Friday, October 03, 2008

Day 7 - January 12, 2008 - Pyin U Lwin Walking Tour

Day 7 - January 12, 2008 - Pyin U Lwin Walking Tour

Up at 8:30 after a very good night's sleep. No heat in our room but the inside temperature only got down to 15 C.

Had breakfast outside in the sun (jackets on): 8 pieces of bread with butter and jam + good coffee w/hot milk + fresh pineapple juice + fried eggs.

Spent the rest of the morning relaxing on the veranda and studying Bagan and other parts of Burma. Since we are out for 6 months, we don't need to go-go-go every day like we used to when all we had was our yearly 3-week trip.

Had the front desk make a reservation for us on tomorrow's morning train - 8:05 AM - to Hsipaw (Thipaw).

Left for some sight seeing at noon. First stop is Candacraig, the Colonial Era Hotel built in 1904 and famous from Paul Theroux's books The Great Railway Bazaar and Ghost Train to the Eastern Star. Not many rooms. Well maintained lawn with tennis court.

Then over to the Chan Tak Chinese Temple which is both Buddhist Temple and old folks home. Sun-Ling chatted up 2 old men who came to Pyin U Lwin from Yunnan China in the 1950's as small boys to escape troubles. We sat, talked, and drank tea.

The temple had a mix of Chinese Buddhist tradition like the Laughing Buddha, and Kuan Yin, and Burmese Architecture. There were some interesting paintings around the inside top of the main temple building, the likes of which I had never seen in a Chinese Buddhist Temple, but we did not take the time to study them or ask questions, but they show up in my photos (see below). Wish I had asked some questions.

Walked up to the top of the pagoda for some photos, then over to the vegetarian canteen (snack bar) for some lunch: cold thick bean noodles with spicy sauce + vegetarian chicken + fried bean flour @ 1000 Kyat. The one old man from earlier ate with us and said that the temple is building a vegetarian restaurant next door to the canteen. Two young kids who spoke very good Chinese delivered our food and we learned how to say "vegetarian food" in Burmese: "duh-duh-loo".

Then on to explore the Main or Central Market. Sun-Ling said it seemed that 90% of all business (and businesses) in Pyin U Lwin was in this Market. "It's size and selection is not seen anywhere. You can buy everything there." She meant "everything" available in PYin U Lwin was available here - food, rice, textiles, baskets, sugar, packaged food, watering cans, etc., etc., - spread over several buildings and joining sheds with night food stands that set up after 4PM. There were not many other stores in town although there was a Safeway (with the usual logo).

We bought: bean & peanut dry mix + 6 oranges + peanuts + bread; all for 2000 Kyat.

Toured downtown area: Purcell Tower, an antique barber shop, the Art Deco Yuzana and Myoma cinemas, a Mosque, several Chinese Restaurants, and the former National Press building. Bought more snacks and tried to buy a souvenir at Soe Moe but no deal.

Back to Golden Triangle: papaya juice + 2 x 8-inch veggie pizzas + cookie to go @ 5650 Kyat.

Back to hotel.

SLHOTD: Reading and studying Bagan on veranda.
JHOTD: Art Deco Cinemas.

Candacraig - Pyin U Lwin, Myanmar

Sun-Ling chatting with man at Chan Tak Buddhist Temple.
Chinese Temple - Pyin U Lwin, Myanmar

Chinese Buddhist images.
Chinese Temple - Pyin U Lwin, Myanmar

The very cool Art Deco Yuzana Cinema.
The Yuzana - Pyin U Lwin - Myanmar (Burma)

Downtown with a traditional horse cart at right.
Pyin U Lwin - Myanmar (Burma)

Bicycle Restaurant - Food Cart.
Pyin U Lwin - Myanmar (Burma)

Market: Watering cans, stoves, etc
Market - Pyin U Lwin, Myanmar

We bought some snacks from this lady. You can just make out Sun-Ling at left. And check out her yellow longyi with palm trees. Cool!


A P E R T U R E said...

I know you! I met you guys in Mrauk U. Well, first in the airport in Yangon, but then repeatedly in Mrauk U. Hope your journey has continued safely--haven't checked your most recent posts yet but I'm about to.

I was randomly searching for references to the fake Safeway in Pyin Oo Lwin and was stunned to see your names come up--so convenient that your blog name is not something obscure :).

john said...

Nancy! Good to hear from you and thanks for leaving a comment. It is a small world isn't it?
-john and sun-ling

A P E R T U R E said...

Are you planning on some catch-up Mrauk U posts now that you're home?

Somehow I didn't realize when I met you that you'd been to Myanmar multiple times...lucky!

john said...

Yes, I want to do more posts on Burma. Now, if I can find the time...