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

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The road trip with the monks from Tat Ein village was lots of fun, but we had to contend with extremely hot weather once we were in the Bagan area. Temperatures surpassed forty degrees Celsius each day, hitting 43-44 at times (that’s about 110 degrees Fahrenheit!), which was not very conducive to traipsing around in the great outdoors. Many times we would reach a sacred site that required taking off our shoes, and if the entrance had a stone or concrete surface, it was so blisteringly hot that we had to practically race to get inside.

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My longtime friend in Bagan, Nine Nine, tagged along with us and proved to be a great help in recommending “cooler” destinations to see during the more scorching times of the day. Thus, we spent a lot of time wandering around indoors, looking at murals and wall paintings, or interior Buddha images. At one temple, they provided huge electric fans that blew a cooling mist over you, something that the novice monks found fascinating and comforting.

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We brought along two huge water dispensers for each truck, but they were mounted on the outside of each vehicle and by midday the water was almost too hot to drink, so I ended up buying more bottled water for the crew several times each day. I certainly didn’t want any of them to faint from heatstroke, and luckily nothing like that happened. But the oppressive heat certainly did slow those rambunctious youngsters down a bit!

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