Hidden Hike in Chiang Mai to Wat Palad วัดผาลาด

Hidden Hike in Chiang Mai to Wat Palad วัดผาลาด

Chiang Mai is a little city with plenty to do. One of the things I love, even after living here for over 2 years, is that there are still hidden gems. Last week I found one of them: the hike to วัดผาลาด.

Though I am an avid hiker, in Thailand I rarely go. This is mainly due to the heat, and the mosquitoes and snakes don’t help any. Lately it’s been cool to cold in Chiang Mai (10C – that’s 50F) especially in the mornings. This is the perfect weather for a hike.

My friend Lauren asked me to come along. It wasn't a long hike, but it was beautiful.

My friend Lauren asked me to come along. It wasn’t a long hike, but it was beautiful.

It, like many places in Thailand, had a sign that made no sense...

It, like many places in Thailand, had a sign that made no sense…

Nowhere near a car park. What did they mean? No short skirts?

Nowhere near a car park. What did they mean? No short skirts?

After a fairy short hike we arrive at Wat Palad. Nagas and waterfalls.

After a fairly short hike we arrive at Wat Palad. Nagas and waterfalls.

Buddhas blessing each step.

Buddhas blessing each step.

When I got to this point, I had to stop and take in the beauty of the whole wat grounds in the forest. The soft sound of water rushing by, the elegance and the serenity of if all really wowed me. After having been to so many wats in this city, it’s nice to know there are still lovely surprises to be had.

Looking down at a hazy Chiang Mai

Looking down at a hazy Chiang Mai

The beginning of the Wat in the forest.

The beginning of the Wat in the forest.

Decorative door with Thai astrological animals on the sides.

Decorative door with Thai astrological animals on the sides.

Door detail

Door detail

Reminiscent of the Bayon temple at Ankor Wat

Reminiscent of the Bayon temple at Ankor Wat

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Amazing Ganesh door

Amazing Ganesh door

Another effeminate looking Ganesh

Another effeminate looking Ganesh

A gentle reminder to keep a...

A gentle reminder to keep one of these

Seeing this guy meditate there felt so serene. It made me want to do another meditation retreat...maybe here if women can

Seeing this guy meditate here felt so peaceful. It made me want to do another meditation retreat…maybe even at this wat if women are allowed. It was a very special place indeed.

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Window twin details

Window twin details

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Interesting ideas

Interesting ideas

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Looking down the nagas

Looking down the nagas

Nagas on the hillside

Nagas on the hillside

Hiking back down amongst the blessed trees.

Hiking back down amongst the blessed trees.

The whole place was so spiritual, even Lauren wanted to meditate...for about 3 seconds.

The whole place was so spiritual, even Lauren wanted to meditate…for about 3 seconds.

Bamboo forest

I will most certainly go on this hike to Wat Palad again.

If you look closely, you can see the spider inside.

If you look closely, you can see the spider inside.

So often it looks like autumn in Chiang Mai

So often it looks like autumn in Chiang Mai

Here's a map, if you can read it.

Here’s a map, if you can read it.

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Pictures that Captured 2013

Pictures that Captured 2013

2013 was a busy, fun-filled year. So many things were happening all the time that I didn’t blog very much at all. Here is a photo overview highlighting some memorable moments of 2013. It’s really a summary of what could have been about 20 blog posts organized chronologically for the year. Enjoy!

Starting out on January first with old friends, Cara and Katie, in Chicago.

Starting out on January first with old friends, Cara and Katie, in Chicago.

Upon returning back to Chiang Mai, I said goodbye to the rice field in my backyard and moved into...

Upon returning back to Chiang Mai, I said goodbye to the rice field in my backyard and moved into…

...this house.

…this house in the city.

My new backyard...

My new backyard…

kitchen

kitchen

and upstairs outside patio.

and upstairs outside patio

Moving into the city exchanged quiet solitude for active social life and lots more people visiting me at my home.

Visitors of all ages

Visitors of all ages

Seeking some of the quiet beauty, Kenny and I headed north to Chiang Dao.

Seeking some of the tranquil beauty, Kenny and I headed north to Chiang Dao.

Kenny chilling in the river next to the hot springs.

Kenny chilling in the river next to the hot springs.

The weekend of 3 friend's birthdays started with Kate's 40th at The Four Seasons ooh laa laa

The weekend of 3 friend’s birthdays started with Kate’s 40th at The Four Seasons in Mae Rim. Ooh laa laa!

The celebrations continued with Rose's birthday vinyasa with Vari at Wild Rose...

The celebrations continued with Rose’s birthday vinyasa with Vari at Wild Rose Yoga Studio…

...and finished with Anthony's 30th at San Kampaeng hot springs.

…and finished with Anthony’s 30th at San Kampaeng hot springs.

Still teaching outside the city in nature at Panyaden School all day Monday – Friday, living in the city has helped balance out my former semi-reclusive life with a lot more time with friends.

To make students aware of where their food comes from, we took a field trip to a rice mill.

To make students aware of where their food comes from, we took a field trip to a rice mill.

A plus about my house in the city is knowing the neighbors. An afternoon of haircuts by Guillaume, with Christophe, Rose, and Felicity, in my neighbor Christophe's backyard.

A plus about my house in the city is knowing the neighbors. An afternoon of haircuts by Guillaume, with Christophe, Rose, and Felicity, in my neighbor Christophe’s backyard.

After doing a fun run for Burmese refugees in the morning, I headed to Pai for a 3-day weekend in late February for some time to read and relax.

After doing a fun run for Burmese refugees in the morning, I headed to Pai for a 3-day weekend in late February for some time to read and relax by myself.

The school year ended mid-March before Chiang Mai gets too smoky and hot. This was one group of projects - making their own vehicle.

The school year ended mid-March before Chiang Mai got too smoky and hot. This was one group student of projects – making their own vehicles.

Friends of Panyaden (our school's PTA with me representing the T part) had an end of the year picnic at the 'sticky waterfalls'.

Friends of Panyaden (our school’s PTA, with me representing the T part) had an end of the year picnic at the ‘sticky waterfall’.

'The sticky waterfall' is an unusual type of rock formation that doesn't allow the rocks to become slippery. It is possible to walk up the waterfall, even for children. Pretty cool indeed.

‘The sticky waterfall’ is an unusual type of rock formation that doesn’t allow the rocks to become slippery. It is possible to walk up the waterfall, even for children. Very cool indeed.

Birthday flowers

An array of purple hues: birthday flowers, pretty lights, and lanna weaving.

Christophe and I went to Chiang Dao for his birthday, also in mid-March, but it was getting very smoky.

Christophe and I took a holiday in Chiang Dao for his birthday, also in mid-March, but it was getting very smoky.

To escape the smoke in the end of March, it was time to head south.

To escape the smoke of Northern Thailand in the end of March, it was time to head south.

Pong and I headed to a little island.

Pong and I headed to a little island.

Our bamboo beach hut

Our bamboo beach hut

and inside

Inside our bamboo bungalow

colorful crabs

colorful crabs

beautiful beaches

beautiful beaches

perplexing pirate ships

perplexing pirate ships

This is how cashew nuts grow. It's just the part on the end of a big fruit. They need to be harvested individually, the nut is then cut from the fruit, shelled, and dried. Quite a process. It explains why they're expensive.

This is how cashew nuts grow. It’s just the part on the end of a big fruit. They need to be harvested individually, the nut is then cut from the fruit, shelled, and dried. Quite a process. It explains why they’re expensive.

Caring for an injured hornbill

Caring for an injured hornbill

Thai style ceviche

Thai style ceviche

Cute girls on a swing

Cute girls on a swing

Our canine travel companion

Our canine travel companion

And the nightly beautiful sunset made me want to stay on that special place for a long time. Thai 'summer' school break was coming to an end, and almost 3 weeks on the beach with no internet, it was time to return to Chiang Mai.

And the nightly beautiful sunsets made me want to stay in that special place for a long time. Thai ‘summer’ school break was coming to an end, and after almost 3 weeks on the beach with no internet, it was time to return to the Chiang Mai heat of mid-April…

Just in time for Songkran, Thai New Year and water throwing festival. Alana laughing with Pong, who is  armed and ready.

Just in time for Songkran, Thai New Year and water throwing festival. Alana laughing with Pong, who is armed and ready.

This is who might soak you during Songkran.

This is who might soak you during Songkran.

Starting the new school year in May, my students wrote brochures on what they like to do in Chiang Mai province. This student gives clever tips on how to stay dry during Songkran.

Starting the new school year in May, my students wrote brochures on what they like to do in Chiang Mai province. This student gives clever tips on how to stay dry during Songkran.

Bekkah gives me a yogic lift

Bekkah gives me a yogic lift

Dogs on motorbikes never cease to amuse me.

Dogs on motorbikes never cease to amuse me.

Here are some of my ceramic pieces, glazed but not fired.

Rekindling an old passion, I took ceramic classes on the weekends. Here are some of my pieces, glazed but not fired.

My outstanding ceramics teacher Jern, showing me trimming techniques.

My outstanding ceramics teacher Jern, showing me trimming techniques.

High tea with Alana at the Chedi

High tea with Alana at the Chedi. More food than we can eat.

Pong and Rose having a laugh over kanom jeen at Chiang Mai Gate.

Pong and Rose having a laugh over kanom jeen at Chiang Mai Gate.

Backyard blooming lotus

Backyard blooming lotus in June

This stunning creature devoured most of my African Mask plants.

This stunning creature devoured most of my African Mask plants.

When I took my car to the mechanic because it was overheating, he fixed the engine problem. He was a better mechanic than driver, because he returned my car like this after he ran into my friend's car.

When I took my car to the mechanic because it was overheating, he fixed the engine problem. He was a better mechanic than driver, because he returned my car like this after he ran into my friend’s car. Don’t worry, he’ll fix it.

To learn about Thai culture and history, we took a field trip to a 700 year old temple in Chiang Mai

To learn about Thai culture and history, we took a field trip to a 700 year old temple in Chiang Mai.

Wat Jed Yot

Wat Jed Yot

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On those sultry summer days, a Thai tea really hits the spot.

On those sultry summer days in July, a Thai tea really hits the spot.

A week off in the end of July took me to these turquoise waters of the coast of Ko Adang National Park

Kru Jeab captivating her K2 students at Panyaden.

A week off in the end of July took me to these turquoise waters of the coast of Ko Adang National Park.

A week off in the end of July took me to these turquoise waters off the coast of Ko Adang National Park.

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Lovely Mon Chaem

Lovely Mon Chaem just north of Chiang Mai

One of the coolest insects I've ever seen. Anyone know what this iridescent orange turtle shaped beetle thing is called?

One of the coolest insects I’ve ever seen. Anyone know what this iridescent orange, turtle shaped beetle thing is called?

Planting rice with Kru Neung on Thai Mother's Day, August 5th.

Planting rice with Kru Neung and our students on Thai Mother’s Day, August 5th.

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We will eventually eat this rice at school.

We will eventually eat this rice at school.

The green season is sure is beautiful. View from Panyaden.

The green season sure is lovely. View from Panyaden School.

To make Panyaden even more beautiful we thought we'd attract some more birds by building them houses.

To make Panyaden even more beautiful, we thought we’d attract some more birds by building them houses.

My nickname has made it to Thailand!

My nickname has made it to Thailand!

Detail of the silver wat

Detail of the silver wat in Chiang Mai.

Surfing in Chiang Mai at Art in Paradise.

Surfing in Chiang Mai at Art in Paradise.

Pong gets some wine

Pong gets some wine

Good thing I had the bridge the little kid didn't quite make it.

Good thing I had the bridge. The little kid didn’t quite make it.

October outside of Pai

October in the countryside outside of Pai

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Spirit house Samui

Spirit house Samui

Fantastic Thai massage in the most unlikely spot - on the beach in Ko Samui.

Fantastic Thai massage from Pi Niam in an unlikely spot – on the beach in Ko Samui.

My day of luxury at Saree Samui

My day of luxury at Saree Samui

The lovely new detail to my gate.

The lovely new detail to my gate.

A day out at Huay Tung Tao with Rowan

An October day out at Huay Tung Tao with Rowan

Acroyoga in the park with Emily

Acroyoga in the park with Emily

Acroyoga in my living room with Emily, Zahara, Neko, and Vari.

Acroyoga in my living room with Emily, Zahara, Neko, and Vari.

Leading my students on a walking meditation.

Leading my students on a walking meditation at Panyaden

Taking the students hiking and playing in the river at our Doi Inthanon overnight field trip.

Taking the students hiking and playing in the river at our Doi Inthanon overnight field trip.

Moths of unusal size at Doi Inthanon National Park.

Moths of unusal size

Doi Inthanon

Doi Inthanon trip

Near the top of the highest point in Thailand

Near the top of the highest point in Thailand, Doi Inthanon

Hike at Doi Inthanon

Hike at Doi Inthanon

Making Krathongs at Panyaden for Loy Krathong

In November we made krathongs at Panyaden for Loy Krathong

Students dancing for Loy Krathong

Students dancing for Loy Krathong

Letting my Krathong go.

Letting my krathong go

Floating krathongs on the lake at Panyaden.

Floating krathongs on the lake at Panyaden.

The Yee Peng festival at Mae Jo University. 10,000 komloys let off at once.

The Yee Peng festival at Mae Jo University. 10,000 komloys let off at once.

Lauren and I made our own krathongs to float on the Ping river.

Lauren and I made our own krathongs to float on the Ping river for Loy Krathong

Kenny and I let off a komloy from a rooftop in Chiang Mai.

Letting off a komloy from a rooftop in Chiang Mai with Kenny.

Funny signs in Chiang Mai (there are lots of these - blog post coming soon).

Funny signs in Chiang Mai (there are lots of these – blog post coming soon).

Kate and I thinking we might have an Owen Wilson sighting as they film The Coup in Chiang Mai. Alas, we didn't see him.

Kate and I thinking we might have an Owen Wilson sighting as they film The Coup in Chiang Mai. Alas, we didn’t see him.

I had about 30 people to my house for Thanksgiving dinner. This is only a small part of the feast.

I had about 30 people to my house for Thanksgiving dinner. This is only a small part of the feast.

Some of the Thanksgiving friends, Abby, Mark, Jessica, Sara, and Balaram.

Some of the Thanksgiving friends, Abby, Mark, Jessica, Sarra, and Balaram.

Amazing insect

Amazing insect

'Iron chef' cooking competition at our Doi Inthanon staff outing.

‘Iron chef’ judges tasting our creations for the cooking competition at our Doi Inthanon staff outing.

No question that nature is the best artist. Unbelievable chrysalis.

No question that nature is the best artist. Unbelievable chrysalis.

Father's Day rice harvest, December 5th.

Father’s Day rice harvest with Kru Jan on December 5th.

Does Kenny have happy saliva? NAP fair in Chiang Mai.

Does Kenny have happy saliva? NAP fair in Chiang Mai.

Beautiful Chiang Dao at Yang Tone Farmstay.

Beautiful Chiang Dao at Yang Tone Farmstay.

Super smily girl in the hot spring.

Super smily girl in the hot spring.

Teachers and students raising money for the Philippines.

Teachers and students at Panyaden raising money for the Philippines by singing.

Our staff costume party. The theme was a childhood book character. I won second prize, probably because I spoke in rhyme.

Our staff costume party. The theme was a childhood book character. I won second prize, probably because I spoke in rhyme.

Cat in the Hat and Snow White/zombie.

Cat in the Hat and Snow White/zombie.

Silly breakfast shot at Good Morning Chiang Mai with Joe, Zsa Zsa, Johnny, Rose, Lorenzo, and Emily.

Silly breakfast shot at Good Morning Chiang Mai with Joe, Zsa Zsa, Johnny, Rose, Lorenzo, and Emily.

Fun day out in Warorot Market and at Thamel Tea House with Rose.

Fun day out in Warorot Market and at Thamel Tea House with Rose.

Fun to see Armando, who I met here two years ago, and meet his girlfriend.

Fun to see Armando, who I met here two years ago, and meet his girlfriend.

Lovely, yet chilly, Ayurveda and yoga retreat at Om Waters.

Lovely, yet chilly, Ayurveda and yoga retreat at Om Waters.

Yoga at Om Waters

Yoga at Om Waters

Angie, Dao, Heather, Balaram, Yan, Hannah, Sarra, Rose and Surya for our Om Waters retreat.

Angie, Dao, Heather, Balaram, Yan, Hannah, Sarra, Rose and Surya for our Om Waters retreat

Temple dogs

Temple dogs in sweaters

Having old friends Dan and Mila visit for Christmas.

Having old friends Dan and Mila visit for Christmas

Dan and PJ jamming silly songs in Chiang Dao.

Dan and PJ jamming silly songs in Chiang Dao

Happy birthday PJ in Chiang Dao.

Happy birthday PJ in Chiang Dao. Very chilly December 28th.

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Lots of love and gratitude to everyone who made 2013 such a wonderful year. Happy 2014!

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Horse, Buggy, and the Best Lit Photos of Bagan

Horse, Buggy, and the Best Lit Photos of Bagan

Day 3 in Bagan, Burma: October 7, 2012

This after a few days on dodgy bikes, this was a much more comfortable way to see the temples.

After a few days on dodgy bikes, this was a much more comfortable way to see the temples.

We started the day in the afternoon with an East meets West lunch.

We started the day in the afternoon with an East meets West lunch.

This is a petrol station in Bagan.

This is a petrol station in Bagan.

These clay pots are filled with drinking water that is available to all passersby.

These clay pots are filled with drinking water that is available to all passersby, next to one of my favorite trees, the poinciana.

Just the standard temple, cow, and motorbike view.

Just the standard temple, cow, and motorbike view.

Looks like the clouds are fixin' for a real purdy sunset.

Looks like the clouds are fixin’ for a real purdy sunset.

Uh-oh, it looks like our buggy may have a traffic jam ahead...

Uh-oh, it looks like our buggy may have a traffic jam ahead…

Good time to walk up a temple and let the cows, goats, and herders pass by.

Good time to walk up a temple and let the cows, goats, and herders pass by.

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Then the light started making the temples more photogenic.

Then the light started making the temples more photogenic.

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The complimentary color combination was stunning.

The complimentary color combination was stunning.

Time to climb up the temple and watch the sunset.

Time to climb up the temple and watch the sunset.

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This one is one of my favorites because of the amount of temples visible in the setting sunlight.

This one is one of my favorites because of the amount of temples visible in the setting sunlight. It just doesn’t even look real.

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Bagan, thank you for staying so lovely in a country filled with so much strife.

Bagan, thank you for staying so lovely in a country filled with so much political strife.

Goodbye Kaday Aung Hotel,

Goodbye Kaday Aung Hotel,

Goodbye Bagan. Hope to see you again someday.

Goodbye Bagan. Hope to see you again someday.

Bumpy Road, Broken Bicycles, and Buddha Images in Bagan

Bumpy Road, Broken Bicycles, and Buddha Images in Bagan

Bagan Day 2: October 6, 2012

Mark and I decided to downgrade our room at Kaday Aung Hotel http://www.kadayaunghotel.com from superior ($45USD) to standard ($30USD), which better suited our budget. After breakfast we exchanged our rickety bikes for what appeared to be much better ones…but they weren’t. Nonetheless, we were ready for a day of cycling around to see temples. There are just so many!

This was a few kilometers down the road and today we were ready to see more of Old Bagan.

This was a few kilometers down the road and today we were ready to see more of Old Bagan.

IMG_3942The first big temple we perused had gigantic Buddhas in all directions of the temple. All similar, yet different.

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Temples temples everywhere!

Temples temples everywhere!

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Buddha imagery was even in the ruins.

Buddhas everywhere too!

Buddha imagery in the ruins

Buddha imagery in the ruins

This is an artist's rendition of Bagan at sunset probably from the viewpoint of a hot air balloon. Mark wanted to go in Balloons Over Bagan, but the season started the day we left Burma, and tickets were sold out months in advance. Oh well, next time.

This is an artist’s rendition of Bagan at sunset probably from the viewpoint of a hot air balloon. Mark wanted to go in Balloons Over Bagan, but the season started the day we left Burma, and tickets were sold out months in advance. Oh well, next time.

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This nice man showed us upstairs to a better view.

This nice man showed us upstairs to a better view.

And a better view it was.

And a better view it was.

Just beware of wasps nests

Just beware of wasps nests…

and Tokay geckos

…and Tokay geckos

More friendly vendors

More friendly vendors who we bought art from.

We then headed for a temple that was one of the most famous in Bagan, kind of like the Shwedagon of Bagan as is evident here.

We then headed for a temple that was one of the most famous in Bagan, kind of like the Shwedagon of Bagan as is evident here.

Temple detail

Temple detail

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Praying nun

Praying nun

Smoking monk

Smoking monk

Maybe it was because we were hungry, thirsty, and sore from cycling over a million bumps, but there was a strange feeling at this temple. I didn’t take pictures of many people, but there were a lot of people begging for money and trying to giving us ‘presents’ we didn’t want so we’d buy something from them. It was the only temple that felt like that, and the sketchiest people we met in Burma outside Yangon. The expression on the face of the monk above gives you an example of the not-so-welcoming atmosphere.

It definitely had unique details

Unique temple details…

...and different perspectives, but it was time to get out of there.

…and different perspectives, but it was time to get out of there.

Little did we know at lunch that day that we'd discover Mandalay Red, a 7% alcohol beer that was very tasty and went down all too well in the heat of the day.

Little did we know at lunch that day that we’d discover Mandalay Red, a 7% alcohol beer that was very tasty and went down all too well in the heat of the day.

After 2 Mandalay Reds, we rode to a temple that supposedly had good sunsets.

After 2 Mandalay Reds, we rode to a temple that supposedly had good sunsets.

Ahh Bagan!

Ahh Bagan!

So beautiful!

So beautiful!

IMG_4025As you can see, it was starting to get dark and we were about a 7 kilometer, bumpy, and traffic filled ride away from our hotel. On my bike, I could only use one pedal. Let the adventure begin!

By the time we got back it was dark, and we were exhausted, but still okay for a refreshing dip in the pool and a couple more Mandalay Reds to send us to an early slumber.

Buddhist Temples, Benevolent People, and Boat Rides in Beautiful Bagan

Buddhist Temples, Benevolent People, and Boat Rides in Beautiful Bagan

Day 1 in Bagan: October 5, 2012

After being in Yangon and its surrounds, Mark and I took the night bus to Bagan. Bagan is a city in Burma known for having more than 3,000 remains of its ancient Buddhist temples. We’d seen stunning pictures, but no picture could compare to the vast amount of beautiful temples it offered all in one place.

Our first glimpse of one of the many temples at 4:00 am

Our first glimpse of one of the many temples at 4:00 am

We arrived at 4:00 am hopped in a jalopy and headed down dark and bumpy dirt roads to Kaday Aung Hotel http://www.kadayaunghotel.com/ in New Bagan. The staff was extremely friendly and set us up in a superior room ($45USD) upon arrival. We slept until around 8 am and got up for a complimentary breakfast in the outdoor dining room. Mark cracked me up by going barefoot and saying, “Whop, whop, whop, whop an, Panyaden style.” (Panyaden is the school where we work in Chiang Mai. Throughout the day neither teachers nor students wear shoes in the classrooms, and usually not outdoors either. It’s healthier for the feet.)

This was our view from the superior room porch. Lovely!

This was our view from the superior room porch. Lovely!

After our leisurely breakfast we got maps and information from the hotel staff, rented mountain bikes that looked sturdy, but we soon found were not strong enough for the bumpy roads, and were off to see the temples.

At our first temple we stopped and also shopped.

At our first temple we stopped and also shopped.

There were hundreds of intricate hand painted fabrics.

There were hundreds of intricate hand painted fabrics.

As usual there were English signs almost correctly written, but still were a bit off.

As usual there were English signs almost correctly written, but still were a bit off.

Friendly people everywhere.

Friendly people everywhere.

We rode on and passed hundreds of stupas like this.

We rode on and passed hundreds of stupas like this. Babies weren’t always present.

Inside the temples we kept seeing this guy.

Inside the temples we kept seeing this guy.

Much like in Thailand, in Burma the day of the week you were born is culturally significant. Each day of the week is associated with different symbolism, in Burma, it’s an animal. In this temple you make an offering to your animal, and then switch on a light.

Monday, my day of birth, was represented by a tiger.

Monday, my day of birth, was represented by a tiger.

Other days of the week were singha and elephant.

Other days of the week were singha and elephant.

More shopping. Our philosophy was to share the wealth and buy from many different vendors.

More shopping. Our philosophy was to share the wealth and buy from many different vendors.

We were looking in this woman's shop as the heat of the midday was beating down.

We were looking in this woman’s shop as the heat of the midday was beating down.

She mixed up some thanaka paste with the thanaka root...

She mixed up some thanaka paste with the thanaka root…

...and applied it to my face in leaf patterns.

…and applied it to my face in leaf patterns.

It did make me cooler. She was happy I liked it and gave me some paste. She didn't speak English and I don't speak Burmese, but we understood each other. People everywhere were delightful.

It did make me cooler. She was happy I liked it and gave me some paste. I bought some shirts from her too. She didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Burmese, but we understood each other. People everywhere were delightful. 

We then headed down to the river for lunch where I met these new friends.

We then headed down to the river for lunch where I met these new friends.

So cute!

So cute!

Mark and I were offered to take a cruise out on the river. It was inexpensive, would give us a unique perspective on the temples, and would be much cooler than cycling.

Mark and I were offered to take a cruise out on the river. It was inexpensive, would give us a unique perspective on the temples, and would be much cooler than cycling.

Our boat driver

Our boat driver on our deafeningly loud boat.

Temple views from the river

Temple views from the river

Bathing and doing laundry at the river

Doing laundry at the river

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Bathing and staying cool

Bathing and staying cool

Life on the river

Life on the river

It's hard to see from this picture the dozens of temples in view.

It’s hard to see from this picture the dozens of temples in view.

Our way back to shore

Our way back to shore

I adored this gentle child.

I adored this gentle child.

I bought some handmade postcards form her? him? I wasn't sure.

I bought some handmade postcards from her? him? I wasn’t sure.

Heading back to our hotel we passed a few hundred more temples.

Heading back to our hotel we passed a few hundred more temples.

After day one it was confirmed: we love Bagan!

After day one it was confirmed: we love Bagan!