Saturday, February 22, 2014

Myanmar Day 5 - Bagan and Ananda Temple

Our 5th day in Myanmar started with a visit to the local market in Nyaung U, the major town near Bagan.

This is a huge market that sells everything from flowers...
Betel paan in market in Nyaung U, Myanmar

... to betel quid

The betel quid or paan is comprised of betel leaf, areca nut, and some other ingredients depending on region. It has a mild narcotic effect. Some of our group who tried it reported feeling a little light headed.


... to - not sure what this is - maybe tofu or some other sort of bean curd.

... to fresh fish

... to a wide variety of rice

... to "fresh" meat (why is it orange?).

I'm not sure what this lady is carrying on her head but it looks pretty heavy.

They also sell souvenirs, of course.

Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar

From the market we headed to Shwezigon Pagoda. This temple was completed in 1102. The pagoda is believed to enshrine a bone and tooth of Gautama Buddha.

Nats at Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar

These are nats or spirits. There are 37 official Great Nats and a host of other lesser nats. The Burmese have sort of blended their superstitions about nats in with Buddhism. You can learn more by scrolling to the bottom of this link.

Nats in Myanmar

Ananda Temple in Bagan, Myanmar

After lunch we head to Ananda Phaya or Anada Temple. It is one of the most important temples in Bagan. It was completed in 1105.

Ananda Temple

Sunlit corridor at Ananda Temple in Bagan, Myanmar

The temple is huge. This is one of the interior corridors. There is a Buddha in each of these niches.

Buddha at Ananda Temple in Bagan, Myanmar

There are 4 large standing Buddhas, one on each side.

These first 2 are said to be originals and the other two are replacements after the originals were destroyed by fire.

Much of the area of Old Bagan around the monuments is still used for farming. You see scenes like this regularly.

In the late afternoon we head over to another temple to watch the sunset again. This time we took a horse carriage ride to the temple.

This is our carriage. The horse is named Neenee. Neenee was pretty smart. Whenever he slowed down the the driver would reach for his crop. Just the sound of the crop moving perhaps an inch in its holder was all the prompting Neenee needed to pickup the pace.
Sunset at Bagan, Myanmar

The sunsets were pretty spectacular.

Click to enlarge.

Pretty amazing colors
Marionette or puppet show at Bagan, Myanmar

At dinner we enjoyed a marionette show. These guys were pretty skilled at making these things move.

Here are some of the other marionettes hanging around back stage waiting their turn.

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