GEORGE KAREEM ALI SHARIF MAXWELL

George Kareem is from USA.Here are the contents that he shared about Inle , Bagan and Mandalay.

Inle

Inle Lake is BEAUTIFUL. We arrived to a lovely, sunny afternoon in Shan State, enjoying a most scenic drive from the airport to the jetty. We soon boarded our long-tailed boats to explore by water. Our highlight was certainly seeing the fishermen in action with their special, artful, and acrobatic, one-legged fishing techniques! Incredible. Lunch was on the water and concluded with the observance of several boat races — an exciting surprise. We then returned to the sublime by visiting the very important 11th century Phaungdaw Oo pagoda. This impressive structure is home to 5 sacred Buddha images. Our day concluded with a visit to a hand loom weaving community and black smithery. The artisanship here is inspiring.

It is sad to reach our final full day in Myanmar. We start by learning and witnessing the art of traditional Burmese cigarette making. The setting on the lake is stunning. Our highlight, however, is visiting the Indein pagoda complex. The site is truly breathtaking and the restoration efforts are inspiring. This is an incredible, beautiful national treasure. I look forward to visiting again in the near future. We fly back to Yangon this evening for a special farewell dinner…

Bagan

What an incredible day in Bagan! We start with a visit to the morning market followed by the Toddy Palm Plantation to learn all about the process of creating these special libations and sweets. The extraction process is quite perilous! Our next visits are to the Sulamani Temple and to the Dhamayangyi Temple – both are exquisite and truly impressive. The afternoon winds down with a sunset cruise on the Irrawaddy River. Blissful. We conclude a busy day with a delicious dinner and puppet show at Nanda Restaurant. Tomorrow we are off to Mandalay!

Mandalay

A whirlwind of a day in Mandalay! Wonderful to see the most revered Buddha image of Myanmar in Mahamuni Pagoda. And incredible to witness the tradition of followers making gold leaf offerings. We then visited a gold leaf factory to learn about the process — quite labor intensive! Further amazement followed at Kithodaw Pagoda. This site is known to house the world’s largest book – 726 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teaching! The Shwenandaw Monastery was another very special visit. This is one of the finest examples of a 19th century wooden monastery building in the country. The USA is a major supporter of the renovation. Finally, we enjoy sunset on U Bein Bridge. It is the world’s longest teak-wood bridge, spanning 1.2 km across Taungtgaman Lake for over 200 years!

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