Mount Popa, Myanmar. 1 February 2015


A bumpy but scenic bus ride on Burmese roads takes me through landscape characterized by prickly bushes and stunted trees, simple villages and poor roads. Ox-carts carry wood, water tanks and families. Most farms still use oxen to plow fields. First stop is a Palm Tree farm where a man scurries up a very tall palm tree to get drippings for his pots below. Palm produces alcohol, palm oil, palm sugar, baskets and ornaments from fronds. A 25-year-old ox grinds peanut paste which tourists feed back to him in a nice symbiotic relationship.


Bagan, Myanmar. 30 January – 1 February 2015

Departing Ayeyarwady Princess in Bagan

Departing Ayeyarwady Princess in Bagan

The archaeologically rich city of Bagan sits on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River. What greets me upon debarkation from our boat is a loudspeaker blasting Rod Stewart singing “Young Turks” and thousands of ruins. Here is a region to compete with Angkor Wat; there are 4446 sandstone and terra cotta pagodas and temples dating from the 11th to 13th centuries. I can only hope we do not attempt to see them all. (more…)