Wednesday, December 27, 2017

a tale of two tuktuks

"It's just one of those days."
We had one last day in Dawei and a lot to get accomplished: first stop, the Tanintharyi Region Cultural Museum. But how to get there? Our fancy hotel shuttle driver wasn't available, so we headed out to try to find a tuktuk. We wound up finding two, although they didn't know where the museum was and couldn't agree on how much to charge.

The museum was odd, and not terribly well translated. It included stone age tools, to remind us that the area had been inhabited long before modern Myanmar or the colonial era.
Dawei is named for the Dawei people, but not much is known about them. They are mentioned in religious texts from the 12th century, the same era as Bagan. This stone is dated from AD 15.

This section included casts of famous residents of Tanintharyi, such as this balloonist who did aerial tricks!

There are religious texts and information about pearl farming, bamboo weaving, and bird's nests. The traditional musical instruments were cool, especially this xylophone shaped like an alligator.
Afterward, we headed to the rooftop restaurant at the Diamond Crown hotel, where I'd read they sold local music CDs.

This turned out to be true, plus the food was delicious. The views were fine too.
 This is the public library.

 And this teak chalet is a Myanmar Baptist church.
 Two agencies with a lot more work to do in Southeast Asia. (More commentary to come.)
 We'd read that Dawei has a lot of historic houses, and enjoyed seeing them on foot.

 Pretty paint jobs.
They resemble the old district of Phuket town as well as old Key West or New Orleans.
This is Ayinsa, where you can learn to cook or get a soothing massage. We did the latter. As I was sipping tea in the garden, who should arrive but C Thu, our driver of the past two days. How did he know where I was? I was glad to see him.
Where does all that water come from? Where do all the plastic containers go?
 Betelnuts drying on the pavement.
 Dawei has a colorful Hindu temple too.

A statue depicting General Aung San, the founder of modern Burma who was assassinated just before independence.
And a poster, one of many, to Mother Su, Aung San Su Kyi.