musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

Here are a few photos from the road, on the way to Mandalay, Nyaungshwe, and beyond, taken during my trip earlier this month. Typical scenes and sights, populated by extraordinary people. I might have lost my memory for a few short minutes after my mysterious bicycle crash, but I’ll never forget the panorama of sights, sounds, and smells that surrounded me every day while I was in the country.



A bowl of fermented tea leaf salad: the REAL taste of Myanmar!



A streetside petrol stand in Mandalay



The sun sets over the road on the way to Tat Ein village in Shan State … very close to where I had my bicycle mishap.



Two of the dedicated young teachers from the primary school in Tat Ein village. Even in between school terms they help out in the village.



A young novice monk gleefully chases down a football on a dusty field in Tat Ein village.



Fishing in the weeds? Well, they’re giving it a try in Nyaungshwe.



I ran into U Sein Win, the man who sells paintings outside Shwe Yan Pyay monastery in Nyaungshwe, at an old temple on the outskirts of town one afternoon. He told me that he meditates at this temple every day.



I found the “Hair Cat” on a dirt road in a very remote section of Nyaungshwe while riding my bike one afternoon. I can’t imagine that they get any foreign customers, but kudos on the cute sign!



Novice monks at Shwe Yan Pyay monastery in Nyaungshwe trying to pay attention to their afternoon lessons. Nowadays the lessons are often interrupted by hordes of tourists parading through the monastery.



Taking a dip in the creek on a hot afternoon in Nyaungshwe.



Pedestrians cross a wooden bridge across the street from the mammoth Ma Soe Yein monastery in Mandalay.



Cheap and tasty fruit and other snacks for sale in Mingun.



Need a ride in Mandalay? This vehicle is perhaps NOT a good option.



An early morning offering to monks outside the Hotel Queen in Mandalay.



The novice monks at Tat Ein village are a great bunch, but I snapped one afternoon and felt compelled to strangle this one!


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