get too descriptive but let’s just say you haven’t really experienced Myanmar until you’ve gotten sick out the window of a moving train!!! I probably didn’t impress the locals but I did impress myself how quickly I dealt with the situation and then recovered. After leaving a little something on the tracks LOL.
** photos won’t load, I’ll try another time
** turns out I’m out of space, see trippingfantastic2.wordpress.com
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