|Yet another fisherman, Lake Inle|
|Life beside the creek on the way to Inthein|
We disembarked through a crowd of tourist stalls and strolled through the village passing the school, several cafés and the empty market place (Inthein is another home of the 5-day Market). We crossed a bridge below which people were beating their washing clean on the rocks, and entered another long arcade of stalls selling scarves, blankets, ornaments, carved wooden panels (which looked like they had come from monasteries), tee-shirts and assorted religious objects, including, slightly bizarrely, boxed sets of nativity characters. The manufacturers had evidently skimped on their homework - pigs were rarely present in Jewish stables!
|Arriving at Inthein|
|Sue, Lynne and an ancient, if dilapidated, stupa|
|A rebuilt stupa among the old and dilapidated, Inthein|
|New stupas at the top of the hill, Inthein|
|In the temple at the top of the hill, Inthein|
Back on the boat we headed downstream and stopped at a silversmith’s. It is always good to watch craftsmen at work and we would have liked a closer look at the finished products but high pressure sales staff made browsing difficult.
Making silver jewellery near Inthein
Hotan for the whole story) but we were unaware that fibre can be made from the versatile lotus plant. A smiling girl demonstrated how she scored and then gently broke the stalks, before easing the two sections apart. Between them appeared thin, glistening filaments which she twisted together to form a fibre. It looked easy done by an expert, but I suspect it is a great deal harder than it appears.
|Teasing out fibres from lotus stalk, Lake Inle|
|Making cheroots, Lake Inle|
The sauvignon blanc was remarkable. Despite the hot climate they had retained the sauvignon’s clean acidity, but the fruit had gone missing. The rosé was as crisp and juicy as rosé can be, while the shiraz/tempranillo was dark and smoky with good fruit and tannins. I was impressed by the overall quality, only the Late Harvest – thin and lacking in sweetness – was a definite miss. I bought a bottle of the Rosé for 8000 Kyat (£6.40), prohibitively expensive for most locals, but reasonable for its quality by British supermarket standards. We shared it with friends after we returned home.
|Trying to overtake a pig on a cart, Nyaungshwe|
|Chanting sutras, Shwe Yaunghwe Monastery|
|Posing visitors, Shwe Yaunghwe Monastery|