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Elaine and Peter’s Travel Diary

Friday, 25 Mar 2016

Location: Magwe, Myanmar

MapWell I must say, this is a very pleasant way to travel.

It is interesting how the boat actually sails. It sort of zigzags downstream presumably to avoid the sandbanks. Occasionally we call in briefly to the riverside to pick up or drop off a pilot. The river is reasonably busy with a variety of craft from local fishing boats to large tankers.

The banks themselves are fascinating, full of gems of rural life. As we go further downstream, the sight of the children following us to say hello will be coming rarer. They are a more remote people as they are not used to seeing westerners further south.
Most of the riverbanks are barren sand banks. From time to time we arrive at villages hidden amongst vegetation. Pipes from the water suck the precious water up to the crops. There have been Shanty shacks at the side, surrounded by piles of red. These are the chilli farmers who come across the river for three months at a time to grow and harvest. Their homes really are nomadic.
As are the cattle herders who are very far between

The binoculars have come in very handy. In one glimpse, it was so funny to pass by a Village where a woman Came out and pointed a camera at us to take her photo.

From time to time we moor at a point of significance. Yesterday we drove up through very arid mountains to Tantkyitaung hill to visit the Tantkyitaung pagoda with its thirty statues of elephants. We found only five. It was chaos up their with the pilgrims and not enough parking space but the ride was worth it for the superb panoramic views of the river.

Further on downstream at late afternoon, we had crossed the river to arrive at Salay, a village in a religious site. The walk was fantastic.,from the boat who would how thought that this village was full,of ornately carved teak monasteries and gilded pagodas. There was a variety of richly painted Buddhas and the oldest surviving monastery of Yoke Sone Kyaung was spectacular.

Our mooring tonight is at the sleepy town of Magwe in the delta, so there will be a visit to the Mya that pagoda before dinner and then a puppet show on the sun deck, in the balmy evening air...what could be better.