I could have thought they were ducks swimming in the river. My God, they are actually Seagulls. Nyaungshwe is a good place for watching migratory birds and local birds from early November till February, there is a few bird santuary along the river heading to the lake.
Seagulls can be found along Nyaungshwe River and Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda in Inle Lake.
Throw some biscuit or crisps to the seagulls and they will soon flying over your head. Lucky, I have a lot of biscuits inside my VT bagpack (incase I got hungry and need something to bite, hehe) Its a wonderful experience to see Seagulls as I never seen any seagulls before, and I thought them as cute little ducky :-))
One of the more impressive payas in Nyaungshwe, the Yadana Man Aung is also the oldest. Certainly it's not in the same league as Shwedagon or even Sule Paya in Yangon (Rangoon) but then again what is? The only really unusual feature of the paya is the step-spired stupa (see photo). A pleasant enough way to spend an hour.
On my way to Heho airport i made a brief stop in this beautiful 19th century monastery, a very interesting red painted teak wood building with oval windows, and richly decorated with mosaics and golden ornaments. It definitively needs more time.
The main bustling canals leading to Inle Lake are situated mostly to the West of town, but on the East side is the much quieter Mong Li canal. It is almost free of boat traffic, and a walk there at almost any time of day will prove rewarding for a bit of people watching.
The main picture, taken as the evening was drawing in, shows some young nuns doing their washing, and is indicative of the sorts of things you will see there. The canal seems to act as a kind of social centre and rings with the laughter of local people as they go about their daily business. Well worth a stroll.
Readers of my other pages will known that I love wandering about markets, so in Nyaungshwe I naturally made my way to the Mingala Market. Centrally located on the Main Road, it is very much the hub of the town.
There's nothing perticularly remarkable about it, but it's a good size and an interesting way to spend some time.
I fully appreciate that religions are dynamic and keep changing, but there has always been something about abandoned places of worship (of whatever faith) that makes me a little sad.
I stumbled uopn a group of apparently derelict Buddhist religious buildings whilst walking one evening. Nobody was about the place and the paths. such as they were, were completely overgrown. OK, so nobody appears to worship there any more - there are plenty of modern temples in the town for that. I walked about, completely alone, although it is still relatively near the middle of town, and took some photos as the sun lowered and glowed red off the sandstone? of the semi-decayed structures. It was quite magical.
I have tried in vain on the Internet to find any history of these temples, without success. If anyone would care to enlighten me, I'd be most grateful. This place really is worth a visit.
The Museum of the Shan Chiefs is one of the few things to see in Nyaungshwe itself (obviously I exclude Inle Lake in this statement). I visited there, and found it a little sad on a number of levels.
Set in a beautiful old colonial style house, there is the natural wistfulness for a byogne and more delicate age, and this is further reinforced by a knowledge of the "problems" between the Shan people and the current regime. I don't really want to get into that too much as it's probably not the place. On an architectural level, I'm led to believe this is the best example of a Shan Palace still remaining.
The museum itself is fairly sparsely populated with exhibits, the highlight for me being the throne, which is very impressive. You can just imagine yourself being ushered from the adjoining waiting area into the presence of the Chief in the large and airy throne room.
If you go to the lower level of the rear part of the building, there are a few old carts and things. I don't think they're meant ot be exhibits, but I liked them.
Whenever you've finished in the museum, have a walk round the gardens. Although they have obviously seen better days in terms of being cared for, they're still very pleasant.
Admission is 2USD and it's open 0930 - 1530 Tuesday - Sunday.
Some of the scenes were just so beautiful! I know the farmers have a hard life of long working hours, low pay etc..But they seemed happy. If we were walking past them they would most always greet us with the local Mingalaba.
Entering the north side of Nyaungshwe you surely stop to visit this unique monistary.
Notice the oval shape windows