Our family photo was taken atop Dhammayangyi temple.
Along the road to Mt. Popa we stopped at a family run palm sugar farm. Several local women showed us how the palm syrup is converted into chunks of sugar. We also saw an open still and threw back several shots of (palm) moonshine!
Mt. Popa and the mountaintop shrine to the 37 nats magically appeared in the distance!
At Pindaya we saw a giant spider hanging over the main entrance to the shrine!
Virtually the entire Pindaya shrine is inside the mountain and thousands of Buddha’s line the walls and walkways inside the cavernous interior.
At Nyang-shwe we rode tuk-tuks to the Red Mountain Estates winery, started in 2002 by a French investor. We sampled several wines while munching on local white cheddar - all quite good!
At Kalaw, Teresa organized a longy party. We all dressed in these long skirts worn in Burma by both men and women. It was comfortable but I discovered that walking without stumbling was a major challenge.
We stopped at a roadside stand and watched several Shan locals create translucent paper panels from tree bark, which they used to make Shan parasols and lanterns.
Uh-oh... another one of these!
At a Palaung village we tried on tribal garb including vests and shirts in tribal colors and some odd-looking hats.
At Inle Lake our mode of transport resembled an extended canoe except it had five wooden chairs lined in a row and was propelled by a large engine in the rear. We continued to the far end of the lake and then passed through a canal surrounded by dense foliage until we arrived at the village of Indain, where we disembarked and walked uphill to the ruins of Nyaung Ohak.
At Nyaung Ohak we saw hundreds of crumbling stupas - small pagoda-like temples tightly clustered over several acres - true ruins - no longer in use - built in the sixteenth century but victim to wars and insurrections.
Our farewell dinner was at an obscure, tiny, brightly decorated restaurant with only a handful of tables arranged in a semi-circle. As the dinner wound down, the owner emerged to greet us - he'd prepared the entire meal himself. Teresa said she had a few words to say and it was quiet as she thanked Steve for a great trip and everyone else for being such good travel companions.