The Burmese Gestapo
Favorite thing: Burmese by nature are a pretty laid back lot. It seems like nothing much upsets them.
There are exceptions however, one major one being if say a white male caucasian fails to pay the Foreigner usage fee that is charged at most of their desinated tourist spots.
Mind you, the usage fee at the Yele paya was only 1 FEC (1 USD), and the collection booth's location was not obvious to the first time visitor (i.e. ME) But, these are lame excuses, which would not hold much water out here....
As I strolled about the island merrily taking a few pictures, I suddenly had the omninous feeling that I was being WATCHed...
Suddenly they made their move... I tried to flee to the temple for sanctuary, but being surrounded, outnumbered, ill-equipped and unprepared, I unfortunately had to surrender my position to the local authorities.. Oh Great Lord, what great crime against humanity have I comitted ?
"You owe us a dollar..."
"Oh, a dollar ??, OK here ya go..."
"Dont do it again or else ! We've been watching you.. Next time, things may not go so easily !!"
"Yes sir yes sir yes sir yes sir..."
Actually, this scenario is actually no so uncommon. I was chased down at another stupa once for a 25 Kyat camera fee. (about 3 cents)
Favorite thing: To cross over to the island, there are a number of ferry boats waiting on the shore. The touts will try to steer you to the "safer" boats, which according to their billing aren't quite a susceptible to capsizing in the strong river currents...
The only difference that I noted was that the "safer" boat were empty, due to the lack of passengers willing to pay the surcharge.... I would imagine that their impeccable safety record could probably be attributed to their low usage rate...
Favorite thing: Once you reach the river, which is about 12 KM's past the Kyaik-Khauk Paya you will see the Yele Paya looming large on a small river island, about half way across the wide river....