Another Big Buddha

Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
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64
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Trip End Jun 01, 2012


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Flag of Myanmar  ,
Monday, February 20, 2012

Monywa, Myanmar - The truck ride to Pokkuku was tight and a little painful. Dave boy thought I was car sick but I thought this truck took us all the way to Monywa (6 hours away) so I was in my bus endurance zone. After we crossed a large bridge we were in the bustling market town of Pokkuku. We hitch another bicycle ride to a random shack to buy our ongoing ticket to Monywa. This bus was not due to leave for another 4 hours, so time to kill with the bags. We sat down at a neighboring cafe to the bus shack and were provided with pakora type deep fried eats and I ordered a coffee. They brought two thinking Dave wanted one, but he turns his nose up at coffee! I think we sat there for an hour. We watched the world go by and sadly there were an awful lot more beggars in Pokkuku. Our coffee place gave one beggar a bucket load of left over food.



After coffee, we hung out in a park. I watched a young mother and her three children play on a giraffe slide. It was wonderful to watch. A few people approached us but soon disappeared. I took a wander around the market while Dave looked after the bags! The sun was blistering and the market was alive and kicking! I slowly meandered my way through, observing the relationships between traders, some haggling and that wave of silence I'm greeted with when my presence is noticed. It reminds me of San Salvador when I was sick and just wanted some lunch! I walked into a saloon bar and the whole place went quiet!!



I quickly worked out where we would eat lunch and it was a very cheap affair! As with all Myanmar food places, we were provided with many dishes of delicious food! The only issue we had was that we both needed the bathroom, we were directed towards the park! Great!

If we didn't have the bags, I'm sure we would have explored more of Pokkuku, but the time we spent there will last in my mind forever! We continue to receive curious smiles and I keep hearing the name 'Rooney' every so often!!



The bus to Monywa took just under four hours. We arrived at the southern bus station to about twenty guys wanting to offer us a taxi. They were opening windows on the bus to get our attention, they would even grab your arm from outside the bus! I was in no mood for this! One guy was touching up Dave's leg hair, but Dave seemed to enjoy this! We agreed with one guy to drive us to our guesthouse, bur it turned out he inky had a motorbike! Pretty ambitious to transport two guys and four bags on a motorbike. We soon found a Tuk Tuk from another guy called Tony! On arrival at the guesthouse, we hired him for the following day to drive us to the Buddha and reclining Buddha.



Dave was exhausted so grabbed a nap while we waited for the sun to set. Monywa is a larger version of Pokkuku and has a large night market that runs parallel to the main road. We found a bar offering food and 5 beers for the price of 4. In keeping with Myanmar tradition, we ordered some basic meals but the young waiter kept bringing us out other small dishes to try! He seemed very excited that we were brothers and asked about our trip in Myanmar. The food was good and it was great to sink a few beers after some painful bus rides! Later, we found an ice cream shop with wifi, so we treated ourselves to a scoop each!



Next day we got up early and our driver was waiting for us outside! Our first stop was a modern temple, Thambuddhei Paya, that holds over 250000 Buddhas! Most are the size of Lego and line tall beams and line the entire building! There was a charge for foreigners to enter so we skipped that and enjoyed the outside of the structure!



I was needing a coffee so asked our driver to stop at a place for a drink before we made the drive to the 2nd largest Buddha in the world. We sat as a three, Dave has water while our driver and I had a coffee. I was trying very hard to get to know him, but his English was not so great and I guess I'm not the best at charades!! I asked three times about football but he just never answered what team he followed!



We were soon driving toward the Buddha at Bodhi Tahtaung. From a distance the view was pretty special! I now know what a reclining Buddha is. I was imagining it being like a bridge that can be raised and lowered, but no, it just means the Buddha is layed on it's side!! The view shows the tall Buddha with the reclining Buddha laying just in front!



When we got to the base, we had the choice to hire a motorbike to the top but we were happy to walk. The climb was steep and to reach the reclining Buddha we climbed a staircase lined with market sellers either side of the staircase and everyone stared at the gingers!



The reclining Buddha was cool but the big tall Buddha was quite something!! There were zero tourists and mainly anyone who was present was there for religious purposes! We took a walk around the Buddha, grabbed some pictures, marvelled the raised view of the countryside of Monywa and set off back down the hill.



We were driven back to our guesthouse, on the way, we passed trucks filled up with school children, trucks with people sitting on the roof to be transported to the next town. Amazing really.

We grabbed our bags and headed to the ice cream shop for lunch as it did food as well. Then Dave saw the cake selection and for a $1 each we had a large slice of cake! I felt pretty sick after!

Tony drove us to the bus station then as expected, asked for more money! We found our bus and got Cindy again, four hours to Mandalay.

Next stop, Mandalay.
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Comments

The Other Brother on

...surely...you look more like Scholesy!

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