Today I woke up at 4 am to go on a 5 am boat trip. It was beautiful out. There was three of us on our tour. Pamela, Nelson from Taiwan and myself. Our boat driver is a brother of one of the women who work in the hostel and they have set up a pretty awesome experience. It is on the pricier side at 15,000 kyats per person, when it is typically the same price for an entire boat for the day. There is something to be said about convenience. They pick you up, feed you, and take you to the out of the way non tourist spots.
We first went to the gardening floating village. Where everyone was heading out to pick tomatoes from the floating gardens. We went by homes that were as traditional as you can get but at the same time they have satellite dishes so that they could watch television. The people who live in floating villages do everything in the lake water. You use the bathroom into the lake. You bathe in the lake. You wash your dishes in the lake. You fish for your food in the lake. I wonder how much longer the lake can sustain theses villages, especially now that tourists are starting to arrive. During our entire day we only saw a small handful of other tourists.
We visited a hut that makes cigars. I had a wonderful time making a cigar and then smoking it. It was so sweet! We then went to a weaving shop. It was fascinating to see them weave Lotus stem fibers into cloth. The best part was a pool like shuffle board game I found the boat drivers playing that they let me join in. We also visited a black smith and a Pagoda.
The five day market happened to be held at the pagoda. It was nice seeing the real market that the local mountain women wait all week for, so they can buy their weekly goods. I purchased a bag like the locals carry for the same price the locals do. I should have purchased more as gifts as they are beautiful. All of the tourists items were extremely expensive. The bracelet I paid 1000 for in Yangon was 7000 here. It wasn’t even worth negotiating.
The best part of the entire day was lunch at the drivers mothers’ home. It was the best food I have had in a very long time! Everything was fresh and amazing. After lunch you could go canoeing with the mother. I opted to rest instead. Then a friend came and put the traditional face paste on us. It’s made of a ground up Wood. ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanaka ) Hanging out at this house was the highlight of the entire day.
Afterwards we rode around the lake some more. Took some fun photos and returned back at 3:30 pm.