Myanmar Bago 2002.01.21

Buddhist Sites

The earliest bus from Kinbun for Yangon departs Kinbun at 07:25. En route it stops in Bago at 10:30. The fare for either distance is 700 Kyat.

We disembarked in Bago in front of Hadaya Cafe where we immediately bought 2 tickets for the 13:30 bus to Inle Lake (18 hours, 2500 Kyat). With 3 free hours, we hired a bicycle rickshaw to take us to the interesting sites around Bago. Our rickshaw driver was Srimani, a 2nd generation Indian from Tamil. He sped us to the monastery. "The monks begin lunch at 10:30. If we hurry, we can see them gather in the dining hall." At the monastery, hundreds of novice monks, each holding a large lacquered rice bowl, lined the corridors. At the dining hall entrance, each monk was served a large scoop of rice from an immense vat. Masami helped serve. Within the dining hall, hundreds of monks sat at low tables eating rice and soup in absolute silence. Hoping to minimize their mealtime disturbance, we soon departed.

Srimani continued to guide us through town, stopping at the interesting sites and skipping the mundane. The enormous 55-meter long reclining Buddha at Shwethalyaung Pagoda is worth seeing. Incredibly, it was discovered in 1881, buried in the jungle, during railway construction.

Our Inle Lake bound bus arrived only 30 minutes late. We tried to sleep for the next 18 hours to Inle.

Hundreds of novice monks proceed to the dining hall for their second and last meal of the day at 10:30 in the morning.
Novice monks eat in complete silence at the monastery in Bago. Each are served a large bowl of rice and vegetable soup.
The enormous sleeping Buddha at Shwethalyaung Pagoda was unearthed in 1881 by a railroad engineer scouting the jungles of Burma.

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