Lived in Sydney for three years, now back in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!
Published July 13th 2012
Bagan - the epitome of Myanmar's nickname, the Land of the Golden Pagodas. This is apparent by its scattering of temples, pagodas and stupas as far as the eye can see.
Besides the endless supply of stupas and pagodas, U Ba Nyein (commonly known as Bagan House) Lacquerware Workshop should take the top priority of one's to-do list in when in Bagan. Guardians of Myanmar's high quality traditional lacquerware, U Ba Nyein workers stick to the traditional methods in making their lacquerware. Mainly made of strips of bamboo, coated with tree sap to hold them together and powdered dye made from plants to give them colour, this lacquerware comes in many forms and sizes.
Joining bamboo strips together
From small rings to big wall hangings, there is something for everyone. Sitting in their own groups, the workers complete their tasks outdoors under a shelter beside the main shop. Some joining strips of bamboo to make their wares, others using their fingers to paint the completed bamboo pieces with tree sap while others smooth the dried tree sap.
Painting with tree sap
When it comes to the decoration of the pieces, the men are assigned the task of scratching out the outline of the decorations while the women are assigned the task of filling in the minute details of the men's outlines.
Outline being done
A woman filling in the details
Completed lacquerware for sale
In addition to the Lacquerware Workshop, Min Nan Tue Village also holds interest for visitors. Keepers of Myanmar's traditional way of life, the villagers are self-sufficient, depending on one another and nature. From weaving their own cloth to grinding their own sesame seeds to make their own oil to making cigars using corn husks, the villagers open visitors with open arms.
A 5 to 10 minute walk from the main village is an ancient lake that supplies the village with water for their everyday needs. Like most views in Bagan, stupas and pagodas pepper the background, giving it a rustic, tranquil feel.
Another thing on the to-do list would be the Sunset Cruise on the Irrawaddy River. Served hot green tea and tamarind flakes by the guide, one is able to enjoy the river life and the views from the boat as well as the beautiful sunset. Natural beauty and peaceful surroundings - a perfect end to an active day.
Lovely article Cassandra. How wonderful that Burma is now a more open society that is taking advantage if its natural beauty and culture to attract tourism and provide much needed wealth for its citizens.