March 16: Magwe
We’re on a morning excursion into Magwe by trishaw. Weather is predicted to be 101F. Luckily the trishaw is an open air vehicle and we will return to the boat for lunch and afternoon lectures in the air-conditioned Writer’s Lounge.
All of the trishaw bikers were thin and muscular, appearing to have no difficulty negotiating the slightly hilly terrain.
Aung San Suu Kyi, called by the Burmese, “The Lady” has given the country a great deal of hope for a democratic government in the coming years. This country, now on the verge of great improvements in infrastructure and commerce, can be compared with Cuba and contrasted with Vietnam which has had decades of growth since the war.
One of many religious shops
The entrances to all pagodas are graded by stylized lions. The pagoda platform is reached by a number of steps. At many places along the ascent are vendors selling religious and other objects.
We visited this pagoda at around noon. The sun’s reflection by the solid gold plates was nearly blinding in the 100 degree plus heat. Shoes removed as for all religious sites, we were pleasantly surprised that the white marble deck covering was almost cooling to the feet. This pagoda was built in 1929 on a hilltop overlooking a panoramic view of the valley.