Tuesday, December 26, 2017

killing me softly

It's a busy day at Shin Maw Pagoda, on the very southern tip of Dawei Peninsula. We've riden out here, nearly 3 hours from Dawei on a twisty, windy, hilly, sometimes one-lane road with C Thu MG, our cheerful expert driver.

In theory, this is a beach expedition, but first things first. 
The pagoda is packed with pilgrims, who arrived here on the same road on motor bikes, packed into flatbed trucks and tuktuks, Many spend the night. They are delighted and cheerful to see us, two of a handful of non-local tourists.

A few take their pictures with me.
It's an incredible setting, with tiers of temples and statues.

 Gold in every direction
 Anyone can ring the bell, so I do.
We asked C Thu about these statues and what the text says. Are they lessons or rules? We're still not sure.
 There are lots of cool statues of serpents and warriors with conch shells.

Unfortunately, we're not welcome past a certain point.
 Would you like to donate? I was worried the money would fly away.

After the temple, we headed back for lunch. Fishermen in the village live just as they've been for centuries.

The restaurant is set in a grove of palm trees, with arches made of recycled plastic water bottles.
 I was jealous of their orchids.
Don't forget to look up.

This lady cooked our delicious lunch, especially the local Dawei greens she's holding.

Here it's prepared with eggs, so Pam couldn't have any. On the right is a mango salad—even better than Yamo's. 
Now it's time for our final destination. C Thu plays dreadful muzak most of the way: Neil Young's Heart of Gold, Paul Anka's Diana, and Killing Me Softly. Eventually I can't take it anymore, and I play Killing Me Softly by the Fugees.

After driving on a dirt road over a mountain, C Thu gets us to the sand.
The sun mostly stays behind a cloud, but we swim and float.
 And eat coconut, as the sun  sets.
Grateful we didn't have to walk over that mountain to get here. And back again. C Thu races back on the windy road in the darkness. We catch glimpses of festivals and flashing lights and wave.
Our final stop is the night market at the local mall, where a children's beauty pageant is commencing. These delicate pancakes are made from coconut. They cost around 200 kyat or less than 20¢ each.

 Here's the finished result, like a Sri Lankan hopper! So delicate and delicious (အရသာရှိသော).

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