To assist with the conservation of the Old Town of Hoi An and to gain access to some of the historic buildings, the purchase of an Old Town ticket is required. This afternoon we used one of the five tabs on that ticket to visit the Tan Ky House, a two hundred year old building that has housed nine generations of the same family. It’s a mix of Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese design.
The family still lives in the house that is regularly subjected to flooding from the river. They have a pulley system installed to raise the ground floor furniture each time the river breaches its banks.
Last night after dinner in the company of a Canadian woman, we watched, from our “fresh beer” drinking vantage point, young couples participating in the Pot Breaking Game. Blindfolded and armed with a stick to smash a small clay pot, they competed for prizes of lanterns and purses amidst much hilarity when the target was missed. The position of the pot was adjusted to match the height of the contestant.
This place has a way of slowing down your pace when you stay for more than a few days. The rainy season also dictates whether a stroll is in or out of the question. This morning we ate breakfast at Rosie’s Cafe, a business venture started by two young Vietnamese women. They specialise in coffee, cold-pressed juices and all-day (until 3 pm) breakfasts.
Here are some of the highlights from this morning’s walk in the weather break, which included a wander through the food markets.
What a treat this museum was. A tribute to the history of ceramic tiles in Portugal, and a few Dutch tiles thrown in for good measure. Here’s a representative sample.
I will attribute the pieces and artists at a later date when more time’s available.
Turtles in the courtyard setting of the cafeteria.
Best sign for Ladies and Gents ever!
The site of the Museum was originally a church.
We visited a dozen temples around Bagan on a day when the thermometer reached 43 degrees C. Everywhere you look in this region, there’s a pagoda to be seen. The interiors provided some level of comfort from the heat, with the occasional breeze wafting through some corridors.
The people selling local crafts, drinks and mangoes were doing it tough today. Rob bought two mangoes and delighted the women by borrowing their knife and demonstrating the easy way to cut and eat the flesh (with a blunt knife). They declared it ‘very clever’.
A few of the temples didn’t allow inside photography. It was almost impossible to make out the frescoes at Gubyaukgyi. As I was leaving, an elderly woman, whose face was richly adorned with thanaka paste, insisted I go back in. Some local people had arrived and a guide had activated the lighting system. Think light globe on a selfie stick, only with a very, very long cord.
The paths to the temples were so hot today, people were running to get to a cool spot to land their bare feet.
I’ve pared down the photographs to give you some idea of the diversity of temples, architectural styles and decoration.
Pyat Thut Gi
Sulamani Pahto (my favourite, largely because of the detailed frescos and decorations)
Ananda Pahto (under considerable restoration)
Lunch at Moon Restaurant (Be Kind to Animals) – a cool spot to rehydrate.
Than Daw Ga Pagoda
In 1784, King Bodawpaya and his Burmese Army seized an ancient bronze Buddha and transported it to this current site in Mandalay. In the gallery at Mahamuni, large paintings created in the 1950s tell the story of its epic journey.
Except for the face of the Buddha, which is polished by a monk every morning at 4 o’clock, the surface is covered in a six inch layer of gold, as a result of years of the application of gold leaf. Only male visitors to the pagoda are allowed to near the inner sanctum and place the leaf on the Buddha. The second photograph in this post was taken by my husband. I had a view further back with the women.
Ceramic jars like these are found all over Burma for people as accessible sources of cold drinking water.
After a meal in a local restaurant, a walk around town on a Friday night. Finished up with a cold beer on the roof top and entertainment in the form of a young musician and a puppet show.
For the first couple of nights in Nai Yang Beach, we ate in an open air restaurant on the beach. Last night, with a storm on the way, we chose a place with undercover options. The lightning show did not disappoint.
It’s been a relaxing day today. Breakfast on the beach with a lizard as companion, a ten-minute trip to Nai Thon beach for lunch and a change of scenery.
Tomorrow we will be on our way to the airport by 5.15 am to travel to Mandalay via Bangkok. This afternoon, we’ll take another beach swim in water so salty that it’s impossible not to float in it.
This Marmoset monkey is someone’s pet. We did not expect to meet such a creature in the context in which we found him. Five years ago, his owner paid 45,000 Thai Baht for him, the equivalent of 1,800 Australian dollars. Illicit trade in exotic animals is alive and well.
There weren’t too many people on the beach before 8.00 am. Some working fishermen, and a few dogs.
More than ten years on, there are still reminders of the tsunami that devastated this small community of Nai Yang.