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Floating on Inle Lake

 Posted by Germain Laroche
Germain Laroche
, February 23, 2014 at 04:03:02 :: Burma

Fishermen, Inle LakeInle Lake is a large body of freshwater located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State in Myanmar, over 120 square kilometers of labyrinthine side canals, endemic fish and snail species, and the longtime home of the Intha fishermen, famed for their one legged rowing techniques. Since the lake is filled with floating reeds and plants, the fishermen have to stand up on their boats to see what lies ahead, and thus they have developed this marvelously agile method of rowing their boats, using one leg to wrap around and hold the oar and paddle, which allows them to remain standing. This, in turn, keeps their hands free for working with their fishing traps and baskets.

A model for cottage industries and self-sufficiency

The entire lake is a model for cottage industries and self-sufficiency, as the Intha have learned how to live entirely upon, and with, the water. Floating fruit and vegetable gardens, made by hand from reeds and plants, grow abundantly, feeding families along with the nga pein Inle carp that frequent the center of the lake en masse. Homes, and in fact entire communities, are built on stilts above the water, and in addition to farming, the locals engage in a profitable cheroot (cigar) rolling industry, as well as weaving silk from the fibers of lotus flowers, which are grown in the floating gardens.

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Bagan, one of the world's most beautiful religious sites

 Posted by Christophe Le Corre
Christophe Le Corre
, January 19, 2014 at 11:17:08 :: Burma

Buddhist temples in BaganBagan (formerly Pagan), the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan between the 9th and 13th centuries, has witnessed the construction of well over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas, statues and monasteries in the course of its long history, of which the remains of over 2,200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day. And yet the mighty kings who oversaw the creation of this astonishing landscape could never have dreamed that one day it would be viewed from the sky. Of course, Bagan still draws far fewer travelers that the legendary Angkor Wat, but then, unlike in Cambodia, temple tourism is still in its infancy here. One thing is certain, Bagan is among the world’s most beautiful religious sites.

Thanks to the introduction of economic reforms, Myanmar has become something of an Asian tourism hotspot. Burmese politician and pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi’s much repeated invitation – “Come to Burma with your eyes open and use your liberty to promote ours” – has freed tourists to visit with consciences clear, even if a cursory glance though the papers suggests that Myanmar’s people still enjoy little in the way of civil liberties.

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Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, Burma

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 07, 2010 at 08:31:34 :: Burma

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (also known as Golden Rock) is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State, Burma (Myanmar). It is a small pagoda (7.3 metres) built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by devotees. According to legend, the Golden Rock itself is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha's hair. The rock seems to defy gravity, as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of rolling down the hill.

Kyaiktiyo is a must pilgrimage for any Myanmar Buddhist, probably second to Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon only

The rock and the pagoda are at the top of Mt. Kyaiktiyo, 230km away from Rangoon. The pagoda is 1100km above sea-level. It is a 11 kilometer uphill climb for the hikers from Kinpun base camp. There is also a steep winding road for 4-wheel drive cars from the base to the nearest point of the pagodas. . It is the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma after the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Mahamuni Pagoda.

The boulder, which gleams golden and popularly known as the Golden Rock on which the small Kyaiktiyo Pagoda has been built, is about 7.6 m in height and has a circumference of 15 m. Its weight is estimated to 611.5 Tons. The Pagoda above the rock is about 7.3 metres (24 ft) in height. The boulder sits on a natural rock platform that appears to have been naturally formed to act as the base to build the pagoda.

The Golden Rock, Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, Kyaiktiyo

The legend associated with the pagoda is that the Buddha, on one of his many visits, gave a strand of his hair to Taik Tha, a hermit. The hermit, who had tucked it in the tuft of his hair safely, in turn gave the strand to the King, with the wish that the hair be enshrined in a boulder shaped like the hermit's head. The King, had inherited super natural powers from his father who was well known as Zawgyi (a proficient alchemist) and the mother was a naga (serpent dragon) princess. They had found the rock at the bottom of the sea. With the help of the Thagyamin, the king of Tawadeintha Heaven in Buddhist cosmology, found the perfect place at Kyaiktiyo for locating the golden rock and build a pagoda, where the strand was enshrined. It is this strand of hair that, according to the legend, prevents the rock from tumbling down the hill. The boat, which was used to transport the rock, turned into a stone.

Visit Burma and Kyaiktiyo Pagoda now on Landolia.
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Bagan, Burma

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 13, 2008 at 17:59:09 :: Burma

There are two preeminent ancient religious cities in Southeast Asia: Bagan in Burma and Angkor in Cambodia. Both sites are notable for their expanse of sacred geography and the number and size of their individual temples. For many visitors Bagan is the more extraordinary of the two cities and this because of the view. The ruins of the more than one hundred Angkor temples stand alone and isolated in thick jungles, and only from the top of the tallest temples it is not possible to see others in the distance. Sprawling across a vast dusty plain, the ruins of Bagan are unhidden. There being no trees to obstruct the view, one may gaze over forty square miles of countryside, upon literally thousands of temples. In the early morning, from Sulamani Temple, or in the late afternoon, from Gawdawpalin Temple, the view is among the very finest the world has to offer.

Bagan ancient city in the Mandalay Division of Myanmar, on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River

Bagan, formerly Pagan, is an ancient city in the Mandalay Division of Burma. Formally titled Arimaddanapura (the City of the Enemy Crusher) and also known as Tambadipa (the Land of Copper) or Tassadessa (the Parched Land), it was the ancient capital of several ancient kingdoms in Burma. It is located in the dry central plains of the country, on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River, 90 miles (145 km) southwest of Mandalay.

UNESCO has unsuccessfully tried to designate Bagan as a World Heritage Site. The military junta (SPDC) has haphazardly restored ancient stupas, temples and buildings, ignoring original architectural styles and using modern materials that bear no resemblance to the original designs.

Temple in Pagan, Myanmar

Bagan, it's over 2000 Pagodas and Temples dating back more than 1500 years of history that you can visit all year round, as there is no actual rainy Season like in the lower part of Burma.

Visit Bagan and Burma on Landolia.
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Myanmar or Burma?

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 14, 2006 at 08:31:16 :: Burma

In 1989, the military junta, who seized the power thru a coup d'etat a year before, officially changed the English version of its name from Burma to Myanmar, which was the original name of the country in the burmese language.

However, many countries and states which do not recognize the ruling military junta still call the country Burma.

Bagan, formerly Pagan, formally titled Arimaddanapura (the City of the Enemy Crusher) and also known as Tambadipa (the Land of Copper) or Tassadessa (the Parched Land), was the ancient capital of several ancient kingdoms in Myanmar

Whatever the name, this is a wonderful country, unfortunately struggling with many political, economical and social problems. This is also a country where human rights are not respected: Aung San Suu Kyi, a nonviolent pro-democracy activist and leader of the National League for Democracy, who also happened to be a Nobel Peace Prize, has been imprisoned many times and is still detained by the burmese government.

This is maybe not the best time to go to Myanmar/Burma, but you can still visit the country, including Bagan Temples, Rangoon and Kyaiktiyo on Landolia!
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In The News

Must-see places in Myanmar/Burma

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 06, 2012 at 08:20:06

View of Popa Taung Kalat monastery atop Taung Kalat (pedestal hill), Mount Popa, central Burma (Myanmar)Mount Popa
(Elevation: 1,518 m - 4,980 ft) Everyone in Myanmar hopes to make a pilgrimage to Mount Popa, a vertical rock outcropping about 50 km (31 mi) southeast of Bagan, at least once in their lives.
Mount Popa is perhaps best known for the nearby stunningly picturesque Popa Taungkalat monastery atop an outcrop. The Popa Taungkalat (Taung Kalat) Shrine is home to 37 Mahagiri Nats, or spirits. Statues depicting the Nats are at the base of the Shrine.

The road north of Yangon splits at Taukkyan; one fork continues north to Mandalay while another bends east around the Gulf of Martaban to Bago, a town of historic Mon and Burmese pagodas as well as one of the largest reclining Buddha (Shwethalyaung Buddha) figures in the world.

Inle Lake, freshwater lake located in the Taunggyi District of Shan State, Myanmar (Burma)Inle Lake
Freshwater lake located on the Shan Plateau, surrounded by mountains and high river valleys, Inle Lake offers a complete change of scenery. Some 70,000 people of Inle Lake, called Intha, live in four cities bordering the lake, in numerous small villages along the lake's shores, and on the lake itself. They fish Inle's shallow waters from graceful teak canoes. Vegetables are cultivated on "floating" islands, made by clumping soil together with water hyacinth and staking the resulting masses to the lake floor with bamboo poles. The Intha are also known for skilful silk-weaving and for the crafting of colourful cloth shoulder bags.

Mawlamyine (or Mawlamyaing)
Known to most of the English-speaking world as Moulmein, this ex-colonial town sits at the northeastern end of the Gulf of Martaban at the mouth of the Thanlwin (Salween) river. The sleepy port boasts a number of well-endowed Mon Buddhist temples, a cultural museum, pagoda-studded islands and fading colonial architecture.

Ngapali Beach, famous beach in Myanmar located 7 kilometres from the town of Thandwe, Rakhine State, MyanmarNgapali Beach
Located 7 kilometres (4 mi) from the town of the town of Thandwee (formerly Sandoway), in Rakhine State, this 3 km (2 mi) strip of golden sand on the Indian Ocean has become the most well-known beach in Myanmar, yet compared to other beaches in Southeast Asia it receives relatively few tourists.

Ayeyarwady delta
A journey through the delta and along the Bay of Bengal coast will reward the visitor with perspectives of Myanmar's largest pottery works in Twante near Yangon, the historic inland port of Pathein, and the quiet beachside villages of Letkhokkon, Chaungtha and Gwa.

The Golden Rock, Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, KyaiktiyoKyaiktiyo Pagoda
Further east atop Mount Kyaikhtiyo, a seven-metre gilded boulder, also known as Golden Rock, balances on the edge of a granite cliff 1,200 metres above the coastal plains. Said to be magically held in place by a Buddha hair enshrines in a small stupa atop the rock, it has become a popular pilgrimage and also tourist attraction. A strenuous four-hour walk along the 11-kilometre path up the mountain confers great merit upon pilgrims. The less devoted may ride in public pilgrim trucks to within a 45-minute walk of the summit, then complete the journey atop bamboo palanquins borne on the shoulders of well-paid carriers. Sunrise or sunset, the view from the shrine is one of the most beautiful in Myanmar.

Temple in Pagan, MyanmarBagan
Less known than Cambodia's Angkor complex, Bagan (formerly Pagan) more than holds its own in terms of historic and archaeological significance. The cradle of the first Burmese kingdom, it became the focus of an intense building frenzy during which as many as 13,000 temples, stupas and other religious structures were built in the 42 square kilometre area between the 11th and 13th centuries. Horse-cart remains the preferred vehicle for touring the ruins.

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