Woke up to a cool morning, took a shower and then got ready to go to the coffeehouse for breakfast ( the room charges of USD25 were inclusive of breakfast) .Took our seats and waiter asked us how would we like our eggs, I would like an omelet , please..
A plate of fruits consisting of a banana, slices of watermelon plus pineapple were delivered to our table, plus tea + coffee and then a plate of something, err..this is a weird looking omelet..it tasted good though, must be the Myanmar style omelet.
After breakfast, we stepped into the cool morning sun and Osaka was already waiting for us, and Mr Driver proudly showed us his ‘I love Malaysia’ t-shirt under his leather jacket . This was a gift from his brother who worked in KL .
This Buddha image has a little roof above- we saw some bird poo on the ‘robe’ on the Buddha image, the roof might be a protective layer for the Buddha’s head..bad birdie.. i wonder will the birds reap bad karma from acts like these…
The head of this image was gilded but the torso was not. We walked quietly as not to disturbed the meditating monk. I was curious why a monk would place bank notes by his meditating mat. Then he opened his eyes and pointed at the bank notes..i think he was asking for some money. Hey, how can like that one !! I think this misguided monk might suffer worse fate than the poo poo birdies..
Earlier I wrote that from the way he whipped and scold Osaka, Mr Driver was a cruel master , but on the other hand, Osaka seemed to be a lazy horse too ( or maybe we were too heavy) , he/she ( I was going to find out but I forgot to ‘inspect’) will often slow down and not trot in a straight line without constant whipping . I am not joking when I tell you that Osaka is probably one of the slowest horse in Bagan.. we were overtaken by other horse cart countless times. We later found out that Osaka is four years old and Chunny’s horse was eleven years old—maybe Osaka was just young and still learning the ways of horse carting… Aiyaaa alllaaa hooyaa mama…
Our next destination – Dhammayangyi Temple.
From http://www.orientalarchitecture.com/myanmar/bagan/dhamma.php The Dhammayangyi (or Dhamma-yan-gyi) Pahto, extending approximately 255 feet on each of its four sides, is Bagan’s most massive shrine. There is considerable controversy over the identity of the builder and the construction of the building itself. It probably was built by King Narathu (1167-1170) over a three year period to atone for his wicked rule. Yet some have attributed it to Narathu’s father and predecessor, Sithu I, who also built Thatbyinnyu. Legend suggests that Narathu met his end in a series of morbid events shortly after acceding to the throne. He had smothered his father and, shortly thereafter, his brother. After he had one of his wives (a former Indian princess and one of the wives of his father) executed for her Hindu hygienic rituals, he was assassinated by eight men, disguised as Brahmin priests, sent by the princess’s father. Others, however, have suggested that his death came at the hands of a Ceylonese mission that not only killed the king but sacked the city and introduced Ceylonese influence into the architectural spirit of Bagan.
Once we stepped into the temple, we were approached by five young ladies carrying baskets of souvenir items like postcards and lacquer wares. It was hard to shake them off and two of them start to tag along with us – speaking to us in English and then when they heard us speaking mandarin , they uttered a few words of mandarin too. After walking with us for a while and getting the cold shoulder, there was only one of them left and she continue to tell us about the temple and well, we listened and started to ask her questions too…
Our tour guide’s name is Aye-Aye and she is a college student , during the weekends, she hang out at the temple to earn some extra pocket money to support the family, her ambition is to study at a University in Mandalay majoring in history so that she can become a tour guide.
While we were walking with Aye-Aye thought the passages, she showed us the inner ambulatory passages that were sealed – one of the theory behind this was that the construction workers sealed the passages to King Narathu. I wonder what treasures are behind these sealed walls..
The brickwork at Dhammayangyi is said to be the finest in Bagan, Narathu is said to do thorough QC checked of the brickwork, and Narathu would execute the masons if he could stick a pin between the bricks
After completing our tour, we asked Aye-Aye to show us the postcards that she was selling and also the George Orwell book Burmese days … her asking price for the postcards were 3000K for a set of 10, this was higher then the regular price of 1000K but we agree that the quality was a bit better and we do have to pay for her tour-guide services- but we are still Malaysians, so we had to bargain. The final price was 2,000K but I think she was rather disappointed with us for bargaining. The picture below is Aye Aye in a happier mood.( before the bargaining exercise)
After saying goodbye to Dhammayangyi, we head towards Thatbyinnyu- which was very noticeable and different from the other temple as it was in white . Thatbyinnyu was built in the mid 12th century by King Alaungsithu , this is said to be one of the earliest double-storey temples
There were many souvenirs stalls at the entrance of the temple and there were also many peddlers too, mostly young children, we were bombared with questions like ‘where are you from?’ and some of them greeted us with ‘Ni hau ‘ , ‘Sawadee ka’ ‘are you from china ?’- and after hearing us talking in Mandarin – immediately, the prices of the souveniers were quote in Renminbi equivalent . I replied ‘ from Thailand’ to one of them and immediately, the prices were quoted in singsong Thai .. haha, these kids are clever
From the tiled floor- the temple looked like it has been restored but probably not in a proper manner as we saw modern looking tiles of different colours lining the floors and some part of the walls were whitewashed.
From afar , this temple looked very grand and stood out amongst the other temple- but now that we were at the temple- it wasn’t as grand or intimidating – I guess this is also due to that we could only walk around the ground floor. Or maybe I was just hungry…
For lunch, we decided to have the Myanmar buffet ( again) – at another branch of the Golden Myanmar ( the restaurant that we had lunch the day before)- fried fish/fried chicken, stew fatty pork, curry chicken and mutton