Behind the scenes in Myanmar – Chapter 1
The Khiri Travel Myanmar team is giving a behind- the- scenes glimpse on their recent inspections around the country. This new series will be covering the experiences of our team members while exploring some new and some better known destinations.
Chapter 1: Overland from Mandalay to Yandabo
We left Mandalay for our journey to Yandabo at 9.00 am. Though it was sunny, the weather was pleasantly cool, just right for an overland trip. We were happy seeing the spectacular views of toddy palm trees and green scenic farmland along the way. We stopped off at ‘Three Jade’ restaurant in Natogyi for an early lunch. It was an especially delicious meal of Chinese food. We left the restaurant at about 12:00 noon and continued on our journey. The big shady Acacia trees on either side of the road formed a canopy above us, sheltering us from the sun.
Functional works of art
We arrived at Yandabo Home Hotel at about 2.00 pm. As soon as we entered the village we saw the beautiful red earthenware pots stacked up along the road. Yandabo is a really pretty village with over 200 houses. The whole village makes a living by producing these beautiful earthenware pots. Because of flooding during the rainy season, the clay is dug out from the mud flats of the Irrawaddy River in May and carried by boat to the village at a cost of 30,000 kyat (US$22) for each boatload of clay. One boatload can make approximately 200 pots and each pot is sold for 1,000 kyats. Nowadays, with fewer buyers and an increase in the price of materials – such as the straw used to fire the pots – it is becoming harder for the villagers to make a living from the pottery trade, and yet, these earthenware ceramics are beautiful, functional works of art.
The village of Pan Nyo
In the late afternoon we took a 15-minute boat crossing over the Irrawaddy River to visit Pan Nyo village and observe the village farmers and their ox carts returning from the fields, each cart stacked with hay and drawn by a pair of buffalos. From Pan Nyo village jetty, we could also see two or three buffaloes wallowing in the river.
It was a beautiful sight of rural life and a great opportunity to take some photos to remember our trip by. According to one local man, the village has approximately 3,000 buffaloes! They are taken to the river twice a day – in the morning at about 9.00am, and then in the evening at around 5.00pm – after returning from the fields.
Returning to our boat we sat back and relaxed with some green tea and coffee. As we left the pier, we could see the villagers along the shoreline, washing their clothes and bathing in the river, and behind them Pan Nyo village, surrounded by emerald-green fields.
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