stroll around Kandawgyi Lake is
recommended, as is the immense
reclining Chaukhtatgyi Buddha.
Shop at the old Bogyoke (Scott)
Market for handicrafts and trinkets,
and to see ladies making
traditional sarongs worn by men
and women) with old Singer sewing
machines. Drop in for happy hour
at the historic Strand Hotel if you
can’t stretch to the room rates. Or, for
respite in the busy city, buy a day pass
for a hotel pool to let the kids frolic
and adults loll.
Beguiling Bagan
Arriving into town in the middle of
the night, we had only an inkling of
how beguiling Bagan would be. Taken
before dawn by horse and cart to the
base of a temple, we climbed up to
await the sunrise. What a stunning
sight it turned out to be! Dawn broke,
opening up a vista as far as the eye
could see of temples, temples, temples.
There’s said to be several thousand
ancient sacred stupas, not that we
counted them! Hollywood could not
have designed a more perfect set.
Sunset is pretty special too, as the
temples softly change colour whilst the
light fades. If you’re keen on a lofty
view and not short of cash, book a
balloon safari.
Touring the temples, or a selection
of the better ones, by bike is easy and
fun. Alternatively, hire a horse and
cart to clip-clop round in style. The
pagodas are decorated inside and
Tip: Watch
The Lady
starring Michelle Yeoh, the evocative tale of Aung
San Suu Kyi, before you go. You’ll see photos of this graceful, strong Nobel
laureate throughout the country, along with those of her late, hero father.
out, so keep craning your neck. Once
temple fatigue sets in, visit the lovely
village of Myinkaba to see lacquered
bamboo and resin objects being
painstakingly handcrafted – you won’t
be able to resist buying one.
Enchanting Inle
For a perfect day, hire a long boat and
cut through the morning mist to see
fishermen balancing on one leg whilst
paddling with the other in this huge
lake. Potter around floating villages,
craft markets and houses on stilts.
We stopped at a cheroot factory for
a cheeky puff on cigars hand-rolled
from local tobacco.
Summer 2013