Monthly Archives: March 2011

Mrauk U, Burma Leave a comment Read more »

Mrauk U, Burma

Currently a quiet backwater, Mrauk U was once a powerful Rakhaing capital for 354 years, from 1430 to 1784. In its heyday it served as a free port trading with the Middle East, Asia, Holland, Portugal and Spain. From a Dutch traveler we have an…

Pilgrimage II Leave a comment Read more »

Pilgrimage II

While hiking down the Kyaiktiyo mountainside, I was still in the glow of the pilgrimage. I opted for the hardy pilgrim path and avoided the truck transport.  The path wandered along the ridgeline, a string of primitive tea shops along the way happy to sell…

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The Golden Rock, a huge round boulder, is perched on its parent rock, defying gravity. The parent rock is in the shape of a drum, its upper edges painted with lotus petals. Adding to the mystery is the 24 foot high stupa built on top…

Burma or Myanmar? 1 Comment Read more »

Burma or Myanmar?

To everyone living here, it has been Myanmar since 1989 when the generals changed it to the pre-colonial name, then spelled Myanma. The British called it Burma after the dominant ethnic group, the Bamar.  You slur the word Myanmar and everybody knows what you’re saying.…

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I was called again to that familiar experience of listening to repetitive voices from the monastery, this time through an amplified sound system quite close to my hotel. It was loud and of course in the Burmese language.  It went on for a long time…

Burmese Temple Scene 1 Comment Read more »

Burmese Temple Scene

Burmese temple compounds are called Paya, a word that also means holy. Zedi specifically means a stupa with the familiar conical spire shape. A pahto is a single temple building, most often capped with a sloping dome called a sikhara. A gu is a temple…

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